Digitimes reports the launch of Intel's (INTC -1.6%) 22nm Bay Trail Atom tablet CPUs (expected in Q4) will be followed by the launch of 14nm "Cherry Trail" Atom tablet CPUs in Q3 2014, and 14nm "Willow Trail" Atom tablet parts in Q4 2014.
Intel is also expected to follow up on the launch of its 22nm Merrifield Atom smartphone CPUs (due at year's end) with 14nm "Moorefield" CPUs in 1H14, and 14nm "Morganfield" CPUs in 1H15.
Cherry Trail is said to use Intel's next-gen Airmont CPU architecture, and Willow Trail a succeeding architecture codenamed Goldmont.
Barron's recently noted Intel Intel wants to narrow the delay between Core (PC) and Atom CPU launches for a given architecture, as it makes an all-out effort to gain mobile CPU share from ARM-based (ARMH) suppliers such as Qualcomm (QCOM). Nvidia (NVDA), and MediaTek.
In June, new CEO Brian Krzanich stated Atom launches could actually precede Core launches for a particular architecture in the future. Digitimes' report suggests that might just happen with Willow Trail. But it's worth noting a mere one-quarter gap between CPU architecture upgrades would be very rare for Intel.
If Intel can ramp 14nm Atom production in 2014, it should have a process edge over its rivals, who will be at 20nm. But Intel still needs to develop chips that fuse powerful CPUs with 4G baseband modems (something Qualcomm has excelled at).
Bay Trail has stoked cannibalization fears. Its successors could heighten them.