Intel’s new chip for phones is surprising in many respects, but the biggest shocker is speed.
The “Medfield” Atom Z2460 chip for smartphones, announced at CES, handily beats some of the fastest phones on the market, review site Anandtech said in this post.
Is this fast enough to be smartphone-market disruptive? Will battery life measure up? Only Lenovo and Motorola know for sure (Anandtech thinks Medfield will be fine on battery life). One thing is for certain, though: neither of those companies are signing up for Medfield out of pity, as Anand Shimpi points out.
And–another shocker–the results that Anandtech cites are not that different from a bar-graph slide (below) that CEO Paul Otellini showed at a Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference back in November. (I should add that I had somebody whispering in my ear before CES to take those benchmarks seriously. Alas, I didn’t.)
If the results hold up for the upcoming Lenovo K800 smartphone (and Motorola’s unannounced phones), Intel-based phones should offer stalwarts like the iPhone 4S and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus some headline-grabbing competition.
“Although running what appears to be a stock Gingerbread browser, Intel’s Medfield reference platform posts SunSpider performance better than any other smartphone we’ve tested–including the Galaxy Nexus running Ice Cream Sandwich,” said Anandtech. And those results should be maintained for Atom on Ice Cream Sandwich.
Oh, and it beats the iPhone 4S too in that benchmark.
More good news for Intel: the sudden benchmarks don’t stop there. See that Browser Mark benchmark within the lower left-hand nook of the Intel slide above? That’s actual. The Medfield reference platform supplies tablet-like scores at the BrowserMark benchmark too, beating, again, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and iPhone 4S, Anandtech said.
yet every other marvel: that is all performed with one CPU (crucial processing unit) center. Which, again, implies that Lenovo and Motorola don’t seem to be adopting Intel’s phone chip platform on a whim. cautious analysis of benchmarks demonstrates that Intel is offering a real aggressive advantage.
Though Intel didn’t mention what the ‘shipping smartphones’ were in this slide presented in November, we now know two of those phones were the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Intel Medfield chip power consumption.
Here’s how Anandtech summarized the Atom Z2460 platform. Today it appears to deliver better CPU performance than anything on the market, despite only having a single core. GPU (graphics processing unit) performance is still not as fast as what’s in the A5 but it’s competitive with much of the competition today, and I fully expect the dual-core version of Medfield to rectify this problem.
That dual-core version is called Clover path. no less than, that’s the version for windows 8 and Ice Cream Sandwich pills that Intel used to be demonstrating at CES. along with including a center, it is going to even have an upgraded GPU.
Will that be competitive with Apple’s A6? Or Texas instruments’ OMAP5? in fact, we don’t understand.
And there’s every other marvel that Intel is maintaining with reference to its vest presently: Silvermont. That chip shall be a fully redesigned Atom to be able to debut on 22-nanometer manufacturing process generation. The chip promises mainstream laptop-like efficiency for smartphones. And that story will get even higher whilst Atom jumps to 14 nanometers by means of Airmont.
I think it’s safe to say that Intel will be a force to reckon with in the smartphone and tablet markets in the years to come.