Intel Demos CloverTrail+ Based Lenovo IdeaPhone K900 Ahead of MWCby Anand Lal Shimpi on February 20, 2013 11:59 AM EST
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Lenovo announced its ultra slim (6.9mm) 5.5" 1080p IdeaPhone K900 at CES earlier this year, based on Intel's presently unannounced CloverTrail+ SoC. While we're expecting to learn a lot more about CT+ next week at MWC, Intel did post a video showcasing the K900's performance. The video below includes footage of the K900 running Epic's Citadel for Android very smoothly at 1080p, as well as PR TextureMark.
PR TextureMark is a video decode/GPU texturing/memory bandwidth benchmark, although Intel was careful not to actually run the benchmark on the phone. Intel's Atom SoCs have always been very good on the memory interface side compared to the ARM competition, which makes PR TextureMark an obvious showcase for the platform.
Epic's Citadel runs well on the K900, but as we showed earlier, it runs well on just about every high-end Android smartphone at this point. It's clear that the CT+ based K900 however integrates a much better GPU than the PowerVR SGX 540 included in Medfield, as the latter wouldn't be able to run Citadel at 1080p this smoothly.
I should also point out that some have been incorrectly assuming that the K900 is based on Intel's forthcoming Merrifield silicon. Merrifield and the rest of Intel's 22nm SoC lineup isn't due to ship/sample until the latter part of this year. Lenovo's K900 will be available in China starting in April, and expanding to other territories afterwards.
Source: Intel YouTube - François Piednoël
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StealthX32 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkI'd love for them to enter the US market in the smartphone space, especially if they lead with that.
Homeles - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkI have zero interest in a CPU built on a six year old microarchitecture. Not when I know that there's a (presumably) vastly superior successor around the corner. There are too many important ISA additions, architectural devlopements, and process advancements on the way.
When I go to upgrade to a new smartphone this year, I'll definitely be getting an ARM device. We'll see how Atom looks in two years, when I'll be moving to another phone.
Intel's made great progress, but their current showings are just the tip of the iceberg. I'll wait until the fruit of their ultra-mobile efforts are fully ripened.
stadisticado - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkI find this comment curious. If this SoC runs all the benchmarks at parity (and early indications is that it does) why do all the things you mention even matter? Does it really matter on your day-to-day if your smartphone has SSE4 or AVX?
If the chip has demonstrably the same performance as its current competitors I'm not sure how your desire to wait for something generically 'better' due to a new architecture has any merit. You could say the exact same thing about waiting on new QCOM or Samsung chips.
MrSpadge - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkI think he refers to the massive architecture upgrade Atom is up to within a year from now. That should improve performance more than the entire 6 previous years combined. Can they still keep power under control? I think so.. Intel has gotten quite good at this, and there'll be the switch to 22 nm too.
If one is not in a hurry for a new phone one these are good reasons to wait. It's the most cost-efficient way of using your current phone for sure :D
jeffkibuule - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkConsidering there are few, if any, major x86 phones, boldy proclaiming your next smartphone will use ARM isn't a huge leap.
Regardless, at this point, OEMs want integrated solutions, and at least in the high-end, the lack of an LTE chipset onboard means everyone will continue slurping at the Qualcomm trough.
hammerd2 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkSo presumably in 2 years you'll say you're not interested in buying a phone based on an 8 year old architecture then ?
As stadisticado says, if it does what you want then what's your beef ? You'll be updating it shortly anyway.
sherlockwing - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkClovertrail is pretty nice for a 32nm chip, but what Intel needs to compete with Tegra4/Snapdragon S600/Samsung Octa and other quad A15 chips is 22nm Quadcore Baytrail/Valleyview(originally Q3 this year, might be delayed) with Ivy IGPU tech(Gen7).
The good thing is I heard on the recent Anand Podcast that Intel is acclerating Atom dieshrink schedule and will go to 14nm next year with the next Atom+ Haswell IGPU tech.
jeffkibuule - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkThe problems as always, always, always been cost though. Intel is used to its margins and doesn't want to play for $10-20 chips (except that's what is going into phones). If Intel was really serious about mobile, then we would have seen them make a serious push years ago.
amdwilliam1985 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkTotally agree on the cost part.
Cost is also the major reason why tegra 3 is so popular with many devices.
Kidster3001 - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 - linkMargins for high end SoC's are not that bad. You're thinking of the total cost, not the margin. consider die size. if you can make 4x as many per wafer you can sell them at 1/4 the cost and keep the same margins. I don't think the margin argument holds as much water as many people claim.