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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • wallisweaver wallisweaver Dec 22, 2011 12:06 PM Flag

    Intel Shows Off Competitive Medfield x86 Android Power & Performance

    [Oh, no - the dreaded "competitive" word!!! What will the fanbois do???]

    "You may have seen some Medfield related news today - I thought I'd chime in with some of my thoughts on the topic. As a recap, in 2008 Intel introduced its Atom microprocessor - originally designed for MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) and repurposed for use in netbooks. In 2010 we got a more integrated version of Atom called Moorestown designed for smartphones and tablets. Intel had basically no success with Moorestown, although Pineview (its netbook counterpart) was still used in netbooks. In our original architecture piece I called Moorestown the "two-chip solution that uses five chips". Despite physical real estate requirements, Moorestown could fit into something that was a bit larger than an iPhone at the time. At the time everyone assumed Moorestown didn't make it into a phone because of unreasonably high power draw, but no one was able to back up those claims with actual test data. Intel will tell you that Moorestown never made it anywhere because it lacked platform focus. Intel was off chasing Moblin/MeeGo and Android wasn't a priority. Things have obviously changed since then.

    Medfield is the 32nm successor to Moorestown. Intel hasn't disclosed many details about Medfield's architecture, but we do know that it is a more integrated single chip design (compared to Moorestown's "two-chip" solution). We also saw Intel's Medfield reference smartphone and tablet, both running Android, at IDF. While this is still far away from announcing an actual design win, it's clear that Intel is finally making progress in the right direction. Couple these recent milestones with more recent restructuring inside Intel and it looks like the company is finally preparing to really enter the mobile market.

    This brings us back to today's news. The information disclosed today came from an investor conference earlier this month. Above is a slide from the aforementioned meeting.

    Intel has carefully removed the names of the devices in this chart. Barring any outright deception however, there seems to be potential in Medfield. One would assume that device manufacturers are given access to this (and more) performance data. One might also be able to infer that if Intel does indeed have a Medfield design win (hopefully more than one), then these numbers might be fairly convincing. The war begins in 2012..."

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5262/intel-shows-off-competitive-medfield-x86-android-power-performance

    The Intel Smart Phone Invasion has begun...

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    • Guess my forte is in engineering vs humor...

      I wouldn't buy the F07C
      small screen, running around with a charger to run windows...
      Forget that !!!

      SO most businessmen will pay the extra $$
      for the larger screen & more juice...
      and consider it portable enough... for now

    • I don't think there is any danger of a 4" Atom phone cannibalizing say a 15" Ivy Bridge Ultrabook ;-).

    • "A businessman could put that phone and a charger in a jacket pocket "

      True...

      And that sorta comes back full circle to being able cannibalize the low-end core line...:)

    • 'This is one of the (so called) analysts fears (margin erosion). The 'theory' is that Intel will have to keep increasing the performance of Atom (while keeping it's prices competitive) to keep ARM SoC's out. There soon becomes a point where the price/performance ratio of Atom over low end Core becomes to much in Atom's favour meaning that the Core line will come under price pressure from Atom. A solution to this problem is not to allow the Atom line in products where low end core is used... '

      It really doesn't matter to Intel what x86 wins as long as one does, they will do whatever it takes architecturally to maintain profitable market share using whatever processor works best. They have to improve the performance of Atom to keep it relevant against ARM A15 and AMD's Bobcat and it is no danger of catching up with the Ivy Bridge processors even if they got it to outperform those two competitors. There is a big enough gap.

    • A businessman could put that phone and a charger in a jacket pocket and basically be able to do serious work with existing extensive microsoft and x86 3rd party software anywhere there is a power socket. That's kind of cool. There is also a hack to unlock the full clockspeed in Windows mode for that phone ;-).

    • 'Yes, at some point Intel's SoC will be 'good' enough. It's a case of when...For me, we're talking 14nm.'

      If it is not done at 22nm it's unlikely to be done at 14nm as 20nm ARM products will be the competition. 22nm is the new micro-architecture and that is far more important to Atom's future than any fancy trigate transistors. If it hasn't done it at 22nm it will then have to wait until there is a two-process advantage (e.g. 10nm vs 20nm, 7nm vs 14nm) or another new micro-architecture.

    • "I have had to physically stop myself buying that 45nm Moorestown based Japanese Fujitsu F-07C on more than one occasion lol. I think will hold out to 22nm and the new micro-architecture "

      --------------

      We've already warned you guys: in Windows 7 mode, the F-07C is powered by a CPU underclocked to 600MHz (supported by 1GB of RAM), so naturally we have a sluggish system. Still, our handset got pretty hot while downloading some files, so just imagine what would happen to our hands if the CPU was running at its native 1.2GHz clock speed. We tried to run a couple of benchmark programs, but 3DMark06 stopped half way through the test with a Direct3D error message, and PCMark Vantage took almost an hour to return a disappointing score of around 700 (for the sake of comparison, the Intel Pine Trail netbooks were hitting scores above 1,200).

      We didn't get around to trying some games on the F-07C, but put it this way: we couldn't even get Flash videos on YouTube and Viddler to play smoothly at 480p, though they were OK at 360p. Still, Facebook games won't be any better.

      Battery life in Windows 7 mode

      According to the spec sheet, the F-07C can manage about two hours in Windows 7 mode, though we'd say it's closer to just over an hour, and obviously you get even less when using 3G data connection. So really, the Windows mode is only suitable for urgent document tweaks or for some bedtime browsing; just don't expect this device to let you play Doom while on the move. Even the power management tool struggled to monitor battery level, as it kept jumping between 30 percent and 100 percent when it's low on juice. Luckily, when the battery level is critically low, the phone forces itself back to Symbian mode, thus letting it last much longer as a simple phone.

      Connectivity in Windows 7 mode

      The F-07C's Windows mode can make use of the 3G connection using the DoCoMo Connection Manager, though good luck to that if you're not fluent in Japanese -- the Windows language pack can only fix so much. Also, turning on 3G automatically kills the WiFi, and you'd have to manually start WiFi again once you close the 3G connection; likewise with 3G if your connection drops, as it's not smart enough to attempt reconnection on its own. As for making phone calls in Windows mode, well, we didn't have much luck with that, but we've been able to pick up incoming calls.

      http://www.engadget.com/2011/08/26/fujitsu-loox-f-07c-review/

    • 'ATOM could be far faster, and actually run Windows with an acceptable speed if they gave it more cache memory...

      But that would then cannabilize their low-mid products...'

      Yes to the first part but no to the second part as say an extra level 3 cache or beefier level 2 cache would only bring it up to the level of AMD's Bobcat/Brazos as there is a hell of an architectural gap between Sandy Bridge and Atom that no amount of cache would cure (quad-issue vs dual-issue, aggressive out-of-order vs in-order).

      'would you buy it to run windows ?? '

      Hell yeah, I have had to physically stop myself buying that 45nm Moorestown based Japanese Fujitsu F-07C on more than one occasion lol. I think will hold out to 22nm and the new micro-architecture ;-).

    • "A solution to this problem is not to allow the Atom line in products where low end core is used..."

      Yes, INtel limits the screen size that ATOMs are allowed into...

      it's good to be a monopoly

    • ATOM could be far faster, and actually run Windows with an acceptable speed if they gave it more cache memory...

      But that would then cannabilize their low-mid products...
      -----

      This is one of the (so called) analysts fears (margin erosion). The 'theory' is that Intel will have to keep increasing the performance of Atom (while keeping it's prices competitive) to keep ARM SoC's out. There soon becomes a point where the price/performance ratio of Atom over low end Core becomes to much in Atom's favour meaning that the Core line will come under price pressure from Atom. A solution to this problem is not to allow the Atom line in products where low end core is used...

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