Lenovo and Motorola on board
has shed more light on its upcoming 32nm Medfield architecture and by the look of things, we should see the first products in the first half of the year.
Lenovo and Motorola are the first manufacturers to embrace the new chips, while LG has been rumoured as a partner for a while now. Lenovo should introduce the K800, its first Intel-powered smartphone by mid-2012, while Motorola will launch its first products in the latter half of the year.
On the spec side, the new 32nm SoC, codenamed Penwell and branded Atom Z2460, seems like an interesting alternative to high end ARM parts. One of the main concerns for Medfield was power consumption, but Intel is now promising that the first 1.6GHz model should consume less than 800mW in the highest power consumption scenario. At 1.3GHz the chip should consume about 500mW, and at 600MHz some 175mW. The chip can downclock all the way to 100MHz, in which case it consumes just 50mW. Sounds impressive and the figures are much better than we were led to believe by previous leaks.
In terms of performance the chip should rival current high-end ARM solutions, but graphics performance does not seem too impressive. The chip features an SGX 540 graphics core, which is already slower than the latest incarnations of ARM’s Mali GPU, or for that matter the SGX 543MP used in Apple’s A5 processor. Details are quite vague at the moment, so we will have to wait for some benchmarks to see how it stacks up to the latest ARM parts.
Analysts expect Medfield parts to cost about $17 or $18 when they launch, which should put them on par with high-end ARM chips, say Nvidia’s Tegra 3.