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Saturday, 22 December 2012 09:59

Intel’s SoC is superior to Tegra 3

Written by Nick Farrell



World officially ends

Intel is claiming that its latest tablet SoC outperforms the Nvidia Tegra 3 while consuming less power.

If it is not a drug fuelled fantasy, then it means that Clover Trail, a dual-core Atom SoC for tablets, consumes as much as a half a watt less that Tegra 3 on some tasks. The statement was repeated in the presence of a group of analysts recently. It claims that the Imagination Technologies graphics block on Clover Trail eats less energy than the rival Nvidia block.

Nathan Brookwood, principal of market watcher Insight64 said he was told that tablet performance is as good with Clover Trail as with ARM SoCs if not better but what surprised him was that they are using less power. He was surprised, so were we. So are all the Nvidia fans who will probably register their disgust in the comments section below. Intel used a Windows 8 tablet using Clover Trail with a Microsoft Surface tablet running Windows RT on Tegra 3. The systems were hooked up to meters measuring consumption on the processors’ power.

So what Intel says happened was that the Nvidia chip with its four main and one helper core was slower. Of course it did not show how both chips handled Android. Windows RT does not use the helper core as extensively as Android. We will know for certain in the second half of 2013, Intel will roll out Bay Trail which is expected to use the first out-of-order Atom cores to bolster performance. It will also roll out Haswell, a new 22-nm PC processor geared for a variety of systems including ultrabooks.

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