Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Intel

Intel Announces Clover Trail+ Atom Platform For Smartphones and Tablets 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
MojoKid writes "Today, Intel announced the follow-on to their Medfield Atom platform for smartphones, code-named Clover Trail+. Clover Trail is powering a few Windows 8 Pro tablets currently. However, Clover Trail+, Intel's new performance and feature-optimized version of Clover Trail for smartphones and tablets, has a long row to hoe versus incumbents like Qualcomm, Samsung and NVIDIA, at least in the highly competitive handset arena. What's interesting this time around is that Clover Trail+ seems to really have the chops (at least on paper) to keep pace with the performance of current, best-of-class ARM-based architectures that have been so dominant in smartphones. Clover Trail+ is another 32nm design and Intel has beefed up almost every major functional block on the platform. From its now dual-core, 4-thread capable Atom CPU, to its new PowerVR SGX 544MP2 graphics engine, 2GB of LPDDR2 1066 DRAM, up to 256GB of NAND storage, a higher resolution 16MP camera and Intel's XMM 6360 HSPA+ 42Mbps modem, with LTE support from their XMM 7160 radio moving forward; Intel's Clover Trail+ smartphone reference design brings a lot more to the table than Medfield ever did."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Intel Announces Clover Trail+ Atom Platform For Smartphones and Tablets

Comments Filter:
  • Finally (Score:4, Funny)

    by binarylarry (1338699) on Monday February 25, 2013 @03:59PM (#43006939)

    I can use my phone in the winter *and* keep my hands warm.

    Oh Intel, what would I do without you!

    • Either the summary/article writer or Intel are still sadly delusional, but the problem with Intel's designs have not been that they were not "beefy enough" for small mobile devices.

      It has been entirely about them sucking too much power and generating too much heat [related problem].

  • Mythbusting time! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:04PM (#43007009) Journal

    Myth 1: Intel can't make x86 power/performance competitive with ARM: Being busted as we speak.

    Myth 2: ARM can't scale up performance: Beginning to be busted with the A15, more to come with the 64-bit chips.

    Myth 3: ARM can just press a button and get Intel level performance without using any extra power: Busted wide open by ARM themselves with the whole "littleBIG/BIG/little/etc" approach and by the conspicuous lack of high-end A15 chips in smartphones (note Tablet != Smartphone, and look at the Cortex-A9 based Tegra4i for the latest example of manufacturers not putting high-clocked A15s in smartphones).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by h4rr4r (612664)

      Fact 1: If it is not ARM your games will be slow. Anything using the NDK is not likely to even work on non-ARM cpus or be very slow if they can emulate ARM.

      For now x86 has a huge disadvantage in the market.

      • by CajunArson (465943) on Monday February 25, 2013 @04:10PM (#43007099) Journal

        Fact 2: Compilers exist.
        Fact 3: x86 compilers exist.
        Fact 4: NDK for x86 exists.
        Fact 5: ARM fanboys who say that ARM will win simply be recompiling Linux while claiming that it is physically impossible to run Linux on an x86 architecture are almost as amusing as they are ignorant.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          None of the games you want to play are compiled for x86, nor will anything that that uses the NDK. They will not be until that is a popular architecture in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22.

          I am no ARM fanboy, I am just pointing out reality.

          • by ratboy666 (104074)

            Now you've gone and done it!

            I am off building an ARM to Atom binary compiler, and see what that gives.

          • by tepples (727027)

            None of the games you want to play are compiled for x86, nor will anything that that uses the NDK. They will not be until that is a popular architecture in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22.

            Here's how it used to sound: "None of the games you want to play are compiled for Android, nor will anything that that uses the Cocoa Touch API. They will not be until Android is a popular OS in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22." So how did games get onto Android in the first place? It could be that some game developers such as Rovio have a policy of getting their apps onto anything and everything with an app store, even if it means completely rewriting them in a

            • None of the games you want to play are compiled for x86, nor will anything that that uses the NDK. They will not be until that is a popular architecture in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22.

              Here's how it used to sound: "None of the games you want to play are compiled for Android, nor will anything that that uses the Cocoa Touch API. They will not be until Android is a popular OS in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22." So how did games get onto Android in the first place?

              What happened was that iOS, (and then Android) started eating everyone's lunch in the mobile market by providing something that Palm, Microsoft, Blackberry and others found difficult to impossible: a true media-centric portable computer with near-first-class browsing and touch interface. A tantalizing canvas and paintbrush on which you could draw your masterpiece (or partake of someone else's). Developers saw virgin territory all while the incumbents said "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. T

              • by tepples (727027)

                Here's how it used to sound: "None of the games you want to play are compiled for Android, nor will anything that that uses the Cocoa Touch API. They will not be until Android is a popular OS in this market. That will not happen until the games are there, classic catch 22." So how did games get onto Android in the first place?

                What happened was that iOS, (and then Android) started eating everyone's lunch in the mobile market by providing something that Palm, Microsoft, Blackberry and others found difficult to impossible

                Cocoa Touch is the name of the iOS API. I'm asking how Android managed to gain ports of proprietary commercial games despite the dominance of what was then called "iPhone OS".

        • by edxwelch (600979)

          Fact 6: Neon code has to be re-written :(

      • by loufoque (1400831)

        You're implying that Android games are relevant.
        You're a funny guy, aren't you.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Myth 1: Intel can't make x86 power/performance competitive with ARM: Being busted as we speak.

      I read the summary and the article twice. I have not found anything that said what the power consumption of this SoC is. In fact, the article gushes all about specs EXCEPT power consumption.

      Are they at the 1mW/MHz level of ARMs yet or aren't they? The closest thing I cound is "Hurry Up and Get Idle" thing which doesn't tell me a thing about power.

      As for A15 power guzzler, yes, it's a huge drain, but that doesn't m

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Are they at the 1mW/MHz level of ARMs yet or aren't they?

        I think they passed that quite some time ago, the Medfield [anandtech.com] platform had these figures for SoC Power Consumption last year:
        100MHz 600MHz 1.3GHz 1.6GHz
        ~50mW ~175mW ~500mW ~750mW

        That is more like 0.5 to 0.3 mW/MHz, of course presumably without any GPU load. They're just one in the crowd though, they'll have to do better to win.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      We always knew Intel could do it. The question was if they would do it. The answer will be in the form of a popular retail product.
    • For myth 1, I don't know how the cpu cores have evolved over time, but the older atoms had a hard time keeping up with the A9's, despite having a larger die and clockspeed advantage: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=pandaboard_es&num=1 [phoronix.com].

      For myth 2, the A15 design is significantly faster than A9, which was a big step up from the A8's. In four years we've gone from A8 to A15. It's quite impressive to consider how fast the phones in our pockets have gotten is such a short time, and

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        For myth 1, I don't know how the cpu cores have evolved over time, but the older atoms had a hard time keeping up with the A9's, despite having a larger die and clockspeed advantage: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=pandaboard_es&num=1 [phoronix.com].

        Uh, that article shows single-core Atoms generally beating the ARM by 50+%. The ARM did well to match or beat it in a couple of cases, but I don't see any evidence that the Atom 'hard a hard time keeping up' with an ARM CPU that it soundly beat in most of those benchmarks.

        • And it's hyperthreaded, so both are capable of processing the same number of threads. Atom wins some and loses others, despite a significant clockspeed advantage.
    • by Artraze (600366)

      > conspicuous lack of high-end A15 chips in smartphones

      Sort of? Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 chips have a custom A15-styled "Krait" core [wikipedia.org] which has been in phones for a while. It's a little different than a stock A15 design, but not massively. It's just a few design tweaks (Added a L0 cache, reduced L1, reduced pipeline) that make a fair bit of sense. Performance is only slightly reduced (~5%).

      With that said, I don't know if that "ARM can just press a button" myth was ever really present. There may have

      • Cortex-M operates in a completely different market than the stated market that Intel wants to reach... and BTW that market isn't insanely profitable for even an IP-only company like ARM. The Intel-fanboy response to your ARM-fanboy propaganda would be to say that ARM has no products that are even a bad imitation of Intel's high-end Xeon chips, which is equally as true and equally as irrelevant.

        As for the Krait == A15 business, that is complete and utter bunk. Review after review after review have shown th

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      FACT. We have yet to see ANY ARM chip get even in the same ballpark as the first gen Core Solo, in fact only by optimizing like mad and being VERY picky about which tests to run have they shown (on paper) an ARM chip beating a PENTIUM 4, which was a badly designed dead end that has been dead more than half a decade!

      So I'm sorry ARM fanboys but its simply easier to cut features on an already insanely overpowered chip and get it to fit into a power envelope than it is to take a new design (the 64bit chips) an

  • does it have a SD card slot?

  • by mythosaz (572040) on Monday February 25, 2013 @05:10PM (#43007867)

    It's an ARMs race!

  • by tlambert (566799) on Monday February 25, 2013 @06:00PM (#43008529)

    Intel is unwilling to pair a higher end GPU with a lower end CPU, since given that much of the CPU is pent on eye candy and CODECs these days, doing so would cannibalize higher end CPU sales.

    If they could guarantee that this would only every be used in a hone or a tablet without a keyboard dock like the transformer, they'd likely be willing to go for it, but just as the recent Samsung ARM ChromeBook demonstrated, phone/tablet chips can and will be used in laptops, and likely eventually desktops. The thing which has stopped this so far is the need for Intel software compatibility, which the ChromeBook side-steps by not running (non-NaCl'ed) native code, and being mostly a browser.

    If Intel came out with a CPU that was not a compute giant, but had a good GPU which could be used for higher powered math calculations, thus obviating the need for a high powered CPU, then there would quickly be a lot of machines in the laptop space grabbing them up. This wouldn't be terrible for Intel, as long as they charged higher prices for the things based on the GPU power rather than the CPU power --- but doing that would be disastrous for their ability to compete in the tablet/phone market, so they are somewhat pilloried by having one monolithic instruction set across their product line. Ironically, capping the instruction set to make it inappropriate for desktop would throw the CPU out as yet-another-Intel-incompatible-ARM-competitor, so Catch-22.

    • The thing which has stopped [ARM desktops] so far is the need for Intel software compatibility

      Are you sure it's that, or the fact that users of laptops and desktops want a window management policy other than all maximized all the time? The biggest thing keeping me on my 10" laptop (which is a collector's item now), as opposed to a dockable tablet of the same size, is the ability to have more than one window on the screen. Android and iOS don't support this because their programming models initially targeted smartphones, whose screens aren't big enough for a tiled window manager, and their developers

  • It seems Intel is destined to be the next Zilog:) They need to get back their paranoia.
  • I don't really get the selling point of Intel on smartphones or, to a lesser degree, tablets.

    Current CPU's are already plenty fast in phones. For all the benchmarks out there, any actual difference in use is mostly due to the GPU and to how well the OS is written to give a smooth user experience. Even games are mostly GPU-limited; actual CPU limited mobile apps are few and far between. Power consumption, price and size are really far more important than speed.

    Intel brings x86 compatibility. But that's no be

    • by pchan- (118053)

      Intel brings x86 compatibility. But that's no benefit on mobile, and will often be a slight liability.

      It's actually a massive liability. I can boot an ARM Cortex-A9 in 1000 lines of assembly. An Atom requires a multi-megabyte binary blog delivered by Intel (source unavailable) to simple turn on an Atom. And yes, it does start out in 16-bit real mode as if anyone wants that. Can you guess which one of these is more debuggable?

      And of course, the ARM architecture is offered by multiple makers, in all kinds of configurations of core types and numbers, clock speeds and so on. With Intel you get what one single company decides to offer, and that's it. Not directly relevant to us consumers of course, but it does mean it's more likely the ARM set-up in your phone or tablet is adapted specifically for that hardware, not a more generic one-size-fits-all spec.

      Today Intel sells three versions of the same desktop chip; a high end one with all of the features enabled, a midrange one with some features disabled, and a low end one with most f

      • Look, I really want to run my old DOS 6.22 applications on my phone, OK? Also I think Windows 3.1 would make a fantastic mobile operating system.

    • by unixisc (2429386)

      On tablets, I get the point. On smartphones, no.

      One word - Windows 8. It sucks as a desktop OS, but its only chance - if it is a tablet OS on something that can run Wintel apps written for PCs. While not all applications would work on it, some would, and to that extent, a tablet w/ this chip would be handy. But yeah, if the idea is to run Android or any non Windows OSs, then either any ARM based CPU, or even a MIPS based one, like the Xburst, would be preferable to Intel.

      I don't see Intel winning in

      • by JanneM (7445)

        Could an Atom CPU really run typical x86 applications fast enough though? Especially those that need fairly hgih performance and can't easily by recompiled for other architectures due to optimizations and inline assembly?

        What I'm getting at is, how good is Atom as a desktop OS system?

        • Could an Atom CPU really run typical x86 applications fast enough though?

          Yes. I have a 10" laptop with an Atom CPU and Xubuntu OS. I'm satisfied with it at the moment, but I wonder what I'd do should it break now that 10" laptops are collector's items. I'd switch to a 10" tablet with a detachable keyboard if 1. it were affordable enough, and 2. developer tools without a recurring fee were available, and 3. the window manager had a policy other than "all maximized all the time". Right now, iPad and Windows RT tablets fail all three, Android primarily fails #3 (and it'll take a fe

  • For thee hour battery li

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins

Working...