LONDON – Intel's Z2580 application processor, which was codenamed as CloverTrail prior to launch, outperformed competitors' processors in a benchmarking exercise, according to Allied Business Intelligence Inc., which trades as ABI Research.
ABI Research concluded that Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has succeeded in reducing significantly the power consumption of its smartphone application processor and it now rivals and is often lower than equivalents based on the ARM architecture licensed from ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England).
Since high-end smartphones require this level of performance ABI said it considers Intel is "well positioned for strong growth over the next few years."
The benchmarks were done by comparing the performance of the Lenovo K900 smartphone, powered by Intel's Z2580 application processor and supporting XMM6360 chipset, with a series of Samsung smartphones that are based on ARM-based application processors from Nvidia, Qualcomm and Samsung.
"The benchmarks were impressive but the real surprise was the current consumption recorded during the benchmarks; the new processor not only outperformed the competition in performance but it did so with up to half the current drain," said Jim Mielke, vice president of engineering at ABI research, in a statement.
"Intel did significant work to bring the current drain down on their well-recognized high-performance processors but the competitors did not help themselves. The ARM architecture used by nearly all of Intel's competitors is well known for its low power performance but in bringing the processing power up closer to PC levels, the current drain has taken a significant hit," Mielke added. He continued: "Combining the high-end modems – the XMM6360 is used in both the Lenovo K900 and the Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 – with their application processors for high- to mid-tier solutions and single-chip EDGE chips for low-cost phones makes Intel a rare full portfolio provider."
Details of the results are included in the table below.
Click on image to enlarge.
Comparison of mobile phone performance. Source: ABI Research
The comparison was against the two types of processors in the Samsung S4, one of the most recently introduced phones based on ARM processors and one of the fastest ARM based units on the market. I don't know why you would not consider that a fair comparison?
Pretty significant results from the Intel camp. I am not pro or against Intel, but this will have some impact on the naysayers out there. Unless ARM or Qualcomm et. all can make some really fast improvements in power consumption versus processor power, they could take some big hits in sales. I would be wary of my Qualcomm stock holdings.
Because I can show independent benchmarks between S4 and K900 that prove my point:
Also if you understand microarchitectures then you'd be very very sceptical of any claims that a 2-way in-order CPU outperforms a 3-way out-of-order one, especially when it is 2 vs 4 cores as well...