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 benchmark shows what it was trying to show, the contributuon of the processor on power draw. An attempt to isolate the processor makes complete sense. Battery life of the various phones would be meaningless as there are so many other parts of the phone that play into this.
This is not a phone benchmark per se but a processor benchmark (plus likely power conversion and memory subsystem).
Ah, now you say, 'if time is equal'. That is the one, solitary case, where the statement is true.
But why would time be equal? Especially on different architectures, with different instruction sets and different processes. Also compilers and a whole lot other issues.
Under many circumstances the chip that dissipates the most power during the task could have the lesser energy consumption completing a task.
It ain't for no reason that batteries are specified in energy capacity, not power.
Performance aside, I am disappointed in the lack of professionalism in some of the comments. This is a professional site, please treat as such.
On the comments wrt power and energy, if you have the same performance at half the power then the total task energy will be half as well.
Intel and Microsoft are teaming up on the energy issue, at least starting with Haswell. I presume Atom will follow the same recipe going forward, if not already.
The real question is whether Windows 8 is compelling enough to take significant market share in tablet and phone.
One can argue about benchmarks all day long, but with new Haswell in Macbook Air the battery life goes from 7 to 12 hrs. Thus it is reasonable to assume that with the new Bay Trail on 22nm tri-gate Intel will have a competitive advantage over ARM.