An Intel reference design phone with the new chip is showing solid performance in some important benchmarks, beating devices such as the iPhone 4S and Galaxy Nexus, says chip review site Anandtech.
Intel's new chip for smartphones handily beats some of the fastest phones on the market, according to chip review site Anandtech.
Intel's Atom Z2460 "Medfield" delivers "tablet-like scores" on the BrowserMark benchmark, wrote Anand Shimpi. "The Galaxy Nexus running ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) comes close, but once again Intel expects that on the same OS Medfield should be faster than any of the currently available SoCs (system-on-a-chip)," he said.
Intel announced the Medfield chip Tuesday at CES. The system-on-a-chip will be used in upcoming smartphones--and presumably other devices--from Lenovo and Motorola.
The chip should deliver similar numbers on Ice Cream Sandwich. "Intel promises that Medfield's performance will scale on ICS as well - [so] the gap should be maintained."
On the other hand, Shimpi cautioned that the performance gap may shrink when new phones emerge based on the latest ARM Cortex A15 design. "It's probably safe to assume that things will be different with the Cortex A15," he wrote.
Note that all benchmarks are preliminary because this is an Intel reference design phone (which Intel is showing off on the CES floor) not a commercially available phone.
So, what's different this time around for Intel and smartphones? "Intel has been talking about getting into smartphones for a couple of years now, but thus far it hasn't been able to secure a single design or partnership that resulted in a product actually coming to market," Shimpi wrote.
Which, of course, is true. Intel announced a few years back that LG would bring out an Atom-based smartphone. Never happened. Nor did Nokia ultimately bring out a phone based on Intel's Moblin Linux platform.
"This time around, things are different. The major change? Focus, and Google," according to Shimpi. "Intel has ramped up the software engineering engine, going into the Android source code (Gingerbread, Honeycomb and now ICS) and fixing bugs. Intel's goal is to deliver the most stable version of Android as a result of its efforts," he wrote.