back to article Intel launches ARM battery life Windows 8 Atom chip

Intel has formally launched Clover Trail, its upcoming Atom system-on-a-chip for Windows 8 tablets. Officially branded the Atom Z2760, Clover Trail contains a dual-core x86 CPU capable of running at up to 1.8GHz in burst mode - maximise the clock frequency as far as the chip's temperature will allow - and equipped with …

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Anonymous Coward

"a 30Wh cell"

In other words, a battery six times larger than in a HTC Desire (rated 3.7VDC, 1400mAh, 5.18Wh). So definitely aimed at tablets rather than smartphones.

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Re: "a 30Wh cell"

>So definitely aimed at tablets rather than smartphones.

Well yeah... the previous clue was the line: "The chip giant claimed the Z2760 will enable gadgets as "thin as 8.5mm and as light as 680g".

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Megaphone

Re: "a 30Wh cell"

As it says right on the diagram, "Intel Atom Processor Tablet Platform Clover Trail".

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Well, if Intel's claims about this chip's performance are......

.............within hailing distance of reality (I want to see some kit with this chip in it first) then the "Bay Trail" version which, allegedly, will be coming out towards the end of next year may be very interesting indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

"Intel Graphics Core"

*shudders* - I've had nothing but bad experience with them throughout the laptop ages.

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Re: "Intel Graphics Core"

Can you elaborate on your "nothing but bad experiences"?

Typing this on a laptop with Intel HD chip (also have an AMD gpu, but rarely gets used), no issues whatsoever here. As an added benefit, gets over 6 hours on battery, half that with the AMD Radeon activated. Runs 3d animation packages perfectly fine, too.

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FAIL

Re: "Intel Graphics Core"

If I may elaborate on Intel graphics core ...

Intel HD graphics are pretty good. Those that they package into the Atom chips, the mobile ones in particular, are garbage. They may look good in demos and on paper but Intel perpetually fails to provide drivers needed to support HW acceleration in a Windows environment. There is ALWAYS something that either doesn't work or works only with outdated APIs.

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Alert

Misleading

Battery life while actually DOING stuff is what counts.

It's what, about x5 worse than an ARM for battery life when actually running?

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Process Size

Let me get this straight - they have managed to achieve the same battery life with their latest 22nm chip that ARMs are managing in 40nm? By my reckoning that still puts them behind ARM on a like-for-like basis by a factor of 4, not to mention that at 22nm Intel will have to use their own, expensive fabs instead of cheap TSMC fabs for mass production.

Great marketing attempt, but not exactly comparable to the competition in sensible terms.

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Re: Process Size

You compare ICs based solely on power consumption vs fabrication process?

Maybe the extra power is consumed by the extra on-chip features, or the higher clock-rate? Not sure how any comparison can be made until we see benchmarks.

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Re: Process Size

Note this Atom is 32nm (for 22nm Atoms you have to wait until the end of next year), while the latest ARMs use 28nm TSMC - so much for having a process advantage! Note that while Intel may claim to have similar battery life, either video playback (where most of the power goes to the display) or standby are not proof of that. What they would need to show is being able to run benchmarks or do browsing for as long on the same size battery/screen.

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Re: Process Size

Clover Trail is 32 nm, while Bay Trail will be 22 nm. For now, x86 / Intel is going to have to use a smaller die to achieve comparable power usage. I believe CT is 3.5 watts TDP, while BT will be 2 watts TDP. And BT is supposed to do away with the Imagination GPU with an all Intel version. Finally, the video performance in CT is supposed to be quite good, equaling the latest desktop Atom versions. BT should amp things up nicely. The forthcoming Lenovo Thinkpad 2 will use the CT CPU and it should perform admirably as a portable desktop replacement, leaving the heavy lifting for laptops with iCores.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Process Size

They have achieved the same battery life because of the smaller nm process and a larger battery. You cannot compare the battery life and the nm process between different chip architectures. What food is three weeks of standby time? If your goal is not to use the tablet, then this might be the chip to use. What can the tablet do during standby should be the next question. Is it "asleep" and thus not really doing anything but keeping the OS and app states? Does that 10-hours of video include WiFi or is it a locally stored? X86 is power hungry and there is not much that can be done to change that. ARM is far more efficient as it was designed to be that way, x86 was not. Different tools for different jobs; while you could use a sledgehammer to put in a finishing nail, it is not practical. x86 on a phone or tablet is that sledgehammer in terms of power usage.

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Intel can compete with ARM....

Power, size, performance - they all look to be in the right range.

What about price?

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security

Glad to see Intel have got over themselves with regard to on-chip security, and the unique ID that this requires.

Similarly glad to see that they've kept the x86 backwards compatibility, unlike ARM, so you can get away with writing code just the once.

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FAIL

Re: security

Java - write once, run anywhere. How do you think Intel is trying to gain traction with Android phones?

Otherwise, compile for ARM and Intel. Apple did that for a while with their fat binaries.

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Atom crappy brand name at this point

Congrats to Intel for maybe finally catching up in the tablet space four years too late. We are still talking watts instead of milliwatts so the phone space is still some time off. I will say in Intel's defense the x86 architecture is such a POS dog for power consumption that they are working miracles to get even this far. But then again Intel is responsible for foisting x86 on the world not to mention their total fail graphics solutions.

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FAIL

Windows only of course

No Android or Linux for this one.

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All a bit strange coming from the guys who undermined the netbook.

It is all about choice on their terms.

Choose them for your smartphone at your peril.

ARM in full blown Linux is probably what will expand user choice

Apple and MS are happy with cheap ARM and a cheaper bit of Intel for selectively crippled gadgets.

That way they also get to sell real expensive stuff to the lesser victims of fashion.

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