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Intel Clover Trail+: A New Smartphone Platform With Atom Z2580

Intel Clover Trail+: A New Smartphone Platform With Atom Z2580
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We're still waiting for an Atom-powered smartphone to show up in the United States. Meanwhile, Intel has 10 designs in more than 20 countries. The company hopes a platform refresh called Clover Trail+ renews interest with better hardware and new features.

I’m almost certain that, at some point in 2013, I’m going to happen upon the tablet I consider to be perfect for everything I do. More likely than not, it’ll show up as some combination of x86 hardware and Windows.

But while it seems to be that Intel is about one generation away from having a big impact on the premium tablet space, the company hasn’t seen as much momentum behind Atom-powered smartphones.

We should probably go a little easy on the company. After all, the single-core, Hyper-Threaded Atom Z2460 only surfaced last year and still managed to find itself in 10 designs in more than 20 countries. But there’s still nothing here in the U.S. to show for Intel’s efforts. In fact, the most recent smartphone news was the Lexington platform, based on a single-core Atom processor, tailored to emerging markets. That concept has a handful of wins already, and Intel continues to advocate the importance of capable graphics and 1080p video decode, even in lower-cost handsets.

Intel's Clover Trail+ reference phone.Intel's Clover Trail+ reference phone.

But before Intel transitions to its next-gen architecture employing 22 nm manufacturing, it wants to refresh Medfield’s space with a performance-oriented successor called Clover Trail+. The new SoC features a second Hyper-Threaded x86 core, juggling up to four threads concurrently. It also leverages a beefier PowerVR SGX544MP2 IP block, which not only doubles Medfield’s graphics resources, but also runs them at up to 533 MHz, rather than 400 MHz. Intel claims as much as 3x the 3D performance as a result.


Atom Z2580
Atom Z2560
Atom Z2520
CPU Frequency
Up to 2 GHz
Up to 1.6 GHz
Up to 1.2 GHz
Process Technology
32 nm
CPU Performance
Dual-core Saltwell with Hyper-Threading
Memory
Dual-channel 32-bit interface; Up to LPDDR2-1066
Graphics
PowerVR SGX544MP2, 533 MHz Boost
PowerVR SGX544MP2, 400 MHz
PowerVR SGX544MP2, 300 MHz
Display Support
WUXGA (1920x1200)
Camera
Primary: 16 MP; Secondary: 2 MP
Modem
XMM 6360



As it did with Medfield, Intel built a new reference phone design based on Clover Trail+, shouldering the hardware and software optimization load to (it hopes) court customers straight out of the gate.

Lenovo was actually showing off its IdeaPhone K900 at this year’s CES based on the reference platform. Its 6.9 mm Z-height makes it the thinnest Intel-based phone to date. And yet it offers 1080p resolution with 400+ pixels per inch.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    catfishtx , February 25, 2013 1:19 PM
    We should all want Intel to succeed in this market. Anytime we get these companies innovating, pushing the boundaries, and competing on price, we all win as consumers. ARM vs. Intel vs. nVidia vs. AMD = WIN.
  • 12 Hide
    realibrad , February 25, 2013 1:34 PM
    irish_adamerrr what? the last thing we need is intel dominating another market. At some point we do need to move away from x86 as Intel pretty much hold all the cards for it and refuses to licence it anymore. I'm pretty sure AMD and VIA are the only ones that have one, neither of which have the money or resources to present a challenge to Intel hence why they have a monopoly


    Intel has pushed out a product that is currently the best thing in the X86 market. AMD had pushed Intel, and Intel responded with a CPU that currently is more than enough for 90% of the people. Im more than happy to have Intel come into more markets, and attempt to push everyone to improve, even themselves.
  • 12 Hide
    drakefyre , February 25, 2013 12:42 PM
    kartuIf I remember correctly, margins in mobile market are so small by Intel's standards, that even if they manage to capture most of the market it would still be a laughable income for them.So the only reason they are doing it is: fear.And oh well, no thanks, dear Intel, enjoy your x86 margins while you can.

    If they can put out a superior product, even if it is due to fear, more power to them.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Computerrock1 , February 25, 2013 12:12 PM
    ^ It's atom, known for 5~6 watt chips...
  • 12 Hide
    drakefyre , February 25, 2013 12:42 PM
    kartuIf I remember correctly, margins in mobile market are so small by Intel's standards, that even if they manage to capture most of the market it would still be a laughable income for them.So the only reason they are doing it is: fear.And oh well, no thanks, dear Intel, enjoy your x86 margins while you can.

    If they can put out a superior product, even if it is due to fear, more power to them.
  • -7 Hide
    irish_adam , February 25, 2013 1:10 PM
    drakefyreIf they can put out a superior product, even if it is due to fear, more power to them.



    errr what? the last thing we need is intel dominating another market. At some point we do need to move away from x86 as Intel pretty much hold all the cards for it and refuses to licence it anymore. I'm pretty sure AMD and VIA are the only ones that have one, neither of which have the money or resources to present a challenge to Intel hence why they have a monopoly
  • 3 Hide
    TimeLass , February 25, 2013 1:12 PM
    Yeah i have been waiting for the released of smartphones that are powered by Intel's CPU for a long time and finally here it is...! i believe they will improve a lot in future as time goes on...
  • 3 Hide
    ubercake , February 25, 2013 1:12 PM
    There are rounded corners on that rectangle. I smell an Apple patent lawsuit.
  • 14 Hide
    catfishtx , February 25, 2013 1:19 PM
    We should all want Intel to succeed in this market. Anytime we get these companies innovating, pushing the boundaries, and competing on price, we all win as consumers. ARM vs. Intel vs. nVidia vs. AMD = WIN.
  • 12 Hide
    realibrad , February 25, 2013 1:34 PM
    irish_adamerrr what? the last thing we need is intel dominating another market. At some point we do need to move away from x86 as Intel pretty much hold all the cards for it and refuses to licence it anymore. I'm pretty sure AMD and VIA are the only ones that have one, neither of which have the money or resources to present a challenge to Intel hence why they have a monopoly


    Intel has pushed out a product that is currently the best thing in the X86 market. AMD had pushed Intel, and Intel responded with a CPU that currently is more than enough for 90% of the people. Im more than happy to have Intel come into more markets, and attempt to push everyone to improve, even themselves.
  • 11 Hide
    drakefyre , February 25, 2013 1:51 PM
    irish_adamerrr what? the last thing we need is intel dominating another market. At some point we do need to move away from x86 as Intel pretty much hold all the cards for it and refuses to licence it anymore. I'm pretty sure AMD and VIA are the only ones that have one, neither of which have the money or resources to present a challenge to Intel hence why they have a monopoly

    As long as there is competition, the consumer will benefit. Even if Intel does put out a better product I'm very confident that there will be very strong competition for quite a while.
  • 2 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 25, 2013 2:01 PM
    More competition is always good. If nothing, it will make the lower end QC chips uncomfortable. possibly forcing QC to bump up specs on all chips.
    Win-Win for consumers.
  • -1 Hide
    ta152h , February 25, 2013 2:50 PM
    Intel is always trying to do too many things with Atom, and always failing trying to do them.

    Trying to go all the way from cell phones to low power PCs, with tablets along the way has rendered the processor inferior in many scenarios.

    ARM derivatives still show big advantages in very low power devices, and AMD's Bobcat/Jaguar destroy Atom in performance, and with their lower power use and better performance than Bobcat, Jaguar will be much more attractive on tablets.

    Atom seems best suited for applications below Bobcat, but above ARM. I'm just not sure anything is there in terms of a market.
  • -6 Hide
    lradunovic77 , February 25, 2013 4:14 PM
    ARM is dead
  • -3 Hide
    jppk , February 25, 2013 4:30 PM
    lradunovic77ARM is dead

    You misspelled Intel.
  • 3 Hide
    Marcus52 , February 25, 2013 5:00 PM
    [quote=Chris Angelini]I’m almost certain that, at some point in 2013, I’m going to happen upon the tablet I consider to be perfect for everything I do.[/quote]

    Does this mean you expect to play World of Warcraft on a tablet by the end of the year? :D 
  • 3 Hide
    sanilmahambre , February 25, 2013 5:52 PM
    Atom is going head on with Temash! But in graphics it is a one sided match
  • 3 Hide
    K2N hater , February 25, 2013 8:52 PM
    Marcus52[quote=Chris Angelini]I’m almost certain that, at some point in 2013, I’m going to happen upon the tablet I consider to be perfect for everything I do.Does this mean you expect to play World of Warcraft on a tablet by the end of the year?
    [/quote]
    He'll find the cure for WoW addiction
  • -2 Hide
    tomfreak , February 25, 2013 9:54 PM
    Sorry Intel, No x86 phone for me until windows phone in x86.

    and why dual core so early when the biggest problem in Atom is not performance but power consumption?
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , February 26, 2013 1:45 AM
    sanilmahambreAtom is going head on with Temash! But in graphics it is a one sided match
    The GPU in Temash/Kabini beating Atom is a no brainer. But what is impressive to me is how big of a leap Jaguar is over Bobcat, especially at the same or lower thermal targets.
  • 3 Hide
    DavidC1 , February 26, 2013 3:02 AM
    Atom Z2460 in Motorola RAZR I uses less power than the ARM equivalent RAZR M.

    So how that makes it a power hungry 5-6W chip is beyond me. Oh wait, I do. People are BIASED.
  • 4 Hide
    tobalaz , February 26, 2013 3:44 AM
    I don't care WHO makes the chip in my phone so long as its the BEST.
    Intel, ARM based, Nvidia, heck AMD could join in the fun for all I care.
    Just give me something fast, powerful, and has good battery life.
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