updated 05:50 pm EST, Tue December 27, 2011
Intel Medfield benchmarks leak
A new discovery Tuesday has shown that Intel's Medfield chip for smartphones and tablets could temporarily claim the performance lead when it ships. Benchmarks at VR-Zone of a 1.6GHz example of the new Atom had it reach a score of 10,500 in Caffeinemark 3, an Android test for Java. The best ARM chip in the test, the 1.2GHz Exynos from the Samsung Galaxy S II, scored 8,500 points and let Intel take a roughly 24 percent lead.
The chip is designed primarily for tablets and would have 1GB of low-power DDR2 memory, Bluetooth, FM radio, and Wi-Fi built-in. Intel's hardware is currently chewing more power than it's supposed to in its prototype phase but should use 2W when idle and 2.6W at peak. Intel's chip would consume roughly as much power as its more efficient current chips, but it would also include wireless and other components built-in.
The design was also using Android 3 where shipping hardware will likely carry Android 4.
Medfield is expected to ship sometime in the spring and will represent the first Intel-based platform that should reach truly mobile devices. It will provide the first alternative to ARM on Android and could lead to Windows 8 tablets that are as thin and long-lasting as their ARM counterparts, but without sacrificing the full desktop. Intel is widely seen as at risk of missing the shift to mobile as Android, the iPad, and iPhone could make ARM the definitive platform outside of traditional PCs.