Intel has introduced four new SoCs part of Z34xx series (Merrifield) and Z35xx series (Moorefield) with Intel XMM LTE modems to be used in smartphones and tablets at Mobile World Congress 2014.
- Z34xx series (Merrifield) – 2 cores/2 threads with out-of-order execution, maximum core frequency up to 2.13 GHz
- Z35xx series (Moorefield)- 4 cores/4 threads with out-of-order execution, maximum core frequency up to 2.33 GHz
- Graphics – Imagination PowerVR G6400 (Merrifield) or GC6430 (Moorefield) with OpenGL ES 3.0, OpenCL and RenderScript support
- Image Signal Processor (ISP) – 13 MP support hardware-capable; 8 MP enabled on Form Factor Device (FFD)
- Memory – LPDDR3 (COPoP); 2×32 bit, up to 4 GB; Merrifield: 533MHz max, Moorefield: 800 MHz max.
- Multi-Band, Multi-Mode LTE Modem – Intel XMM 7160 with support for up to 15 LTE bands, up to 150 Mbps download/50 Mbps upload speed. Z35xx series can also support XMM 6360 HSPA+ modem or XMM 7260 LTE cat 6 modem.
- Display – Up to 1920×1200 internal (LCD?), 1080p external (HDMI?)
- I/O and Storage – USB 3.0; eMMC 4.5. 256 GB max.
- Support for Third-Party Wireless Solutions – Bluetooth 4.0 low energy; Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac)
- Package – 12 mm x 12 mm
The only apparent difference between SoC of the same family are the maximum turbo clock. Z3460 maxes out at 1.60 GHz, Z3480 at 2.13 GHZ, whereas Z3560 goes up to 1.80 GHz, and Z3580 up to 2.33 GHz.
The processors are part of Intel’s Silvermont microarchitecture, and are manufactured using 22 nm process technology. Z34xx series have up to 1.7 time more single thread CPU performance, 2 times more Graphics performance, and 4 times more GPU compute performance compared to Intel Atom Z2580. The SoCs currently support Android 4.4.2.
Intel also showed some benchmark comparing Z3580 to the current top ARM mobile SoCs, namely Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 and Apple A7. Surprisingly not, the benchmarks show the Intel SoC outperforming both Apple and Qualcomm SoC in several tests, as the company has probably cherry picked the benchmark suiting their SoC, but they all do.
Battery life tests also show Intel Z3480 reference design getting ahead of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z1F.
This looks promising, but we’ll have to wait for independent tests to get a proper appraisal of Intel Z34xx and Z35xx series SoC both in terms of performance and power consumption. In the past, many Android games were not optimized for x86, so even though Intel Z2580 was competitive in theory and in benchmarks, some real-life test were disappointing.
Thanks to Harley for the tip.