Intel has announced some new additions to its lineup of mobile processors as it looks to compete with an army of ARM-based rivals. Dubbed Clover Trail+, the new chips are based on a 32nm process and are meant as replacements for both Medfield on the smartphone side as well as Clover Trail on tablets. AnandTech sums up what’s new: compared to Medfield, Clover Trail+ adds a second core while improving graphics performance dramatically and implementing the same memory controller enhancements that were present in the original Clover Trail. Compared to Clover Trail, Clover Trail+ mostly adds improved graphics performance.
The new chips are available in three variants -- Z2520, Z2560 and Z2580 -- offering up to 2.0GHz CPU and 533MHz GPU clocks. All models feature Hyper-Threading, which allows them to execute four threads in parallel. There’s also a dual-channel memory controller with support for up to 2GB of LPDDR2 RAM at 1066 MT/s.
On the graphics front Intel has moved from a single-core Imagination Technologies PowerVR SGX 545 to a dual-core PowerVR SGX 544MP2. The latter is essentially the same GPU used by Apple’s A5 SoC (iPad 2, iPhone 4S, iPad mini), but it adds adds Direct3D 9 support and bumps frequencies from 250MHz to 300MHz, 400MHz, or 533MHz respectively on the Z2520, Z2560, or Z2580. It still won’t be able to match Apple's A6X, Samsung's Exynos 5, Nvidia's Tegra 4, or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 and 800 chips, but will at least be competitive and should have no issues running at its maximum supported resolution of 1920x1200.
Other features touted by Intel include the ability to support cameras up to 16-megapixels, a 15-FPS burst mode that can capture 8MP shots, plus support for panorama and HDR modes. Notably missing is integrated LTE, although Intel will offer a multimode-multiband 4G-capable XMM 7160 modem in the first half of 2013.
Despite the extra CPU core and faster GPU, power consumption shouldn’t be any different than Medfield under light CPU loads, according to Intel. You mileage will vary depending on usage though.
Clover Trail+ will feature support for Android in both phones and tablets. Lenovo's IdeaPhone K900, slated to hit China and select international markets in the second half of the year, will be the first smartphone based on Clover Trail+ while the recently announced Asus Fonepad will have the honor on the tablet side.
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