Intel has annouced a new generation of their Atom processors codename Clover Trail + for smartphones and tablets. This new SoC promised a marked perfomrnace from its previous generations Medfield (32nm Atom SoC for smartphones) and Clover Trail(32nm Atom for Windows 8 Tablets). Clover Trail + is still a 32nm Atom based SoC but it can be used in both phones and tablets.
Clover Trail+ will be available in three SKUs with difference in their CPU and GPU clock speeds. The fastest is the Atom Z2580, followed by Z2560 and then Z2520. However, all three SKU feaures two cores and four threads.
Intel has improved GPU in this generation by introducing the more powerful GSX544MP2 replacing the previous PowerVR SGX540. This GPU is actually slightly more powerful than one in Apple’s A5X, which was found inside the third generation iPad with Retina Display. The improved GPU also enables support for higher resolution panels, now up to 1920 x 1200 capabilities of 1080p.
Power consumption shouldn’t be any different than Medfield under light CPU loads, however if you keep both cores pegged you’ll obviously burn through your battery quicker. The same is true for the faster GPU. Like many modern smartphone SoCs, the addition of extra cores simply increases the dynamic range of SoC power consumption. Intel does claim that its CT+ FFRD uses less power at idle than Motorola’s RAZR i (based on Medfield), although that may be more attributable to the platform itself rather than specifically the SoC.
On the baseband side, Intel is finally updating its very old XMM 6260 silicon to XMM 6360. The update brings 3GPP release 9 support, with 42Mbps DC-HSPA+ (Category 24) support, as well as HSUPA category 7 (11.5 Mbps). The XMM 6360 still ships with a pentaband transceiver.
Intel built a new FFRD (Form Factor Reference Design) around CT+, with some obviously updated specs. The new FFRD includes an Atom Z2580 with the new XMM 6360 baseband silicon.
Internal memory gets an upgrade from 1GB of LPDDR2-800 to 2GB of LPDDR2-1066. The maximum amount of NAND supported moves to 256GB, although I’d be very surprised to see that deployed in a shipping device. The rear facing camera module in Intel’s CT+ FFRD moves up to 16MP, while the front facing module gets an upgrade to 2MP. Finally, the CT+ FFRD ships with Android 4.2.