Intel unveils Clover Trail+ dual core chips for smartphones

Intel is fleshing out its plans for a line of low-power, dual-core processors for smartphones. Last year the company introduces its first 32nm single core chips, code-named Medfield. This year Intel will be adding dual-core Clover Trail+ chips to the lineup.

We first heard about Clover Trail+ at CES in January, but at the time all Intel had to say was that there would be a chip offering twice the performance of a Medfield processor. But Now Intel says there will actually be at least three members of the Clover Trail+ family, with clock speeds ranging from 1.2 GHz to 2.0GHz.

Intel Atom Z2580

All three chips will feature PowerVR SGX 544 graphics which should give them a bit of an advantage over Medfield chips, although it remains to be seen how they’ll compete with the latest ARM-based chips from Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Samsung.

Here’s a run-down of the new chips:

  • Intel Atom Z2520 – 1.2 GHz dual-core processor
  • Intel Atom Z2560 – 1.6 GHz dual-core processor
  • Intel Atom Z2580 – 2 GHz dual-core processor

Intel says each chip will be able to handle 3D gaming, screen resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixels, and up to 2GB of RAM.

The chips are optimized for Google Android phones and tablets, support HDMI output, cameras with image sensors up to 16MP and HDR photography.

  • http://soltesza.wordpress.com/ sola

    It was high-time for this when Exynos5-octa and Tegra4-quad is arriving on the market.

    • menting

      not the same target market segment.

  • toronado455

    I thought the Z2580 was 1.8 GHz.

    Are these Clover Trail+ chips any better than the current Clover Trail Z2760 chips?
    The specs seem identical.

    • http://www.liliputing.com/ Brad Linder

      Nope, the name would make more sense if it was a 1.8 GHz, chip, but according to Intel it’s now a 2 GHz processor.

      Basically these are Clover Trail chips like the Z2760, but optimized for use in smartphones… but Intel isn’t providing a lot of details on the differences at this point.

      • toronado455

        OK. Someone needs to edit Wikipedia. :-)

      • CyberGusa

        They’re providing some details… Improved power gating for even better power efficiency, improved cellular options with Intel XMM 6360 (HSPA+ 42Mbps) that will later also offer LTE (XMM 7160) option, GMA upgrade to dual GPU SGX544MP2 (533MHz), 2GB LPDDR2 at 1066MTS, 256GB NAND package max, rear camera can be 16MP and front 2MP, support for 1080P hardware accelerated encode/decode, display support up to 1920×1200…

        Check out all the news recently released for the Lenovo K900 5.5″ (1080P resolution) Smart Phone, they demoed the Z2580 with it… Epic Citadel ran at full 60fps at 1080P for example… though a full range of benchmarks is still pending…

        While the clock speed and model naming corresponds with what they did with Medfield… Since they eventually decided to call the 2GHz version Z2480 and the original 1.6GHz version Z2460… So this seems to be cemented with the Z2560 and Z2580 having the same Burst Mode range, they’re just dual core instead of single core…

    • CyberGusa

      Yes and no, like Medfield Z2460 and Z2480, both the Z2560 and Z2580 are actually clocked at 1.3GHz. The reported clock speed is actually the Burst Mode, which is like a more basic version of the Core i-Series Turbo Boost feature for over clocking as needed for performance boosting.

      How effective this is depends on the thermal handling of the given device, as it only works when the system isn’t overheating.

      This aside, the architecture is still the same for the CPU and since Clover Trail maxes out at 1.8GHz does mean that potentially the 2GHz Z2580 could provide more performance than the Z2760, for at least as long as the max clock speed can be maintained.

      However, the GMA makes use of the Imagination PowerVR SGX544MP2… which is far more powerful than both the SGX540 used in the present Medfields and the SGX545 used in the present Clover Trail and in some cases we may see up to a 3x improvement.

      Basically, the graphical performance should be better than even the Adreno 320 and that’s no slouch in the mobile device range.

      Though newer products like the upcoming Tegra 4 may pose a serious challenge if the early benchmarks prove accurate.

      • toronado455

        Thanks for explaining. CPU world also shows these chips as 1.3 GHz with higher clock speeds listed as “turbo mode” (like the core i5 and i7). So I guess there could be a higher max turbo for the Z2580 of 2.0 (though CPU worlds says only 1.8 turbo).

        How can these SoC Atom chips have a turbo mode when the core i3 does not?

      • CyberGusa

        Mind that it is a more basic version of the feature but basically Intel employs their technology differently, depending on what product category it serves, to each product range they produce.

        The Core i-Series and ATOM serve different product ranges. So what they include or don’t should mainly be viewed in comparison to other chips in the same product range.

        Another way to view it is, even with the over clock the ATOM is still multiple times less powerful than the Core i3. So it’s not like they are reducing the value of a Core i3 by giving this feature to a lower end product.

        Just like other features like Hyper-Threading, the Burst Mode by itself doesn’t change what product category the ATOM falls into.