Intel Debuts New Smartphone Chips at MWC
The already-launched 1.6GHz Z2460 is also getting a performance nudge; the core is now officially capable of a 2GHz maximum frequency rather than the 1.6GHz Intel specified originally. As far as we know, all current manufacturers are sticking with 1.6GHz, but the option is there for those who want to push the present design. The low-end Z2000 is a single-core Atom clocked at 1GHz with no Hyper-Threading; it'll ship with a companion XMM 6265 modem that supports HSPA+ but no LTE.
The Medfield prototypes we saw in December are very similar to shipping devices
That might seem a bit anemic, but Intel's target market for these devices is the sub-$200 smartphone space in countries like India and China. Here, the Z2000's single-core, non-HT design will go up against relatively low-end products based on older ARM cores with low-resolution screens.
As part of the research that built the Z2000, Intel conducted a survey across the US, Europe, and China to measure which capabilities users were most interested in. The results are shown below:
The Z2000 and the SGX540 GPU that accompanies it are well positioned to deliver the benefits consumers claim to want the most. The Z2000's high-speed camera, support for 720p encode and 1080p decode, and 320MHz GPU are a significant leap above what's currently available at the low end of the market, where screen resolutions range from 480x320 to 800x480 and the older Adreno 200 is often the fastest GPU available. Intel's work on Android doesn't guarantee that carriers will roll out Ice Cream Sandwich to a wider range of phones, but increasing the general capabilities of the lower-end platforms improves the experience of using them.
Let's switch gears and talk a bit more about the higher-end solution.