New details have leaked out on Medfield, the 32-nm Atom system-on-chip Intel is targeting at tablets. VR-Zone has the scoop on the upcoming processor's development platform, which is said to feature a 1.6GHz CPU backed by 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The system sports a 10.1" screen with a 1280x800 display resolution and runs the Honeycomb variant of Android, though Ice Cream Sandwich will purportedly be the OS of choice for shipping products. Intel worked with Google to add x86 optimizations to the latest version of the tablet operating system.
The VR-Zone story also has performance scores for Caffeinemark 3, a browser-based Java benchmark:
Intel Medfield 1.6GHz currently scores around 10,500 in Caffeinemark 3. For comparison, NVIDIA Tegra 2 scores around 7500, while Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 scores 8000. Samsung Exynos is the current king of the crop, scoring 8500.
Alas, the site doesn't provide numbers for Nvidia's new Tegra 3 processor. There's no sense of how well the Intel chip's graphics component, long a weak point of the Atom, compares to the integrated GPUs offered by the competition. VR-Zone does have a sense of Medfield's power consumption, though. The prototype reportedly consumes 2.6-3.6W, which is shy of Intel's 2-2.6W target for the finished product.
While it's highly unlikely that Medfield-based systems will break Apple's dominance of the tablet market, it will be interesting to see whether the processor proves more popular in slates than previous Atoms. I'm intrigued to see how well Medfield runs Windows 8, which seems perfectly suited to take advantage of the chip's x86 architecture and tablet focus. The ARM-tailored version of Windows 8 is looking quite limited, but one will presumably be free to run the full-fat flavor of the OS on x86-equipped Atom tablets.
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