Samsung’s new 10.1” Galaxy Tab has Intel Atom inside

Android device makers have traditionally stuck with ARM-based hardware, but that trend may be set to change. Samsung has announced its latest 10.1" tablet, the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch, and surprisingly, the device features an Intel processor.

Intel posted a press announcement of its own this morning to say the Galaxy Tab 3 10-inch is powered by the Atom Z2560, a dual-core, quad-thread chip clocked at 1.6GHz and fabbed on a 32-nm process. Intel’s ARK database lists the Z2560’s launch date as "Q2’13," so this is a recent introduction.

The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1-inch has a 1280×800 display resolution, 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, either 16GB or 32GB of storage capacity, a microSD slot good for another 64GB of capacity, and two built-in cameras (a three-megapixel one at the rear and a 1.3-megapixel specimen at the front). Wi-Fi and LTE models are on offer, with the former weighing in at 510 g, or 1.12 lbs—pretty light for a 10" device. The 7.95-mm (0.31") thickness is definitely on the low side, as well.

Battery life figures are oddly absent from Samsung’s and Intel’s press releases. All Samsung says is that the tablet packs a 6800 mAh battery. Considering the kind of run times we got out of the Atom-powered Asus VivoTab Smart, though, I wouldn’t expect battery life to be substantially lower than ARM-based offerings—if at all.

Comments closed
    • NeelyCam
    • 6 years ago

    Slightly off-topic, but remember the ARM Cortex A12 announcement, where ARM folks were saying they had an efficiency advantage even against Silvermont? They were showing a graph:

    [url<]http://cdn-static.zdnet.com/i/r/story/70/00/016260/arm2-620x351.jpg[/url<] The graph shows that 28nm A7/A15 combo is more power efficient across the board than Silvermont - the Silvermont performance/power curve is sitting on the "left side" of the A7/A15 curve.. It also shows that 32nm Saltwell is way way less power efficient than A15. Meanwhile, Intel showed a similar graph, but where Silvermont was on the 'other side' of the ARM curve: [url<]http://regmedia.co.uk/2013/05/06/silvermont_dynamic_range1_large.jpg[/url<] So, one of these curves is wrong - the question is "which one"? I do remember, though, that Anandtech's testing showed that Saltwell was easily beating A15 in efficiency, because A15 was such a power hog.. (while the ARM marketing slide shows A15 consuming the same amount of power, but offering significantly higher performance)

    • hasseb64
    • 6 years ago

    Very strange!!
    Why Samsung buys Intel CPUs now when they lost CPU production from Apple?
    Have they given up CPU foundery?
    I can’t understand this action from them?

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Samsung is a [b<]huge[/b<] conglomerate that is involved in all kinds of things. Even in the mobile electronics world, the IC division that makes Exynos chips (among other things including Apple chips and a wide range of other integrated circuits) is separate from the mobile device division that brings actual consumer devices to market. It's basically a seller/customer relationship between the two divisions where the mobile device division is looking out for its own bottom line even if it happens to be owned by the same company as the IC division (the reverse is true as well). Thus, there can definitely be situations where the Samsung mobile division will source parts from competitors of the Samsung IC division if it thinks that it can get the best deal outside of Samsung.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]Why Samsung buys Intel CPUs now when they lost CPU production from Apple?[/quote<] Maybe they did not lose the Apple deal after all.. I mean, there were rumors, but nothing was confirmed, right?

    • maroon1
    • 6 years ago

    Atom Z2560 might not able to match snapdragon 600 or cortex A15. Howerver, it will smoke dual core cortex A9@1GHz which is used by the older galaxy tap 10.1

    Also, old galaxy tap uses tegra 2 GPU which is much slower than PowerVR SGX544MP2 @400MHz used by atom Z2560.

    So, in other words your are getting much higher performance with new galaxy tap.

    • Deanjo
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]is powered by the Atom[/quote<] aka Celeron, aka Pentium...... Next year Pentium Pro!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Then the Pentium with AVX.

      • PenGun
      • 6 years ago

      No … the PPro was a cool piece. Then they wimped out and made Pentium II, that you can compare to an Atom. 😉

        • Deanjo
        • 6 years ago

        I’m thinking slot 1 would make the tablet a bit too chunky.

    • Peldor
    • 6 years ago

    This would be a lot more exciting with Silvermont. That’s really where Intel begins to compete in earnest with the ARM manufacturers.

    Also, the 8 inch GTab 3 has 1.5GB of RAM while the 10″ only has 1GB? Seems like an odd choice.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 6 years ago

    Hey guys has the Intel Atom gotten any better since late 2011? The Atom in my 1st-gen Samsung Chromebook is pretty lousy.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      Not yet; wait for another six months and they’ll have the 22nm upgrade.

        • Stonebender
        • 6 years ago

        Probably sooner that six months. The development chips have been running through the fabs for months now. I suspect there will be chips out for review before too long.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          Weren’t they saying that Bay Trail was going to be available for the “holiday season”..? I take that to mean Thanksgiving, so 5-6 months..?

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            You may both be right… Bay Trail [b<]devices[/b<] will be on sale by the holidays. As we all know, the chips need to be available well in advance of the device launch for validation & manufacturing, so I wouldn't be surprised if the chips are starting to show up at the device manufacturers this month.

    • tviceman
    • 6 years ago

    It’s a win for Intel, but the resolution is a complete dud among other tablets coming out. ASUS’s new Transformer Infinity will have a 2560×1600 resolution, will have the optional keyboard dock, and will probably have better battery life (with or without the dock), as well as significantly better graphics performance.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      The resolution is my biggest complaint about the tablet since it is exactly the same as the previous Galaxy Tab 2 (likely the exact same screen). OTOH, the Galaxy Tab series has typically been a lower-priced tablet series and I expect the prices for these tablets to be lower than the retina-grade resolution screen devices.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        1280×800 is ‘ok’ for 7″-ish tablets, but a touch too small for 10″-class. Ideally 10″ers would be at least 1600×900. The resolution spec wars have leveled out I think. Funny thing about it is people complain so much just because OMG MOAR IS BETTAR but don’t really think it through – there are very real downsides to upping the resolution ‘just because’, namely more graphics power needed and more power draw from the screen.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        Maybe Clovertrail+ had too much trouble driving larger displays…?

        I’m still gonna wait for the 22nm stuff. Rumors say Bay Trail has 8EU Ivy Bridge HD graphics (half of HD4000), and Merrifield has Series 6 “Rogue” graphics; both will be better at driving HD displays

          • chuckula
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]Maybe Clovertrail+ had too much trouble driving larger displays...?[/quote<] It's using a relatively high-end Power VR 544-MP2 GPU. There could be issues but there's no fundamental reason that GPU couldn't power at least a 1920x1080 display.

      • raddude9
      • 6 years ago

      The 1GB of RAM is pretty retro as well, like how much would an extra gig cost?

        • Growler
        • 6 years ago

        This was my first thought as well. 1 GB is getting to be the bare minimum. It doesn’t leave a lot of headroom for the future, in terms of OS and “enhancements” that Samsung would stick on there.

    • trackerben
    • 6 years ago

    My first thought was this would make for a nice Win8 LTE/3G tablet. Would be more sensible than Android in higher markets and only Nokia would be able to trump such an OS package.

    • jdaven
    • 6 years ago

    I searched and I cannot find TDP values for this processor (SoC?). Its no wonder battery life is not listed. I’m assuming under five hours by a lot. This is okay because it is good for vendors to seek out, develop and use more than one vendor for all of its components.

      • Thorburn
      • 6 years ago

      Companies don’t like making battery life claims, it opens them up to law suits if they’re overly optimistic and to negative comparisons if they’re overly realistic.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      I’d expect battery life of this thing to be about what TR found for the VivoTab Smart that they link above (about middle-of-the-road for tablets).

    • sschaem
    • 6 years ago

    I guess Fab capacity is getting tight…. and thats the only way to tap into Intel massive capacity.

    Curious, would anyone know if they are running an x86 or ARM based android tablet?

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<] Curious, would anyone know if they are running an x86 or ARM based android tablet?[/quote<] I only would if I used the terminal to dump /proc/cpuinfo. Otherwise, not really. Interestingly, one of the rumors going around is that yields on the Exynos 5 SoCs are not too great at Samsung's fabs right now. That might account for why Samsung is shipping more phones with Qualcomm SoCs than its own SoCs and why it is reaching out to Intel in the tablet world.

        • WillBach
        • 6 years ago

        Samsung ships phones in the US with Qualcomm SoCs because the US carriers insist on it. At the time those phones started shipping (and maybe even today?) Qualcomm made (makes?) the only low-power LTE modems that have been validated and tested by the US LTE carriers. I think the modems Samsung uses in their non-US SKUs may not even support the US LTE bands. Incidentally, I think many of the 4G and LTE modems that Samsung uses for non-US SKUs are made by Intel (nee Infineon). I think Intel’s first LTE modem that supports US bands is the XMM 7160 and that doesn’t even come out until later this year. It’s kind of like what I said [url=https://techreport.com/news/24843/intel-dominates-microprocessor-revenue-amd-falls-behind-soc-makers<]here[/url<], the mobile modem is the new chipset 😉 Update: the non-US SKU of the Galaxy SIII uses Samsung's own modem. I guess they're making more progress in that market than I suspected. I'm not sure which devices Samsung uses the Intel/Infineon modems in. Source: [url=http://www.eetimes.com/design/communications-design/4401948/Galaxy-teardown-reveals-Samsung-modem<]eetimes.com - Galaxy teardown reveals Samsung modem[/url<]. Edit 2: I also just remembered that Verizon is a CDMA network, which can make things even more complicated for cell makers trying to get the US carriers to pick up new modems.

          • trackerben
          • 6 years ago

          Intel spent the last five years assembling IP for a competitive mobile chipset, Infineon was one of the last pieces in place. They’re about ready to splash the market, barring any last-minute glitches with the radio design.

          [url<]http://gigaom.com/2013/06/04/with-merrifield-chip-and-lte-intel-looks-ready-to-compete-in-smartphones/[/url<] [url<]http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/07/intel-qualcomm-hit-ces-as-mobile-chip-battle-heats-up-tech-giants-will-collide/[/url<] check out the graph on OS global market share trends

    • Unknown-Error
    • 6 years ago

    [b<]neelycam[/b<], where are you... 😀

      • ludi
      • 6 years ago

      Maybe his undisclosed battery died.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      I’m here :).

      I posted this on a shortbread about a week ago when the rumors first started. Yesterday I saw another article (Reuters?) in which a Samsung rep said that Intel gave them a really good price on these chips, and that was basically why they picked Intel.

      A lot of people were saying Intel won’t be able to compete with ARM chips on price because… well, just because. I always maintained that Intel has a superior cost structure and is more than able to compete on price if they so wished. Of course, now people will be whining about kickbacks and other shenanigans.. we’ll see what happens when Intel announces their margins.

      I must say I like what all this is doing to INTC price, though

        • dpaus
        • 6 years ago

        Intel certainly doesn’t announce their margins on a deal-by-deal basis; nobody does (even in the case of AMD’s giant deals with Sony and Microsoft, it’s very difficult to estimate their true margins).
        [quote<]I always maintained that Intel has a superior cost structure and is more than able to compete on price if they so wished[/quote<] It doesn't take 'a superior cost structure' to compete on price; just enough cash in the bank to cover your losses, combined with a 1,000% confidence that future profits will be fat enough to allow you to replace that cash in the bank. The confidence is usually dependent on removing enough or all competitors from the market you are targeting. Nobody accused AMD of 'buying' the PS4/XBox1 business because it's obvious they don't have the cash-on-hand to do so. Intel often (too often?) get accused of it because they not only have the cash, but unfortunately they also have a history of having done so.

          • NeelyCam
          • 6 years ago

          [quote<]It doesn't take 'a superior cost structure' to compete on price; just enough cash in the bank to cover your losses, combined with a 1,000% confidence that future profits will be fat enough to allow you to replace that cash in the bank.[/quote<] Sure. But my point is slightly different - I expect Intel to win business not only because the 22nm chips are superior to anything else out there, but also because they will be priced very competitively, enabled by Intel's superior cost structure, and [b<]I don't expect the margins to get worse[/b<]. Intel doesn't have to tap the cash pile. "People" have said Intel won't be competitive because cellphone/tablet chip market is a low-margin market, and Intel doesn't do low margin. Most observers expect either Intel's margins to dip, or Intel to not get any business because prices are too high, and this is where I disagree.

            • chuckula
            • 6 years ago

            Have you seen the unsubsidized prices for some of the high-end smartphones on the market right now? They are about on par with low-end Ultrabooks. I think Intel can eke out a living in that space selling Atoms instead of i5s. Frankly, I’d love to see AMD give a legitimate attempt at getting an x86 smartphone-class chip out on the market too. Temash is fine for larger tablets, but I think they could push further.

            • NeelyCam
            • 6 years ago

            Yeah but that money goes to Samsung’s pockets. They can still play chip suppliers against each other to reduce cost and maximize profit.

            The funny thing is that Intel probably makes more money from selling their reference phones to Lava, Orange etc. than they make from this Samsung tablet deal.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Battery life figures are oddly absent from Samsung's and Intel's press releases.[/quote<] I honestly can't remember the last time that a new phone/tablet/etc. had the battery life information in the announcement. That includes the Galaxy S4 and a bunch of other products without regard to ARM/Intel being the SoC of choice. For example, from the S4 announcement: [quote<][url=https://techreport.com/news/24506/samsung-intros-galaxy-s4-life-companion<]I'm not seeing any claims about the device's run time, but the included battery is rated for 2,600 mAh.[/url<][/quote<]

      • peartart
      • 6 years ago

      Maybe they are giving up trying to put a number on it. Between varying uses and battery capacity diminishing over time, it’s pretty meaningless anyways.

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