Intel’s New Smartphone Chip Wins for Speed

Intel’s (NASDAQ:INTC) new smartphone chip is easily blowing away the market’s fastest phones, says review site Anandtech. Its Atom Z2460 “Medfield” has “tablet-like scores” on the BrowserMark benchmark, according to one reviewer.

In an article by Anand Shimpi, the author said, “The Galaxy Nexus running ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) comes close, but once again Intel expects that on the same OS Medfield should be faster than any of the currently available SoCs (system-on-a-chip).” The medfield chip was just introduced by Intel on Tuesday at CES.

The system-on-a-chip will be included in future Lenovo (LNVGY) and Motorola (NYSE:MMI) phones. It may also be in other devices.

In additional tests, the chip also did well on the Spider Javascript yardstick. Shimpi wrote, “Although running what appears to be a stock Gingerbread browser, Intel’s Medfield reference platform posts SunSpider performance better than any other smartphone we’ve tested—including the Galaxy Nexus running Ice Cream Sandwich.”

The chip could see numbers similar to the Ice Cream Sandwich. Shimpi added, “Intel promises that Medfield’s performance will scale on ICS as well—[so] the gap should be maintained.” Keep in mind, this performance gap could narrow as new phones are launched with the latest ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) Cortex A15 design. Things could be different.

These results and benchmarks are just preliminary, as Intel used reference design phones as opposed to a commercially available phone. But this time, what will be change for Intel and its smartphones to find success?

Shimpi explained, “Intel has been talking about getting into smartphones for a couple of years now, but thus far it hasn’t been able to secure a single design or partnership that resulted in a product actually coming to market.”

A few years ago, Intel announced the LG would introduce an Atom-based smartphone but it didn’t happen. Nokia (NYSE:NOK) was also supposed to roll out a phone using Intel’s Moblin Linux platform. That didn’t happen either

Shimpi thinks it will be different this time. He writes,”The major change? Focus, and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Intel has ramped up the software engineering engine, going into the Android source code (Gingerbread, Honeycomb and now ICS) and fixing bugs. Intel’s goal is to deliver the most stable version of Android as a result of its efforts.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Debbie Baratz at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com