Final Words

At its Silvermont disclosure, Intel promised performance better than any other ARM based core in the market today. Looking at our Android results, Intel appears to have delivered on that claim. Whether we’re talking about Cortex A15 in NVIDIA’s Shield or Qualcomm’s Krait 400, Silvermont is quicker. It seems safe to say that Intel will have the fastest CPU performance out of any Android tablet platform once Bay Trail ships later this year.

The power consumption, at least on the CPU side, also looks very good. From our SoC measurements it looks like Bay Trail’s power consumption under heavy CPU load ranges from 1W - 2.5W, putting it on par with other mobile SoCs that we’ve done power measurements on.

On the GPU side, Intel’s HD Graphics does reasonably well in its first showing in an ultra mobile SoC. Bay Trail appears to live in a weird world between the old Intel that didn’t care about graphics and the new Intel that has effectively become a GPU company. Intel’s HD graphics in Bay Trail appear to be similar in performance to the PowerVR SGX 554MP4 in the iPad 4. It’s a huge step forward compared to Clover Trail, but clearly not a leadership play, which is disappointing.

The big unknowns are things like video decode power efficiency, perf and quality of their ISP and idle power efficiency vs. Qualcomm.

Bay Trail looks like a good starting point for Intel in mobile, and the performance of Silvermont makes me excited for Merrifield in phones next year. What Intel needs to do going forward is simply continue to iterate and execute for the next few generations after Bay Trail and it will have a real chance at success in mobile.

My biggest concern is about the design wins we see based around Bay Trail. Although Intel is finally in a spot where it can be in devices on the market, none of those devices thus far have been any good. Bay Trail is attractive enough to garner more design wins for certain, the question is whether or not the quality of those wins will improve as well. In the tablet market there’s the iPad and the Nexus lines that are really the most interesting, and I don’t expect Bay Trail to be in either. Whether or not the quality of the rest goes up this generation and we find a Bay Trail in one of those devices remains to be seen.

Android Performance
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  • CharonPDX - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    I'm just curious why, in every single Intel-provided slide, they use the name "Bay Trail" as two words, why you use "Baytrail" as a single word? There is no ambiguity, they mean Bay Trail as two words.
  • DominionSeraph - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    You should email corrections in grammar/spelling to the author. When you put them in the comments it gets orphaned after they make the fix. They don't clean up the comments to correspond to the cleanup of the article.
  • retrospooty - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    "You should email corrections in grammar/spelling to the author"

    Or he could just get over it and not make an issue of it since its totally unimportant ;)
  • rondriggs - Friday, September 13, 2013 - link

    One new series of Android tablets to launch this week are powered by Intel's new Z2580 Clover Trail processor - which offers impressive performance for mid-range devices.

    Ramos Technology is one of the better-known China based tablet manufacturers and has teamed-up with Intel to introduce the I-Series with 8", 9" and 10" Android models (starting at $199).... with very competitive pricing and solid features, including high resolution displays.

    Intel's new processor with Hyper-Threading technology runs four threads simultaneously and scores extremely well in benchmark testing, compared to other mainstream Quad-core tablets.

    The i9 is the first of the series available this week and offers an 8.9-Inch model - which features a 1900x1200 display with Samsung advanced PLS technology.

    One of the first sources in the U.S. to feature the new Ramos I-Series, and for complete details -- go to-- Tab l e t S p r i n t
  • WarrenSmith - Saturday, September 14, 2013 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online( Click on menu Home)
  • speculatrix - Monday, September 30, 2013 - link

    why still no "report as spam" button?
  • Megacharge - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    That's all you bring in is $5600?? Wow dude, you need to stop sitting at home, playing music, and spending money you don't have on over priced Apple computers, and get out there and find a real job bro...
  • Paladin238 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    EMMC...*sigh* really, that was the only problem I had with Clover Trail tabs was the eMMC was terrible lay slow at anything. I thought they were adding SATA 2 support. Wouldn't running a external USB 3 drive be faster? Lol
  • axien86 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Several reviewers mentioned that loading some popular games took forever to load thanks to the hobbled EMMC I/O.

    Half-baked I/O performance may be okay for low cost tablets, but many OEMS like Samsung and HP priced their Atoms in $700 plus products.
  • Paladin238 - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - link

    Yeah, I bought the Samsung 500t but the it kept freezing and the installs of anything was brutal.

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