Intel’s Medfield SoC falls short on battery life

Intel’s x86 Medfield (1.6GHz) SoC may boast some fairly impressive performance specs, but is still unlikely to threaten ARM’s low-power sipping dominance of the lucrative mobile sphere.

Indeed, according to preliminary stats obtained by VR-Zone, the prototype “Medfield Tablet Platform” consumes 2.6W in idle mode, despite Intel’s internal 2W target.

Meanwhile, video playback at 720p in Adobe Flash significantly ratcheted up power consumption to a whopping 3.6W – 1W more than the 2.6W low Santa Clara had hoped for. 

As expected, Medfield scored some pretty sweet benchmarking stats, weighing in at a very respectable 10,500 in Caffeinemark 3.

In comparison, Nvidia’s (last-gen) Tegra 2 scored 7500, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8260 hit 8000, while Samsung’s Exynos posted a score of 8500.

“Yes, the performance numbers look very competitive compared to shipping ARM parts. However, it is still high on battery life and will be largely competing with the next generation of ARM which will be more powerful,” industry analyst Rob Enderle told TG Daily.

“ARM is entrenched which means Intel doesn’t just have to be equal or a little better they’ll need to be significantly better enough so that users will notice a difference. That is at least 10% but to assure success closer to 20%.  

“Remember, this same metric worked for them against Transmeta and DEC Alpha, now they are seeing the ugly side of competing with an entrenched vendor. In short, given their history, being a bit better than ARM should be achievable, but the problem is they need to be a lot better – which will be quite difficult to achieve.”