Intel claims new 22nm Atom 64-bit mobile chips are faster than Apple's A7 CPU

Intel claims new 22nm Atom 64-bit mobile chips are faster than Apple's A7 CPU

Summary: Chipmaker Intel unveils new 22nm dual-core and quad-core 64-bit Atom SoCs which the company claims is faster than Apple's A7 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 chips.

TOPICS: Mobility, Hardware, MWC

Chipmaker Intel has used Mobile World Congress currently in progress in Spain to unveil two 64-bit enabled system-on-a-chip (SoC) updates across its Atom range of mobile processors.

Intel unveils new Merrifield and Moorefield Atom chips.
Hermann Eul, the head of Intel's smartphone business, unveiling the new Merrifield and Moorefield Atom chips. (Source: Shara Tibken/CNET)

The 22nm dual-core Z34XX part, along with the beefier quad-core Z35XX chips, previously codenamed Merrifield and Moorefield respectively, are based on Intel's new Silvermont chip microarchitecture, and bring with them a number of improvements compared to the previous generations in the form of a die shrink from 32-nanometers to 22-nanometers, clock speed upgrade (the Z3480 runs at 2.13GHz compared to 2GHz for the previous-generation Z2580), and graphics upgrade, in particular 2D performance.

According to Matt Dunford, worldwide Chief Benchmarking Manager at Intel, these improvements bring the overall performance of the new Atom chips above that of Apple's A7 chip which is found in the iPhone 5S, and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 part.

New Merrifield and Moorefield Atom chips.
(Source: Intel)

Dunford also claims that battery life for the new Atom chips is better than for the Apple or Qualcomm parts.

The new chips also feature a raft of low power sensors similar in nature to Apple's M7 coprocessor. These sensors provide the device with information such as motion sensing, position, gesture sensing, and even audio sensing, so apps can make use of this information without knocking battery life too hard.

Intel said it expects devices from "multiple" handset makers to launch beginning in the second quarter.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, MWC

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  • It will depend on when the next ARM 64 chip comes out...

    After all, this is comparing a new chip to one that is now at least 6 months old (older if you include the development time for the iPhone)...
    • Focus

      Intel is finally focusing on Mobile chips. I doubt they will out-matched by anyone. I bet a nickel Intel will on top in no time at all. Qualcomm should be worried, Apple will probably switch to intel chips in the future like they did with Macs.
      Sean Foley
      • LOL

        A nickel!!! Aren't you a big boi!
    • yep

      and not an actual overall comparison of real world performance. Intel is a benchmark and marketing queen company. Always behind in terms of real world performance.
      • Please watch your language...

        profanity is not allowed, and when brought to the attention of the moderators, of which I am one, offending posts will be removed. Keep it clea
        ZDNet Moderator
      • Thanks for the lulz.

        Maybe Intel lags when it comes to Atom vs A7 in a clock-to-clock comparo, but Intel in the desktop and Intel in the workstation are faster than comparable AMD chips by and far.
  • Clarify for me....

    Does this mean Smartphones that can run Windows 8.1 Pro? instead of Windows Phone 8?
    • Could?

      Yes. Will? Probably not.

      Although I think MS should abandon ARM and just go all x86. The whole RT thing just confuses people.
      x I'm tc
    • Only If they beat it not catch up

      Only If they beat it not catch up, A8 is in progress where It may match A7 since data is from intel itself.
    • It's getting there...

      We'll soon see a Surface Phone; the phone that can replace your Surface Pro...
  • x64 chip

    I would expect an Intel atom SoC to be x64.
    • considering that

      X86 has had 64 bit support for a long time. But some Atoms aren't even 64 bit, thats how bad Intel is.
  • newsflash! new chips faster than old chips!

    stay tuned, next up- water still wet!
    • I guess you're a fan of Apple

      Can't see any other reason why you'd be seemingly upset about the announcement of a new generation of chips that are faster than the A7.
      • "Upset"

        I think "upset" may be a bit of an overstatement. He's just pointing out a corollary of Moore's law.

        Competition is good, but ~9 months (maybe!) later is half an eternity in chip design, especially in a catch-up situation.
        • Exactly

          I'm very happy chips are getting faster, but we don't need an article to tell us that.
      • not upset by amused about inane claims

        Every new generation of computer chips ought to be "faster" (whatever that deceptive term means ...) than its last generation peers. Otherwise a chip manufacturer would make quite a fool of himself.
        Apart from that Intels claims are pretty much pointless since it's the combination of HW + SW which provides smooth user experience and long battery lifetime.
        iOS and even WP both eclipse Android by far in both respects. It takes a quadcore on Android to provide half-decent user experience while iOS and WP make do with a dualcore chips. Let alone RAM required to fly Android.
  • Still, The X86 Architecture Carries Too Much Legacy Baggage With It...

    I really believe that ARM is the mobile present and future.

    Intel and Microsoft are wearing Members Only jackets, Turtle Necks, and sporting moustaches in 2014.

    These companies are in a time warp and got bulldozed by the Mobile Revolution.

    Besides, the Atom is still a POS.

    Dual Core Atom = 2 POS cores in tandem... wow!

    It can barely run Windows, so forget about gaming and high-end graphics applications altogether.

    Plus, you still have the Wintel taxation.
    • Try running

      Windows on an ARM core, and maybe if you modify your opinion based on the results then you'll quit sounding like a hipster douche.
      Jacob VanWagoner
      • ru serious!!!!!

        "Try running Windows on an ARM core"????

        Get with the program man. Noone does that anymore. Ever heard of droid or iOS? Wintel for mobile was DOA.