The Intel GMA 600 by Imagination Technologies

The iPhone 3GS, iPad, Motorola DROID and Palm Pre all use Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR SGX mobile GPU. The SGX 535 running at 200MHz was used in Poulsbo, the North Bridge used in the very first Atom MID platform (Menlow). That was a 130nm chip. Intel called it the GMA 500.

Moving the GPU core on-die shrunk it considerably. At 45nm it should occupy roughly 1/8 - 1/10 the space of the GPU at 130nm). The PowerVR SGX 535 in Lincroft can also run at up to 400MHz, although it’s up to the handset vendors themselves to pick the right balance of clock speed vs. power consumption. It’s also possible that different versions of the Atom Z6xx line will have different GPU clocks. The new GPU is called the Intel GMA 600.

To the best of my knowledge all current smartphone implementations of the PowerVR SGX 535 run at 200MHz. This should give Intel the leg up in graphics performance should a vendor choose to run the GPU at such a high clock rate. It’s difficult to tell what impact we’ll see on battery life.

The Display

Lincroft only supports two display interfaces: 1024 x 600 over MIPI (lower power display interface) or 1366 x 768 over LVDS (for tablets/smartbooks/netbooks). 1080p HDMI out is supported Langwell.

Video Decoding Support: H.264 High Profile at up to 20Mbps

Imagination Technologies is also on tap to produce the video decoding hardware used in Lincroft. The PowerVR VXD is also used in the iPhone 3GS and the iPad, it’s here in Moorestown as well.

The implementation in Moorestown, combined with Intel’s caches and memory controller can apparently support 1080p H.264 base, main and high profile content at up to 20Mbps. At 1.1W platform power during video playback, that’s pretty impressive.

Video encoding is supported for the first time, also using ImgTec IP (PowerVR VXE). You get up to 720p30 H.264 base profile L3 video encode with Moorestown. You won’t see 1080p encode support until Medfield.

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  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    No, I think he is asking for Windows 7, not Windows Phone 7. WHich I can see being useful on a tablet, but not at all on a phone. It would take so much effort to turn the standard version of Windows 7 into something usable on a phone that I would imagine if x86 does take off in smartphones Microsoft would be better off just making a completely new OS that can run windows programs. Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    There are Moorsetown tablets running Windows 7, As long as the chipset has a PCI bus Windows 7 heck even Windows 2003 server shuld install. The smart phone do not have a PCI bus therefore you cannot install Windows 7 Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    It is not a limitation of x86. Windows needs a PCI bus to install and run. There is no PCI bus in Intel embedded systems or ARM for that matter. Having said that you can install VMware on the Linux OS and install Windows as a Virtual Machine. Some people even say hacking the firmware of the embedded hardware to fake a PCI bus so Windows would install. It could be done. Take one of those WindRiver classes on fastboot and kboot and maybe you could make it happen. Reply
  • logdrum - Saturday, November 20, 2010 - link

    I am talking here purely x86 Windows, the one on desktops and netbooks and even tablets. Tablets have a PCI bus usually. The phone factor of Moorsetown does not have, Reply
  • jaydee - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Dual-boot Windows 7 and Android on a 10" tablet. Please? Reply
  • arnavvdesai - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I think getting 3 out of 5 will be very hard for Intel, especially Apple because that company has sunk so much of its own money into chip IP. Apple is not content with just getting the best hardware out there in ARM world but wants to actually design the chip around its own OS so I dont see them using the Atom series.
    Intel says Win7CE & Win8CE are both out so that leaves them in a bad place. However, Microsoft is working on a micro OS kernel inside its labs called Menlo( I am not sure about the name) which Intel could try and effectively market to. Basically in Menlo Microsoft is trying to shrink NT to super small size and footrpint.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Intel offered the ability to create custom atom SOC's via TSMC fabs about a year ago. It was withdrawn due to lack of interest; but if apple was interested I'm certain they'd make it available again. Reply
  • aguilpa1 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    People will forgive lots of things if the thing just looks HOT and works as it should. It has been a long time since I have been wowed by any of the new smartphone devices, including the iphone. It is sleek and well built but a little to chunky and roundish for my taste. However they get the style look down. Reply
  • geniekid - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Would it be possible to leverage Moorestown in a way that yields 2x the battery life with the same performance as today's top end smartphones? Most 3GS/N1 users today would rather have more battery life than HD playback ability. Unfortunately, as I think about it, I believe that the battery sucking features of the phone are the peripheral devices - wifi/3g radio, camera, display, things which are outside the scope of Moorestown. Reply
  • Mike1111 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    If the Z600 only support 1024x600 or higher, how come the Aava reference platform has 800x480?

    And even though I think the performance is very good, Z600 is still too big to compete in the Smartphone market (3-4 chips instead of 1)? I don't see how that could work with something as small as the iPhone 4th-gen's mainboard, which is incredible tiny.

    Also Intel talks about combining Lincroft and Langwell into one chip, but no official word on memory in the same package? Only Anand speculates about it.

    But if they Intel can integrate at least these three chips into one package with Medfield and offer some additional improvements plus @32nm, and have actual Medfield smartphones on the shelves by the holiday season 2011, Intel can finally start to compete in the smartphone market.
    Reply

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