Putting Power in Perspective: Estimated Battery Life of a Moorestown Phone

I wanted to get Moorestown hardware in time for the launch but unfortunately nothing is quite ready yet, so we’ll have to rely on Intel’s data.

As I just mentioned, Intel expects a Moorestown phone to idle at 21 - 23mW. Paired with a 1500mAh battery that’s 10 days of standby time. Intel claims that Snapdragon phones idle at 25mW. If that’s true then Moorestown is competitive.

Audio playback is expected to consume around 120mW of power (for the entire platform, not just the silicon). Intel estimates that’ll get you around 48 hours of continuous music playback. Intel was quick to add that this is better audio playback battery life than anyone else on the market today, although both TI and NVIDIA are promising better battery life than that with their next-generation SoCs (OMAP 4430 and Tegra 2).

Moorestown Battery Life (Figures by Intel)
  Total Phone Power Consumption
Idle 21 - 23 mW
Audio Playback 120 mW
1080p Video Playback 1.1W+
Web Browsing (WiFi) 1.1W
2G Phone Call 550 mW
3G Phone Call 1.2W

Intel’s video playback estimates are lower than the competition, Moorestown is expected to only provide 5 hours of continuous HD video playback compared to 10 hours on an iPhone 3GS. That comes from 1.1W+ platform power consumption during video playback.

Intel estimates that Moorestown based devices will last about 5 hours when browsing the web on WiFi. Talk times are expected in the 4 - 5 hour range over 3G, and 8 - 10 hours on 2G.

If these numbers hold true in shipping Moorestown devices, I’d expect to see anywhere from iPhone to iPhone 3GS levels of battery life. Audio decoding seems good, while other aspects like video playback aren’t so great. Web browsing power consumption really varies based on the test. I measured power consumption on my iPhone 3GS and saw 1.1 - 1.3W while loading the AnandTech front page. That would imply Moorestown platform battery life could be competitive.

As soon as I can get my hands on some actual hardware I plan on verifying all of this data myself. Intel claims that the top 5 handset manufacturers see power consumption in the 750mW - 1.5W range, so Moorestown should find itself right in the middle of all of them.

OS Driven Power Management The Intel GMA 600 by Imagination Technologies
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  • DanNeely - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I think you're misunderstanding the slide. It's not saying 1024x600 to 1366x768, it's saying upto 1366x768 on interface A, upto 1024x600 on interface B. Reply
  • Mike1111 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Thanks for the clarification. Looks like I really misunderstood this sentence:
    "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)."
    Reply
  • uibo - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I wonder how many transistors are there in a Cortex A9 core? Just the core nothing else.
    For me it seems that ARM could just double or quadruple their core count against the Intel solution while still maintaining lower transistor count.
    Also they could just increase the CPU clock speed, if there is a market for the more power-hungry Intel solution the there is one for the ARM also.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    I would imagine even less smartphone software is written for multi-core now than was for desktop when dual-core CPUs started appearing in desktops. So going beyond 2 cores at this time is probably not a great move. Plus the dual core A9 isn't out to see power consumption yet, but even at 45nm I doubt it will be much below the current 65nm single-core chips if at all, so if Intel is already competitive then ARM doesn't exactly have the power budget to add cores. Reply
  • uibo - Thursday, May 06, 2010 - link

    That actually makes sense. Nobody is going to write multi-threaded apps for a single thread CPU. I'd imagine that the number of apps, which experience is hindered by performance, is not that great at the moment. Games, browsers, UI, database for the info stored in your device - I'm not expecting these to scale perfectly across many cores but do expect a x0% performance increase. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, May 06, 2010 - link

    The real benefit for the 2nd core is probably multi-tasking. Your streaming music app can run in the background on the second core while your browser still has a full core to render web pages. Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Mooresetown has to support a desktop OS. Intel is clearly moving towards wireless computing. They are bringing wireless video. With wireless video you can turn your phone into a desktop pc instantly by adding a wireless monitor and keyboard. What is the point of moving in that direction if you're moving towards a crippled OS? (Not that windows isnt crippled, if you consider obesity a form of cripple.)

    If it needs a pci bus, then emulate one!
    Reply
  • Caddish - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Just registered to say keep up the good work. Since the SSD antology I have red all of your article like that one and they are awesome Reply
  • legoman666 - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Excellent article, very well written. Reply
  • jasperjones - Wednesday, May 05, 2010 - link

    Anand,

    You mention twice in the article that Apple and Google dominate the smartphone market. This is utter nonsense. The numbers from IDC as well as the numbers from Canalys clearly show that Nokia is the worldwide leader in the smartphone market. RIM is number 2. Apple is in the third place, the first company that produces Android devices, HTC, has the number 4 spot.

    I realize that Nokia's market share in the U.S. is smaller than its global market share. However, even if we restrict ourselves to the U.S. market, RIM smartphone sales are bigger than those of Apple. They are also bigger than the sales of all Android smartphones combined.
    Reply

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