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.

Putting Power in Perspective: Estimated Battery Life of a Moorestown Phone Performance: Moorestown Rocks?
POST A COMMENT

67 Comments

View All Comments

  • 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

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now