It's now two years since we first clapped eyes on an Intel-based smartphone, and yet we're still waiting to see something compelling. If we're able to trust Intel's in-house benchmarks, however, then the wait could be over. The publicity slides copied below suggest that the company's latest dual-core Merrifield Atom smartphone processor (which we last saw at Computex 2013) can match or even beat the current top dogs of the mobile silicon world, namely Apple's A7 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800. To some degree this isn't totally implausible: After all, Merrifield (and its newly announced quad-core big brother, Moorefield) have the benefit of the same ultra-efficient 22nm silicon that has benefitted Bay Trail tablets, alongside a cutting-edge Rogue GPU from Imagination Technologies. On the other hand, Intel is comparing Merrifield and Moorefield to rival chips that are already well into their life cycles, and that needs to be taken into account. Moreover, from our own efforts at comparing Android gaming performance across devices, we suspect that raw, benchmark-able performance isn't everything -- Intel also has to contend with a lack of optimization among current Android games and apps. The only reliable test will therefore be a real-world one, and so we're currently digging around at MWC to find out how long it'll be before we can get hold of a new Atom-based handset that we can actually use.
Intel Merrifield and Moorefield slidesSee all photos