Cedar Trail – GMA3600 Handles 27Mbps, Blu-Ray

Updated on 19 November 2012 by

cedar trail videoI remember physically sighing when Intel announced a dual-core Atom as the answer to video playback issues on the netbook. It’s not that way to do it at all which is why I’m very please to have confirmation that Cedar Trail, the latest netbook platform, will have hardware decoding support. The GMA3600 graphics core is based on PowerVR technology from Imagination and while I didn’t get full specs,  (it’s said to be SGX 545 at 400Mhz) I did get visual confirmation.

In the video below you see up to 23Mbps of H.264 and 4.5Mbps of DTS-HD audio being decoded with a Cedar Trail CPU level of under 20%. It’s a Blu-Ray disk that’s being used as the source. The player is Cyberlink PowerDVD I think. For reference, the Menlow platform used the GMA500, the Oaktrail platform uses the GMA600. Medfield and Clover Trail graphics units are unknown to me at this point but I do know that Clover Trail is supposed to be more powerful than Medfield.

There are no hardware encoding capabilities in Cedar Trail.

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9 Comments For This Post

  1. aftermath says:

    Given the debacle that is driver support of the first round of Intel’s Z-Series Atom platform and the fact that Intel is now contaminating the entire line of consumer-targeted Atom processors with the same IP encumbered garbage, rather than simply trumpeting what this graphics core can handle you should probably qualify the entire article with: SUBJECT TO DRIVER SUPPORT FOR YOUR PARTICULAR VERSION OF YOUR PARTICULAR OPERATING SYSTEM, WHICH IS HISTORICALLY AS UNLIKELY AS IT IS UNRELIABLE.

    Way to learn your lessons, Intel.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Intel will also be providing Linux support for Cedar Trail platform via the Yocto Linux project. http://http://www.yoctoproject.org/

    You should raise the need for open source linux driver support via this channel and you will be heard by Intel.

  3. zeo says:

    @aftermath – Driver support is still a big question but the fact Intel is going to be essentially replacing their GMA’s for apparently all ATOM products means they are much more likely to get the drivers right as otherwise they will sabotage themselves.

    Much of the problems that plagued the GMA 500 have been addressed for the GMA 600, though access to those fixes are still limited to OEMs and you may have to get creative to apply them if your product wasn’t updated.

    While Open Source driver project, though still in progress, should make linux users have a much easier time this time around then when the GMA 500 first came out when there was no support for anything but Windows and even that barely.

    While PowerVR works just fine in other products like the Apple iPads. So it’s not like we can automatically assume it will be bad just because Intel messed up the driver support for the GMA 500.

    @Chippy – Are you sure there is no hardware encoding for Cedar Trail? PowerVR Series 5 does offer it and GMA 600 had it on Moorestown, it was just limited to 720P.

  4. Chippy says:

    Two good intel Cedar Trail sources said ‘no’ to the h/w encoding question. Moorestown has it at 720p. Medfield will have 1080p encode and dual 1080p decode BTW.

  5. DavidC1 says:

    The way it works in Atom chips are the smaller the form factor the more premium it is. They never really liked the Netbook form factor.

  6. Reader says:

    Now this is not a GPU for tiny units but rather for Netbook form factors?


  7. zeo says:

    Yes, Cedar Trail is the 32nm update to the existing Pine Trail ATOM netbook processors. So you’ll be seeing them in regular netbooks. Though some will also use them in certain 10″ tablets.

    Oak Trail and Medfield is what Intel has available for smaller devices and will be using the GMA600. Clover Field is due out just before Windows 8 final release but not too many details on it except it will be 32nm and probably will be replacing Oak Trail.

  8. DavidC1 says:

    Oak Trail is 45nm meant for Tablets and Medfield is 32nm meant for non-Windows based Tablets and Smartphones.

    It is yet unknown what GPU Medfield will use but has a Windows using brother which is called Clover Trail.

  9. zeo says:

    Actually, Oak Trail is meant for more than just tablets and also finds its way into embedded and even some additional mobile uses like the Fujitsu Loox F-07C. Tablets are just what’s it’s popularly used for…

    While Medfield doesn’t have much choice but to use a Imagination PowerVR GPU solution. Besides being essentially a 32nm shrink of Moorestown, which did use GMA600, that also updated it to a full SoC, finally merging the South Bridge and offering speeds up to single core 1.9GHz. Intel also has no other mobile GPU solution at the moment. So either uses the same or another PowerVR GPU that Intel licensed.

    Cloverfield details are as stated still vague but is suppose to offer very low power solutions like Oak Trail, 3W or less TDP, will be 32nm, and will be dual core.

    Both Oak Trail and Medfield are still single core solutions. Though there are rumors that Intel are considering adding dual core versions for Oak Trail but may just wait till Cloverfield.

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