ARM announced the Cortex-A7 MPCore processor on Wednesday, which it is touting as its most power efficient mobile processor yet. The Cortex-A7 is just one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 but provides 5x the energy efficiency and greater performance. The single-core chip was designed for use in budget-friendly smartphones that will be priced under $100. ARM explained that it can create a system on a chip (SoC) with better performance and longer battery life by taking advantage of “Big.LITTLE” processing, which combines a Cortex-A15 MPCore with a Cortex-A7 processor. The first smartphones to use the new chip are expected to hit the market in 2013. Read on for the full press release from ARM. More →
Samsung announced is Exynos 4212 processor on Thursday, a new dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 chip. Samsung said the 4212 offers a 25% increase in processing power, 50% higher 3D performance and “double the logic density and a 30% lower power-level over the previous process generation” chip, which currently powers most of its Galaxy S II smartphones. The Eynos 4212 will be used in both tablets and smartphones; currently, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 run dual-core Tegra 2 chips from NVIDIA. The Exynos 4212 processor also supports 1080p HD video recording and playback. Samsung expects to begin sampling the Exynos 4212 during the fourth quarter of this year. The company also announced a new 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor for tablets and smartphones, as well as a 1.2-megapixel HD video module that will be included in future device for video chat. Read on for the full Exynos press release from Samsung. More →
Desktop apps that are designed to run on Windows 8 computers with x86/x64 processors will also be capable of running on ARM processors, ZDNet reported on Tuesday. Developers will need to recompile applications so that they run properly and Microsoft is hoping that a majority of developers create both desktop and ARM versions of their applications. In addition, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said the standard Windows 8 desktop Metro style user interface will look the exact same on both types of processors. Microsoft has not yet said whether or not its Windows 8 application store will be populated with both Metro style applications and desktop apps. More →
According to Macotakara, Apple is scheduled to launch its new iPhone in late July or August — not September as many other reports have claimed. Apple’s new device will offer a Cortex-A9 processor as well as an 8-megapixel camera. It may also have a SIM-free design and support for both GSM and CDMA networks, allowing it to run on Verizon and AT&T in the U.S. and on global networks abroad. The rumor also suggests that Apple will maintain the iPhone 4 form factor, which doesn’t match earlier a number of earlier reports that suggest the next generation iPhone will have a 4-inch screen, but it fits perfectly in line with the unreleased iPhone we posted pictures of back in April. Similarly, the rumor says Apple may veer further from its standard course and launch a new iPhone, dubbed “iPhone 6” in the spring of next year. More →
In a “Monday Note” blog post that questioned Intel’s new 3D transistors and the company’s lack of presence in the mobile space, former Apple executive Jean-Louis Gassee took some stabs at the chip maker and stated that the PC market is dying. “Now that the PC market is in its twilight, with mobile devices proliferating and stealing growth from the PC, surely Intel has to get into the race,” Gassee argued, pointing out that every time Intel launched a new low-power processor for mobile devices, ARM had a better one up its sleeves. Intel has its Atom processor, designed for mobile use, but it’s been primarily placed in Windows tablets and netbooks instead of in smartphones. “For the past four years Intel has told us we’d see x86 mobile devices Real Soon Now,” Gasse wrote. “The company developed its own mobile version of Linux, MobLin, and they made a big deal of joining forces with Nokia’s Maemo to create MeeGo. But Nokia’s new CEO, Stephen Elop, kicked Meego to the [curb], wisely decided to focus on one software platform, his ex-employer’s Windows Phone 7.” Gassee also took a moment to address rumors that Apple will ditch Intel for ARM-based processors in 2013, and argued that “there’s no roadmap for ARM chips to beat Intel in computationally intensive areas,” such as CAD, Photoshop, and FinalCut, today, but that multicore ARM chips could power mid-range Apple laptops in the future.
Blog SemiAccurate has published an interesting article stating that Apple intends to move its desktop and laptop computer systems from the Intel x86 architecture to ARM-based architecture in the semi-near future. “The short story is that Apple is moving the laptop line, and presumably desktops too, to ARM based chips as soon as possible,” reads the posting. “With A15/Eagle allowing more than 32-bit memory access, things look up, but it seems silly to do so before the full 64 bit cores come in the following generation. […] Think mid-2013. At that point, Apple can move to ARM without worrying about obsoleting code with an ISA [instruction set architecture] that is on the verge of changing, and no memory overhead worries either.” Apple’s iOS line of products are powered by ARM silicon. The publication cites “moles” as the source of the information — moles that have provided accurate intel (pun intended) about Apple’s manufacturing component choices in the past. Will Apple shift desktop architectures yet again? Will we get to see more commercials featuring barbecued moon men? Time will tell. More →
Already bored by these anemic dual-core 1GHz smartphone processor offerings? You’re in luck. Korean blog MK is reporting that a “high-ranking” Samsung official has indicated that the company is “planning to release a 2GHz dual core CPU-equipped smartphone by next year.” The same official went on to tout that the new silicon would “have the data processing capacities of a regular PC.” If you’re not into Samsung hardware, fear not. The report notes that the company is “considering separate sales of the CPU units for other smartphone makers.” Moores Law is certainly starting to pay dividends in the smartphone processor space, as chip efficiencies — and speeds — are beginning to rapidly improve… now all we need is a better smartphone battery. More →
According to a report filed by EETimes, Apple may partner with the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in a “foundry relationship” to produce the A5 processor for the iPad 2. The move is being billed as a setback to Samsung Electronics, the company currently responsible for the production of Apple’s A4 silicon. “Apple, according to the source, will use TSMC for three reasons: 1. Samsung competes with the iPhone and iPad; 2. TSMC has the highest yielding 40-nm process in the foundry world; and 3. TSMC has the most 40-nm capacity,” writes the Times. The site quotes a report from FBR Capital, which expects iPad production to top 45 million units in 2011; 13 million units in the first half of the year and 32 million units in the second. Neither Apple, Samsung, nor TSMC have publicly commented on the purported foundry deal.
Today at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft demonstrated an upcoming version of its Windows operating system that will extend the OS’ reach to a new breed of tablet computers. The currently unnamed Windows OS, which has been dubbed “Windows 8” by many, is fully compatible with popular System on a Chip (SoC) architectures that current versions of Microsoft’s flagship OS will not work with. ARM-based tablets will be accessible to the new Windows OS, which is the news many have been waiting to see confirmed, though Microsoft is not expected to release this new version of Windows until next year at the soonest. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release. More →
Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will be unveiling a version of its Windows operating system at the Consumer Electronics Show that is designed to run on ARM CPU architecture — as opposed to the current x86 chips. It’s being reported that the OS will be tailored to run on devices with batteries such as netbooks and, of course, tablets. The issue with this? Well, the Wall Street Journal chimed in with its own report stating that Microsoft won’t be expected to release said operating system for around two years — yes, two years — due to drivers having to be completely rewritten.
Remember that Windows 8 rumor from a little while ago that Microsoft would be demoing at CES? Maybe this is that product (which would make more sense than anything else), but yeah, we’ll have to wait and see. More →
Today, Texas Instrument announced a new, ARM-based, dual-core processor that has a lust-worthy specification sheet. The OMAP4440 processor, which is based on the Cortex-A9 MPCore, will have both cores clocked at 1.5GHz. The chip will provide a “1.25x increase in graphics performance, a 30 percent decrease in webpage load time, and a 2x increase in 1080p video playback performance.” The press release goes on to note that the new chip will support 1080p stereoscopic 3D, 1080p video conferencing, gesture recognition, two 12 megapixel cameras working in parallel, and a plethora of video codecs and formats.
The OMAP 4 platform is a highly-optimized system-on-chip (SOC) leveraging two ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore general-purpose processors, reaching speeds of 1.5 GHz per core, complemented by two ARM Cortex-M3 cores to power-efficiently offload time-critical and control tasks. High-performance multimedia capabilities are provided by programmable cores including a POWERVR™ 3D graphics engine, TI IVA 3 for high-definition/multi-standard video, TI image signal processor (ISP) for high-quality/high-megapixels imaging, TI low-power audio processor and TI digital signal processor (DSP) based on the TI C64x DSP for natural user interface and signal processing innovations optimized for mobile applications.
Texas Instrument says that the OMAP4440 will be shipped in sample quantities to manufacturers in the first half of 2011 with full production kicking off during the second half of the year. More →
Today, chip maker ARM announced the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor; a processor that “delivers a 5x performance improvement over today’s advanced smartphone processors, within a comparable energy footprint.” The A15 is available for licensing today and is targeting devices with 32nm and 28nm platforms; a 20nm A15 offering will be available in the future. The processor is capable of speeds up to 2.5 GHz, can support up to 4 MB of L2 cache, and can address up to 1 terabyte of memory. The company has said its smartphone A15 line will run between 1 GHz and 1.5 GHz in both single and dual-core configurations. As the press release states, the newest Cortex will support: Android, Adobe Flash Player, Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), JavaFX, Linux, Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7, Symbian, and Ubuntu. Bring on. The hardware. More →
Details on ARM’s next generation Cortex A-series processor — code named Eagle — have yet to be fully disclosed, but that hasn’t stopped Texas Instrument from letting us know they’ve licensed it. Via a press release, TI announced that it is, “the first company to partner with ARM in the conception and definition of the next generation ARM Cortex-A series processor core to be announced later this year.” Texas Instrument quips that they aim to, “raise the bar in high-performance, power-efficient computing with upcoming OMAP platform solutions intended to radically transform devices while enriching the mobile lifestyle.” Hit the jump for the full release. More →