ARM plays hand, reveals 1GHz plansBy Chris Williams. Published: 5th Oct 2005, 10:11:32 | Permalink | Printable
More mobile, more powerful, more Intel rattlingSemiconductor giant ARM has responded to Intel's plans to introduce low power processors, by revealing its next generation of chips. Dubbed the Cortex A8, the chip is designed to run from 600MHz to 1GHz, which is a massive leap beyond ARM's current low power range of embedded processor cores. The device is set to draw around 300mW of power, and is aimed at future mobile gadgets and consumer electronics that require real time processing of video and other media.
Fabricated using 65nm and 90nm processes, the Cortext-A8 is said by ARM to deliver around 2 DMIPS per MHz, compared to current cores that deliver around 1 DMIPS per MHz.
The new processor core also packs hardware to accelerate integer and floating-point calculations, and the likes of Samsung and Texas Instruments have lined up to license the designs for their own chips. It's scheduled to begin shipping during the first quarter of 2006. Buried in the corporate hype, ARM admits that its new chips will likely include so-called digital rights management technology, which is touted as preventing piracy despite concerns from free software groups.
Although ARM have been working on the Cortex family for years now, the timing of the announcement of the A8 could rattle Intel's plans to use its ARM based XScale processor range as a stop gap, while it works on reducing the power consumption of its x86 families.
RISC OS 4 and 5 can be found running on StrongARM, ARM7, ARM9 and XScale processors.
Cortex-A8 ARM news release
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