If you thought today's mobile devices were fast, wait until you see what ARM
has up its sleeve for next year. Chip makers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
(TSMC) and GlobalFoundries
have both let it be known that they're planning to build 3GHz ARM processor sometime in 2014, which will inevitably end up in System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms for smartphones and tablets.
The fastest ARM chip currently available is 2.3GHz, though the majority of high-end parts are in the neighborhood of 1.6GHz, such as what's found in Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 handset
. By bumping the clockspeed to 3GHz, ARM is sending a clear message to rivals Intel and AMD that it doesn't plan on conceding the mobile market, at least not without a fight.
GlobalFoundries Fab 1 in Dresden, Germany
In order to hit 3GHz, TSMC and GlobalFoundries will use a 20nm manufacturing process, down from the current 28nm standard. By going with the smaller process, the upcoming chips are expected to be more efficient than today's silicon, which will ultimately benefit battery life.
While this is going on, Intel will make a bid for mobile devices with its Bay Trail chips
. Some benchmarks have shown Bay Trail to be around 30 percent faster than ARM's fastest chip.