Items tagged with Cortex-A9

A few weeks ago, the analyst company ABI Research published a report claiming that Intel's new CloverTrail+ platform (dual-core Medfield) for smartphones was significantly faster and more power efficient than anything ARM's various partners were shipping. If you follow the smartphone market, that was a very surprising claim. Medfield was a decent midrange platform when it launched in 2012, but Intel made it clear that it's goal for Medfield was to compete with other platforms in its division -- not seize the performance crown outright. The dual-core / quad-thread CloverTrail+ has improved on Medfield's... Read more...
big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a given frequency. Eight years ago, that stopped being true. Tighter process geometries still pack more transistors per square millimeter, but the improvements to power consumption and maximum frequency have been falling every single node. Rising defect densities have already created a situation where -- for the... Read more...
In Part I of this series, we discussed ARM's business model and how it works with its various partners as compared to Intel. Today, we're diving into a specific technology that ARM believes will allow it to differentiate its products and offer superior performance to Santa Clara and the upcoming 22nm Bay Trail. big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a... Read more...
When news broke earlier this week that Apple had finally inked a deal with TSMC to produce processors with the company beginning in 2014, the first round of chatter was on what this might mean for Samsung. Apple, after all, has been by far Samsung's single largest customer. With that topic out of the way, talk has turned to Intel. Once again, the tired rumor that Intel walked away from the manufacturing equivalent of Cibola is being floated across the Internet. At first glance, it makes sense. Intel currently enjoys a hefty lead over every other country in terms of its processor technology. The... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve alongside it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel... ARMs Race: Licensing vs. Manufacturing In Mobile... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve along side it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel.   ARM's Licensing and Design Model Most readers are aware that ARM has a very different business model than Intel. Specifically,... Read more...
Warren East, the current CEO of ARM Holdings, has announced that he'll step down from the CEO position as of July 1. His replacement, ARM's Simon Segars, is an engineer who worked on some of ARM's earlier processors before stepping up to become company president. East's decision to step down is a bit surprising; the ARM executive told Reuters that "After you've been doing it for 12 years you do get a bit tired... and think "Maybe that's a bit of a brake on the business and somebody else should have a go." East's own "go" was downright impressive. Twelve years ago, the company was one of a number... Read more...
ARM and GlobalFoundries have been working together ever since AMD spun GlobalFoundries off as an independent business, but the two companies are taking steps to further expand their joint development efforts. As part of the deal, ARM has committed to creating a "full platform of ARM Artisan® Physical IP, including standard cell libraries, memory compilers and POP™ IP solutions." We typically discuss ARM as selling licenses to various companies like Samsung, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia, but licenses aren't the company's only product. When ARM talks about physical IP, it's referring to... Read more...
The iPhone 5 rumor mill is spinning up again after apparently taking a few weeks off due to heat exhaustion. The latest buzz coming out of Taiwan is that the device will feature a quad-core processor based on Samsung's Exynos platform. That would make the Exynos 4412 the most likely candidate for the device, and we've already seen an excellent phone built around that platform -- the Samsung Galaxy S III (although the US version we've looked at here is dual-core Qualcomm Krait). If the Galaxy SIII is a great phone (and it is), then why would we want to see a quad-core iPhone 5? Simple, we don't.... Read more...
ARM made good on its announced intention to introduce server products today through a partnership with Calxeda (formerly Smooth-Stone). The CPU developer has been planning to introduce server products for quite some time. ARM, in this case, isn't alone--Intel is planning to launch Atom-flavored Xeon processors, while AMD is evaluating the idea of Brazos-powered Opteron products. Today, Calxeda announced its Trailblazer platform and the ten companies that've signed on as part of that initiative. These include Autonomic Resources, Canonical, Caringo, Couchbase, Datastax, Eucalyptus Systems, Gluster,... Read more...
When Steve Jobs launched the iPad 2 recently, he was even more close-mouthed about its enhancements than usual. With NVIDIA's Tegra 2 starting to ship en masse and tablets on the hot seat for 2011, there's a tremendous amount of interest in the iPad 2's nuts and bolts. Much of that interest has focused on the tablet's new A5 processor and upgrading GPU; detailed information is beginning to emerge. While it's too early in the year to know for certain, it looks as though Samsung's pessimistic evaluation of its new Galaxy tablet might be right on target. Breaking Down the iPad 2 The A5 that powers... Read more...
When Nvidia announced its next-generation Tegra product at the Mobile World Conference, it pulled out all the stops in an effort to impress. The stats themselves were impressive—the chip packs a twelve-core GeForce GPU in with a quad-core ARM CPU—but NV opted to hammer home the point by showing benchmark results. According to Nvidia, Kal-El turned in a score of 11,352 in the embedded processor benchmark Coremark while a T7200 Core 2 Duo (65nm, 2GHz dual-core, 4MB L2, 667MHz FSB) returned a score of just 10,136. If you want to see Nvidia's original video, you can do so here. We weren't... Read more...
One of the big announcements at CES this year will be from Microsoft; the company plans to announce (and possibly demonstrate) a consumer-centric version of  Windows running on ARM processors. The company's decision is a powerful endorsement. Other Microsoft products like Windows Embedded and Windows Mobile support ARM products but the software giant has never released a non-x86 mainstream version of Windows.* It'll be quite awhile before we see an actual shipping OS. Microsoft has already sunk months of work into the endeavor, but vendor driver support is expected to take quite some time.... Read more...
Earlier this week, we detailed GlobalFoundries roadmap for the next few years and touched on the company's rapidly growing list of partners. A new announcement from ARM today sheds fresh detail on where the semiconductor industry is headed in the next few years. Say hello to the next-generation ARM core, the ARM Cortex-A15. Unlike the ARM-A5 architecture, whose launch we covered nearly a year ago, ARM-15 is aimed squarely at high-end markets. The degree of overlap suggests that A15 may nudge A8 out of the lineup altogether. The A15 is based on the same ARM v7-A Cortex architecture as the A9, but... Read more...