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1.2GHz Dual-Core ARM CPU Now Certified For Blazing Through Android

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News Posted: Tue, Feb 16 2010 4:54 AM
Just a year or two ago, processor speed was the least of one's worrywhen shopping for a new smartphone. So long as it could make calls,send/receive texts and check your e-mail every so often, it was plentypowerful. Now, phones are capable of so much more thanks to advancedoperating systems like Android and iPhone OS (not to mention webOS,Bada and Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 Series), and CPU cores arejust as important due to their ability to make the entire processspeedy (or not speedy).

Up until now, Qualcomm's Snapdragon was the only real powerhouse on themarket. Apple's A4 chip shows a lot of promise in the iPad, but itstill hasn't found its way into the mobile sector just yet. ST-Ericssonand ARM have today made a move that should excite anyone who wishestheir smartphone were faster. The two have announced that the dual-coreARM Coretex A9 MPCore processor (1.2GHz) is now tailored to work on theST-Ericsson U8500 platform, which is Android compatible. The realsweetness is the Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) that's involved,which improves the multitasking capability and peak performance ofAndroid handsets, while maintaining the lowest power consumptionprofile.

“Using mobile phones solely to make phone calls and send short messages is becoming a thing of the past,” said Ronan de Renesse, senior analyst, head of Mobile Media, Screen Digest. “Revenues from mobile data services and applications are set to double in the next four years to reach Euro 100bn. For the market to reach its full potential, new mobile devices must become more versatile. With Web browsing being the most popular application on smartphones, it is also therefore critical for manufacturers to offer the best browsing experience.”

If you're still curious about SMP, here's a great description of how itimproves things: "Symmetric Multi Processing enables multicoreprocessors such as the ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processor, to operate atlower voltages and frequencies, allowing consumers to do much more on asingle battery charge. Instead of a single processor running at fullcapacity to complete a task, multiple cores can work concurrently andat a reduced rate: this causes the entire chip to operate at a lowertemperature, which contributes to a reduction in power leakage. Thisallows an SMP system to deliver the same level of performance thatmight be expected from a larger and faster single-core processor, whileconsuming considerably less power. The ability to distribute parallelloads to different cores ensures that users will enjoy a much richermobile experience through higher reactivity and faster execution ofconcurrent Web widgets, multimedia and communication functions, withoutcompromising battery life."

Looks like your next Android smartphone just might be able to whipeverything else if it's got a 1.2GHz CPU under the hood, but it stillremains to be seen if any phone makers will pick this setup duringtheir future hardware selection sessions.
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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 11:08 AM

Just think about it and compare it to a computer 3 years ago, and then think dual core 1.2Ghz. This is awesome in your hand,pocket, or holster.

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gibbersome replied on Tue, Feb 16 2010 10:14 PM

Oh man, this is awesome. Can't wait to see this pitted against Apple's A4 (once it makes its way into the iPhone).

The SMP especially looks really interesting, and I'm curious how this will handle graphics. Who could have imagined we'd see a dual-core 1.2 Ghz chip in a smart phone a couple of years ago?

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 12:01 AM

Well the thing is gibber the one the show in the layout illustration is quad core. As for Apple and the A4 I am thinking that will be in the iPhone. Either way a quad core capable (as well as capable of anything else you would expect) 1.2 ghz processor in a phone, not to mention some of the other things we've seen this week like the TI all signal chip as well as other mobile internal hardware this market is going to blow up. Think about it yeah I need a quad core 3D capable smart phone to go with my octa core desktop and six core laptop. BOOOOOMMMMMMMM

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 12:03 AM

Not to mention everything is of the 28nm or smaller construction memory and GPU included with a 64 GB nand postage stamp size hard drive.

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mhenriday replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 9:22 AM

Presumably, when Google releases its Chrome OS, all we'll need is a so-called «phone» of this type with physical support for a connexion to a hub leading to peripherals like a full-sized keyboard and monitor. It won't be bigger than a (rather thick) postage stamp with a single USB 3.0 port....

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realneil replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 11:09 AM

When does the Quad-Core come out?

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acarzt replied on Wed, Feb 17 2010 1:10 PM

Sweet! I can't wait for this!

lol Quad Core Neil? Pffft you're thinking too small... when does the 32 core one come out? :-D

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Soupstyle replied on Thu, Feb 18 2010 9:57 PM

lol

I just want to know why the screen is so small when the boards are so big?

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Inspector replied on Fri, Feb 19 2010 2:33 AM

hum.... it can't support anything larger? xD JK

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