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Summary:

Marvell Technology said today that it’s figured out a way to deliver the first-ever quad-core ARM-based application processor for cell phones and other mobile devices. More cores equals more performance — Marvell says its quad-core ARM chips will deliver “gigahertz-plus” performance.

Marvell Technology said today that it’s figured out a way to deliver the first-ever quad-core ARM-based application processor for cell phones and other mobile devices. More cores equals more performance, of course, and Marvell says its quad-core ARM chips will deliver “gigahertz-plus” performance.

Currently Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset is the leader in ARM-based processors for phones, with 1 Ghz of performance. In terms of having identical processors working on the same computing problem, sometimes called symmetric multicore processing, there aren’t any chips doing symmetric multicore processing running in today’s phones. Rather most cell-phone applications processors have multiple cores, with one handling computing, another doing graphics and another taking on multimedia. Marvell’s quad-core would deliver four CPUs — or four times that of today’s applications processors.

That’s more than today’s cell phones need to run properly, but if gimmicky features like animated wallpaper, as well as useful ones like running multiple apps, take off, they’ll become essential. Plus, if today’s tablet hype actually results in user adoption, quad-core performance makes a lot of sense for those machines. I’m waiting to hear back as to how long it may be before we see quad-core ARM chips in real-world devices, or even if Marvell is starting to manufacture them. One way or another, I like where the company is headed.

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  1. Marvell to Make Future Phones Run Faster with quad-core ARM processor Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    [...] Full Story [...]

  2. This, together with the Nexus One launch and the announcement that Apple is ditching Intel for the Qualcomm Snapdragon shows the advance that ARMH has over Intel for mobile devices.

    I have an extensive post up today, covering this among some industry insights about the Nexus One itself:

    http://www.yashlabs.com/wp/2010/01/06/more-industry-insights-about-the-google-nexus-one-while-apple-ditches-intel-for-the-iphone/

  3. Whats the effect of multicore on battery life??
    Thats the question.

  4. McGuire’s Law » Blog Archive » Enabling Technology: January 18, 2009 Monday, January 18, 2010

    [...] Quad-core [...]

  5. With More Cores, the Cell Phone Closes in on the Computer Wednesday, April 14, 2010

    [...] Qualcomm said it would release a dual-core processor that could hit processing speeds of 3 GHz. Marvell  is also exploring the idea of quad-core chips inside phones and other mobile devices. The goal of such tinkering is to beef up the performance of [...]

  6. Watch Out Intel! Marvell to Make ARM-based Server Chips Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    [...] covered that line of chips, which can deliver 1 GHz of performance while consuming 700 milliwatts, and according to Milner, [...]

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