Video: Next dual-core ARM chips faster than today’s quad-cores

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Well, that dual-core Galaxy Tab 7.7 with the amazing display is looking a wee bit outdated today. I’m being facetious, but that was my first thought after I saw this video demonstration from Texas Instruments . In it, the company shows a reference device running on its forthcoming 800 MHz dual-core OMAP 5 chip compared to a similar device running a 1.3 GHz quad-core chip currently available today.

You can see the difference as you watch both devices run through repeated page loads in the browser; the OMAP 5 is roughly twice as fast for this common task. There are several reasons for this. First, the OMAP 5 is built on the next-gen ARM Cortex-A15 architecture while most of today’s chips use Cortex-A9.

Om first got a look at ARM’s A15 plans back in 2010, and it showed a portable powerhouse: lots of horsepower in an energy-efficient package that’s perfect for mobile multimedia, augmented reality, and many other tasks we’ll want in future phones. Another difference is TI’s 28 nanometer process for the OMAP 5 chip, moving bits shorter distances and leaking less energy.

One test doesn’t show a victor in the chip wars, but this is a promising start to the next round of mobile chip advances. And I think ARM’s director of marketing, Nandan Nayampally, explained the A15 best when Om got a look at the plans:

“Even with a lot of bandwidth, we are still going to need processing power in the devices. Think of this chip as a heavyweight boxer with the stamina of a long distance runner.”

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