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Thursday, 23 September 2010 11:17

Marvell launches tri-core ARM chip

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Armada overkill
Marvell has announced the world’s first ARM tri-core processor, the Armada 628.

The 1.5GHz part should deliver excellent performance for high end smartphones and tablets, but there is a twist. Only two of its cores are clocked at 1.5GHz, while the third one runs at 624MHz. Marvell claims the third, low power core handles routine tasks and takes some of the load off the 1.5GHz cores. So basically it’s something like an intern or an office temp.

The Armada 628 supports 1080p playback, which isn’t surprising considering the specs. Marvell also claims the new chip will allow vendors to integrate HDMI and USB 3.0 ports into their designs.  It’s even got a rudimentary 3D engine with four unified shaders, but don’t expect you’ll do much gaming on it.

The Armada 628 should start shipping sometime next year and there’s no word on design wins yet.
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+8 #1 AndreiD 2010-09-23 14:23
It might have some impressive power management if the 1.5GHz cores turn off and leave the smaller 624Mhz core doing the business.
The smaller core sounds like the PXA312 which is found is several smartphones (though probably with a newer architecture).
I have the PXA312 624Mhz in my Samsung Omnia and it's perfectly capable of handling everyday tasks (browsing, viewing images, etc..).

This chip looks like a Tegra killer.
 
 
+2 #2 nele 2010-09-23 15:25
Quoting AndreiD:
It might have some impressive power management if the 1.5GHz cores turn off and leave the smaller 624Mhz core doing the business.
The smaller core sounds like the PXA312 which is found is several smartphones (though probably with a newer architecture).
I have the PXA312 624Mhz in my Samsung Omnia and it's perfectly capable of handling everyday tasks (browsing, viewing images, etc..).

This chip looks like a Tegra killer.


It looks great on paper, but it might end up rather expensive compared to current processors... I mean there's quite a bit more silicone, more things to go wrong and bring yields down. I guess it will be reserved for tablets or some niche uber-high-end phones...
 

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