We just had a nice chat with some chaps from Texas Instruments, the people behind the highly successful OMAP architecture, and we can tell you that 28nm can be very interesting for tablets and phones.
Unfortunately for consumers, 28nm comes only in 2012, for most companies in the latter part of next year, but it will get ARM chips quite a significant performance boost. We just heard that two new ARM 15 cores are fast enough to beat quad-cores based on the current A9 design. This means that a dual ARM A15 chip can beat Tegra 3, aka Kal-El, a 40nm quad-core solution. Kal-El is expected in Q3 2011, in August / September timeframe and it will be a while until you see 28nm ARM chips in actual products, which should appear roughly a year later.
This kind of performance will probably put a lot of pressure on Intel and AMD, companies who traditionally don’t know how to make chips that deliver ultra low power consumption, and it doesn’t stop there. In 2013 you can expect some 20nm chips to continue the transition.
Bear in mind that in 2012 we will see Windows 8 as well as Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s OS that units a phone and tablet OS. Ice Cream Sandwich might come very late 2011 and it is promised to make a huge difference in the way users interact with tablets, phones and similar devices.
Of course, by the time Omap 5 and ARM A15 comes out, Nvidia should have Wayne A15 based 28nm as well.
2012 seems to be quite interesting year for tablet wars, as 2011 just kindled things up.
Published in Processors
Two ARM A15 cores can outperform four Cortex A9 cores
28nm dual A15 beats Nvidia’s 40nm quad-core