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ARM A9  (Source: CNET News)
A9 can go all the way up to quad-core for smartphones

The smartphone world is filled with handsets running ARM processors. Many of the most popular smartphones around including the iPhone 3G S and the new Palm Pre run ARM-based processors. A new ARM processor architecture is due to hit next year that will greatly increase the performance that smartphones offer.

The new processor is the ARM Cortex-A9. The current Cortex-A8 used on devices like the Palm Pre and is a single-core processor. The A9 set to debut early in 2010 is a dual-core processor. ARM says that while the new A9 architecture is a dual-core chip, it will still offer users increased battery life in daily usage compared to current single-core ARM processors.

The reason the processor can offer significantly higher performance and still give better battery life is due to the construction of the new A9. The A9 will be built using a 45nm process whereas the current A8 uses a 65nm process.

ARM wireless segment manager James Bruce told CNET News, "You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010." He continues saying, "the A8 is just a single core while the A9 will be dual-core, all the way up to quad-core to give smartphones an even bigger performance boost."

The new A9 processor operates inside the 300-milliwatt power envelope that is the golden rule in the mobile phone industry. By comparison, the wildly popular Intel Atom processor needs 2,000 milliwatts, but future Atom versions codenamed Moorestown will bring Atom power levels to the realm of smartphone usability.

Other than performance improvements of compared to that of the A8, the A9 will also allow smartphones to support 1080p video along with HD video recording and playback.



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RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 1:18:44 PM , Rating: 2
ugg can't believe i said that, obviously having more than one core gives you the the ability to execute multiple threads which always an advantage.. but right now I can only see this being implemented in games, I find it would be a waste of time designing a multithreaded app that would probably run almost as fast as a non multithreaded app. Its not like it takes that much horsepower to run google maps.


RE: multicore
By TomZ on 6/16/2009 1:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're still missing the point. Performance is not the only reason to make an application multithreaded. Another reason is responsiveness. For example, you mentioned google maps, and that is a good example. That kind of app needs to at the same time handle user interaction without delay and communicate with the server. For example, when it is fetching data from the server, its GUI still needs to be responsive to user interaction during the communication round trip.

Not to mention all the OS tasks that are also running at the same time to support the application...


RE: multicore
By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 3:14:07 PM , Rating: 2
That was kind of the point of my second post i.e I was correcting myself. While your example makes sense, the penalty of having to wait for the action to complete may not even be noticeable to the user, especially when (using your example) you probably need that fetched data to continue anyways. Its not like the gui will freeze because you are making a call to the server. I see more of an advantage in say caching data needed in the next step while making the call to fetch data from the server. Even then, the difference would probably negligence, but it would require much more coding effort.

Many windows apps are still do not make use of multiple threads for this very reason.


"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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