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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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1080p and 720p vs CPU not the issue ----
By carydc on 6/16/2009 5:32:03 PM , Rating: 2
even if the CPU and the GPU are able to handle the formats 702p and 1080p, they need cameras able to handle that and lenses able to do that are not small enough to provide solid pictures for a cell phone the size of an iPhone or Palm Pre.

That is the first issue.

Now if you do finally get a lens able to do this for a camera, then how would you ever stream a video stream of that bandwidth live on the current 3G or even early 4G networks? I do not think that is plausible even under the best of conditions.

Recording locally and then uploading is the next best option. But that is still not live. The jump to live reporting from a Cellphone at 720/1080p is not far off. Just need the bandwidth to handle the load and a lens that fits a mobile phone.

The Pre is able to do the 720p now with the CPU. Just the Camera is not set to do it yet. It is also only a 3 MP Camera. iPhone is also 3 MP and Video as well.

This will surely be interesting to see how this all flushes out.

Also I would love to see if Blackberry ever wakes up to the fact that graphic is where it is at and touch screens that really work...

Google G phones are on the way en mass... This is going to be a truly interesting year.

Now to see if I can get my dream. Pre and T91GO for mobile work.




By icanhascpu on 6/16/2009 7:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
1. Small lenses are perfectly capable of resolving 1080 16:10 resolution. Thats ~1.8 MP. Even tiny CCD/CMOS sensors lose little in the way of resolution resolving that small of a digital image. SnR is still low quality, but nothing as horrible as trying to force it to display 12MP (cough).

2. The REAL first issue is having bandwidth enough to toss 24-30 of those per second around. Firstly you would need a good deal of RAM, second you need a powerful CPU that can encode that much data in real time so the RAM buffer is not overrun. Then you might possibly be able to squeeze the size down far enough, to be pumped through a pipe to get onto your flash card.

3. Youre not getting local reporting streaming from a cellphone to the net for a couple reasons. 1) ISP will eat your face. 2) Phone batteries would melt your face because if you try to even consider appeasing the first reason, that would mean youre doing hardcore video compression, h264, and that IS far off to be inside a cellphone at any sort of acceptable framerate (24 being generally minimum).

For comparison, a i7 955, the most powerful quad core desktop CPU made today can compress 1080p at around only 30fps.


By icanhascpu on 6/16/2009 7:38:52 PM , Rating: 2
1. Small lenses are perfectly capable of resolving 1080 16:10 resolution. Thats ~1.8 MP. Even tiny CCD/CMOS sensors lose little in the way of resolution resolving that small of a digital image. SnR is still low quality, but nothing as horrible as trying to force it to display 12MP (cough).

2. The REAL first issue is having bandwidth enough to toss 24-30 of those per second around. Firstly you would need a good deal of RAM, second you need a powerful CPU that can encode that much data in real time so the RAM buffer is not overrun. Then you might possibly be able to squeeze the size down far enough, to be pumped through a pipe to get onto your flash card.

3. Youre not getting local reporting streaming from a cellphone to the net for a couple reasons. 1) ISP will eat your face. 2) Phone batteries would melt your face because if you try to even consider appeasing the first reason, that would mean youre doing hardcore video compression, h264, and that IS far off to be inside a cellphone at any sort of acceptable framerate (24 being generally minimum).

For comparison, a i7 955, the most powerful quad core desktop CPU made today can compress 1080p at around only 30fps.


By omnicronx on 6/16/2009 8:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
Just because the chip has the capability, does not mean any manufacturer will implement it. The ARM chip in my phone for example supports the use of a camera up to 10 MP, but not one phone utilizing this chip comes even close (mine is only 3mp). The original Samsung Omnia which also uses the same arm processor only has a 5MP camera which is the most I've seen. I'm sure the iphone also supports a higher resolution camera, just the actual parts to make use of these features are far too expensive to implement.

I also would not hold your breath on 720p capture for the pre either. The OMAP3430 which the pre uses only supports video encode/decode of 480p.. not to mention yet to be released phones with faster cortex A8 processors can only capture 720p @ 24FPS.


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