TSMC Demonstrates Dual-core Cortex-A9 Operating at Over 3GHz
May 3, 2012 2:00 PM
comment(s) - last by
28 nm design is likely to be the most powerful ARM architecture core yet; perfect for PCs
ARM Holdings plc (
) has long been known for its lightweight intellectual property cores, which have dominated everything from slot machines to smartphones. Power and ARM cores weren’t typically words you heard uttered in the same sentence. But with ARM preparing to
invade the laptop space
, courtesy of
Windows 8 RT
(ARM edition), the world is getting its first taste of ARM cores clocked at the speeds usually reserved for PC users.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Comp., Ltd. (
) today announced an important milestone, achieving a stable core clock of 3.1 gigahertz with a Cortex-A9 dual-core chip. The air-cooled chip, built on TSMC's
new 28 nm process
, typically operates at lower clock speeds. However, the chip is capable of overclocking to over 3 GHz when performance demands it -- much like rival Intel Corp.'s (
The chips typically cruise at a more battery-friendly 1.5-2.0 GHz. Thus, while partners' proprietary designs based on the rapidly maturing process will likely be targeted primarily at the laptop market, there's also the possibility of seeing such speedy designs in tablets or even smartphones.
ARM and TSMC are showing that Intel isn't the only one who can play the speed game, showing off a 3 GHz core. [Image Source: Maximum PC]
Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, Research & Development, brags, "At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions. This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM [high performance mobile] is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency."
ARM Holdings and allies like TSMC need the strong showing. While they have tremendous potential for growth if they can capture some laptop market share from Intel, they're also facing a counterattack on the smartphone front from Intel.
Intel's first generation
chips have finally arrived in a limited selection of smartphones, and battery life has been
better than expected
. Competition will heat up in 2013 when Intel swaps the 32 nm node Atom Medfield's for
a die-shrunk 22 nm version
, featuring Intel's
power-saving 3D tri-gate transistor design
In other words ARM, et al. and Intel will be fiercely competing to deliver the most powerful chip computationally with the least electric power consumed. TSMC's latest effort shows that it can crank up core speeds, but does it have the goods power-efficiency wise? That remains to be seen.
ARM at least has one trick up its sleeve -- the upcoming
ARM Cortex-A15 architecture
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/4/2012 10:15:32 AM
Even at 3Ghz, the ARM designs just don't hold a candle to any x86 chip in performance.
This might actually eclipse a single core Atom, though.
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference
Competent But No Clear Winner: Intel Medfield Surprises Battery Life-Wise
April 25, 2012, 3:23 PM
Windows 8 Editions Introduced: Meet S/T, "Pro", and "RT"
April 17, 2012, 10:19 AM
Qualcomm to Lead ARM in War Against Intel With New Laptop Chips
January 3, 2012, 10:30 AM
TSMC Confirms 28nm Chips in Mass Production
October 24, 2011, 3:43 PM
IDF 2011: Intel Looks to Take a Bite Out of ARM, AMD With 3D FinFET Tech
September 13, 2011, 10:15 PM
3/7/2014 Daily Hardware Reviews
March 7, 2014, 10:19 AM
Quick Note: OCZ Z-Drive 4500 PCIe SSD Gets Official
March 4, 2014, 9:53 AM
3/4/2014 Daily Hardware Reviews
March 4, 2014, 8:45 AM
2/27/2014 Daily Hardware Reviews
February 27, 2014, 11:54 AM
2/26/2014 Daily Hardware Reviews
February 26, 2014, 10:28 AM
AVADirect Unleashes High-End Supermicro, Tyan GPU Servers
February 7, 2014, 12:35 PM
Most Popular Articles
Bitcoin King: Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpelès' History of Arrests, Firings
March 5, 2014, 9:05 AM
USAF Moves Forward With Long Range Bomber Program Despite Budget Crunch
March 4, 2014, 9:44 AM
Two More Microsoft Executives Leaving the Company
March 3, 2014, 4:38 PM
UPDATE: Apple's iOS Comes to Your Car via CarPlay Infotainment System, iPhone 5 and up Supported
March 3, 2014, 3:28 PM
Apple Won't Let UK Sons Unlock Their Deceased Mother's iPad
March 6, 2014, 12:44 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
Is The Period Becoming an Expression of Anger?
Nov 26, 2013, 2:02 PM
NSA and Congress -- You Will Never Kill the Constitution, It's an Idea
Nov 10, 2013, 2:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information