You are probably familiar with the issues surrounding the Snapdragon 810 by now, but a new chip is right around the corner that could get Qualcomm back on track. I speak of course of the fabled Snapdragon 820 (MSM8996). Details of this chip have allegedly been leaked in China, and while we can't know for sure that they're accurate, the slides sure look legit. Read More
A leaked slide posted to the Chinese social networking service Weibo claims to show what ARM has in store for the next generation of reference designs. There are five total Cortex cores, all with codenames taken from Greek mythology. Some of them include manufacturing process information, but others are lacking in detail.
Qualcomm's 64-bit flagship part is the Snapdragon 810, but not all devices will need that kind of power. That's why the company is extending its new designs down to the mid-range with updated Snapdragon 600 and 400 series chips. There are a total of four new chips—the 620, 618, 425, and 415.
Odds are good that any Android devices you have around are running on ARM technology. The ARM architecture powers virtually all systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), with Intel x86 parts coming in a distant second. ARM doesn't actually make the chips, but it creates the reference designs and instruction set, then licenses the IP. Today the company is announcing some new designs and process refinements for other companies to license.
We've heard a lot of back and forth about the Snapdragon 810, the first high-end 64-bit ARM processor from Qualcomm. First there were rumors that overheating caused Samsung to drop the chip from its Galaxy S6, then LG said the 810 was fine in the G Flex 2. Now, however, Qualcomm says the 810 will not be powering "a large customer's flagship device" this year. That almost certainly means Samsung.
You most often see MediaTek chips in budget smartphones and tablets, but they could soon be showing up in another place—your watch. The company has announced the MT2601, an ARM system-on-a-chip designed with Android Wear in mind. This isn't one of those "later this year" things either. The MT2601 is already in mass production and ready to go.
File this under more is better – Qualcomm has just announced new ARM chips with more bits and more cores than ever before. The Snapdragon 610 and 615 are the chip maker's new 64-bit mobile processors, and the 615 packs eight CPU cores. Despite the big headlining features, these aren't intended to be flagship chips.
Qualcomm is in the habit of making custom CPUs for its ARM chips – those are the Krait cores you hear so much about. The company has used ARM's Cortex reference designs in a few chips previously, like the Snapdragon 400. These new chips are the same story. Read More
ARM technology powers the vast majority of mobile devices in the world, and the company has just announced some new designs to continue that tradition. The ARM Cortex-A17 is a new mid-range CPU core that offers improved speed and efficiency for budget devices. That's not all – there is also a new version of the Mali GPU for a complete price-conscious package.
The Cortex-A17 is not meant to replace the A15 – that's still the flagship CPU core design from ARM. The A17 is a mid-range part that should give chip makers a better option than continuing to use older A9s, the limited A12, or just a bunch of low-power Cortex-A7 cores. Read More
Nvidia is having its traditional CES press event and has taken the opportunity to reveal some details on its next generation Tegra chip. Nvidia has talked about its mobile plans a little in general terms recently, but now we have a name and some specs to go on. The successor to Tegra 4 will be called the Tegra K1 and it comes in two different versions.
The headlining feature Nvidia is touting in Tegra K1 (previously codenamed Logan) is the 192-core GPU based on the desktop Kepler architecture. By comparison, the current Tegra 4 is limping along with only 72 older GPU cores. Read More
Intel may have decided that ARM's advantage within small devices and embedded systems is just too much to contend with, because now the world's largest semiconductor chip maker will start to fabricate ARM chips in its plants. Altera announced at a conference today that Intel would produce the company's ARM Cortex-A53 processor beginning next year. Who would have guessed that Intel would be the company to manufacture one of the world's first quad-core 64-bit ARM chips?
However, Altera's product is destined for use inside network equipment, not smartphones. This deal may not immediately directly threaten competitors like Samsung, who produced Apple's 64-bit A7 ARM chip, but tighter competition could be brewing down the road. Read More