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. 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. 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. 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? Read More
Earlier this week, Samsung announced that it was bringing Heterogeneous Multi-Processing (HMP) to Exynos 5 Octa chips. Samsung didn't clarify if HMP would require new hardware, but that was the implication. Now Meizu has unexpectedly announced the Exynos 5 Octa chip in its recently unveiled MX3 will be getting HMP through a software update.
All Exynos 5 Octa processors until now have used cluster migration to manage the ARM big.LITTLE cores. Read More
Since Samsung announced the Exynos 5 Octa at CES 2013, one major criticism has been leveled at its implementation of big.Little technology time and again: for some reason, it has only ever been able to run 4 of its 8 cores at a time. Not only that, but it has never been able to mix-and-match the higher performance A15 cores with power efficient A7 cores to get the best possible configuration for performance and power usage. Read More
The new Verizon DROID devices announced last week had been thoroughly leaked before the event, but one thing nobody expected was Motorola's new X8 mobile computing platform. The Google subsidiary was intentionally vague when discussing the chip, leaving us scratching our heads. Now Motorola has opened up about the hardware powering those DROIDs, and maybe the Moto X, which will be announced tomorrow.
We already knew the X8 was based on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. Read More