The name MediaTek is usually associated with lower-end Chinese smartphones and tablets, since their SoCs are rather inexpensive. In the last year or so, the chip manufacturer has been working to push past that reputation. When it introduced the Helio X20, a few people took notice. Innovation is not usually the game with MediaTek, but it does try some interesting CPU designs. Today, it revealed the new Helio X23 and Helio X27 mobile processors. Read More
The saga of OUYA is a cautionary tale of how hard it is to build a new gaming platform. After an initial crowdfunding success, OUYA had trouble attracting developers and keeping gamers interested. The company was gobbled up by gaming giant Razer earlier this year, and now the OUYA store is back as Cortex for the Android TV-powered Forge TV. Read More
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.
ARM is kind of of big deal if you like mobile devices: they release and maintain the architectures licensed by nearly all the world's mobile System-on-a-Chip (SoC) makers. Today they've announced new CPU and GPU designs specifically targeted ant the growing mid-range market, the Cortex-A12 and Mali-T622. This silicon is powerful by today's standards, but a bit less so than their A15 (Samsung's Exynos 5250, NVIDIA Tegra 4) and T624 (and higher) counterparts, designed for more economical implementation. The basic idea is that mid-range devices, which ARM defines as between $150 and $350 unsubsidized, will get both more powerful and more efficient. Read More
At ARM TechCon today, the titular purveyor of semiconductors announced its Cortex-A50 series, dubbed "the world's most energy-efficient 64-bit processors." Based on the ARMv8 architecture, the line will launch with the Cortex-A53 and A57 processors, allowing not only for significantly more energy-efficient processing, but SoC scalability that makes the line applicable to devices from smartphones to high-performance servers. The A57 is geared toward high-performance, while the A53 is lauded by ARM as its most power-efficient. Both chips also support 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code, and according to ARM, the A53 can live up to the performance of the Cortex A9 at 60% the die area. Read More
Historically (and generally speaking), Archos' tablet offerings have failed to impress. That may all be about to change, though: the company has unofficially revealed some details about their upcoming Gen 9 tablet, and at least on paper, it looks like quite a doozy.
The Gen 9 will be powered by a 1.6GHz ARM A9 CPU, which is the same underlying processor used in the Apple A5 (iPad 2) CPU, as well as Nvidia's Tegra 2 and upcoming Kal-El CPUs, among others. Apparently the tablet will also come packing up to a 250 GB HD - an awful lot of storage. Read More
Remember the Cortex-A9 we talked about just a few days ago - the one that can clock in at well over 2 GHz on a 28nm process? Turns out Samsung has had its eyes on that bad boy for a while - they've now announced a mobile CPU based on the architecture (one caveat, though - the chip is manufactured on a 45nm process).
The lack of a major die shrink may keep things running at a more reasonable clip (1 GHz), but the improved architecture still allows for huge improvements over today's tech. Namely:
- Dual 1 GHz A9 cores
- 64 KB data and instruction cache
- 1 MB L2 cache
- HDMI 1.3a
- Full 1080P video encode/decode at 30 fps
- Triple display controller
- Up to 5x the 3D graphics performance over previous Samsung processors
Further, it looks like we're looking at a fairly flexible chip here:
For design flexibility and system BOM cost reduction, Orion integrates a set of interfaces commonly used in mobile devices to configure various peripheral functionalities.