July 10, 2013 weblog
ARM chip makers set to reach 3GHz next year
(Phys.org) —ARM chip makers TSMC and GlobalFoundries have revealed that they plan to release ARM processor chips capable of running at 3GHz sometime next year. Such chips will almost certainly be welcomed with open arms by the users of the millions of phones, tablets, etc. which have them as part of a System-On-Chip (SoC) platform.
ARM chips are a type of RISC processor licensed by ARM Inc. They are considered medium to high speed, as compared with other chips, such as those that are used in personal computers. They are used in everything from phones (both Android at iPhone), to tablets, television sets and a myriad of other products. The fastest of the current crop is 2.3GHz—though most are closer to the 1.6GHz processor used in the Galaxy S4. As occurred with personal computers, chip makers are eager to make hand-held devices run faster with each new generation allowing users to run ever more sophisticated apps.
To get the new chips to run faster, both chipmakers will be utilizing a 20nm process to create the new chips—28 is the current smallest standard. That both claim, should allow the chips to be more efficient, which should mean less power hungry, resulting in less battery drain for users.
The arrival of faster ARM chips might also help to stave off the recent incursion into the field by PC chip maker Intel with its Bay Trail chips (recent testing showed them to be approximately 30 percent faster than the fastest Arm chip), a company that very much wants to make a move into ARM chips territory as sales of personal computers have declined—all while sales of phones and tablets have soared. AMD, the only other major chip maker for PC's has also been working on an ARM competitor and likely will introduce something next year as well.
All of this is good news for consumers of course—the more competition in the market the better the ultimate products will likely be. Not only will they be faster, and use less battery power, they'll also likely include features not currently available on phones and notepads that personal computer users have taken for granted for years.
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