ARM Holdings unveiled a new mobile processor core architecture, the "Eagle" Cortex-A15, and said it will deliver five times the performance of today's high-end smartphone processors with comparable power consumption.
The processor, part of ARM's Cortex-A family, will be able to deliver a processor running at 2.5 GHz. The technology likely will make its way into new high-end devices over the next several years, and will enable more processor-intensive applications like enhanced augmented reality. Additionally, Android, Linux, Symbian and Ubuntu will feature application compatibility with the new offering. Although Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not named in ARM's release, the company is an ARM licensee and could use the new technology; ARM's architecture is in the Apple iPad.
Texas Instruments will be the first Cortrex-A15 licensee, and helped develop the new core along with ARM licensees Samsung and ST-Ericsson; sample chips are expected to be available next year.
In addition to pushing the ARM chipset ecosystem even further, the move puts pressure on Intel, which has said it intends to challenge ARM licensees in the mobile market. Intel agreed to buy Infineon's wireless chipset unit for around $1.4 billion. Intel CEO Paul Otellini told the Wall Street Journal that "you will see phones with Intel architecture in them in 2011, rolling out over the course of the year."
In other chip news, it appears Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) flubbed the announcement of its mobile processor plans for next year. Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs had said at the company's IQ 2010 event in London that Qualcomm's 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor would be in products in the first quarter of next year. Later, Qualcomm backtracked and clarified its plans, noting that its 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor will be available in the first quarter, but the faster version will be pushed back until the third or fourth quarter of next year.
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