ARM flaunts performance by boosting processor speed
IDG News Service - ARM Holdings on Wednesday raised the clock speed of its Cortex A9 processor to 2GHz, with the aim of boosting application performance while drawing less power.
ARM designs processor cores that are licensed to chip makers. The processors can be found in billions of mobile devices like smartphones, and are making their way into devices such as netbooks. Known mostly for low-power consumption, Arm wanted to show their processors are scalable and can provide the performance needed to run demanding applications like multimedia.
Most ARM-based chips in the market are perhaps 1GHz or a little more, and there are not many 2GHz Arm processors, said Nandan Nayampally, director of CPU marketing at ARM. The latest processor is an attempt by Arm to show that it can raise clock speeds if needed.
"It's just changing the perception of Arm as being a low-cost, low-power processor not associated with performance. We're actually providing performance levels very attractive to a large suite of applications," Nayampally said. The speed increase could be useful for Arm chips used in devices such as netbooks and multimedia devices at home.
The dual-core ARM processor runs at 2GHz while consuming 1.9 watts of power. The processor delivered better performance than Intel's Atom N270 netbook chip operating at 1.6GHz, according to benchmarks provided by Arm. The speed could be scaled down to drop power consumption, Nayampally said.
"Is it always going to be used at 2GHz? Probably not," Nayampally said. Ultimately, the clock speed of a chip will depend on customers who implement the design. Some ARM customers have already shown dual-core Cortex A9 chips.
It isn't a surprise that a dual-core ARM chip with a faster clock speed outperformed a single-core Intel Atom chip, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research. "Upping the clock rate, going multicore buys you performance," he said.
ARM may be sending a powerful message about performance, but it faces stiff competition from Intel, McCarron said. Intel is trying to bring x86 down to lower power levels so its chips can go into devices like smartphones, a space that Arm has dominated for a long time.
"Intel is by design a paranoid culture. I'm sure a product like this is on their radar," McCarron said.
Intel is expected to share more details about its upcoming Moorestown platform for mobile devices, which includes a system-on-chip that integrates multiple components like the CPU and graphics core. Intel has said that Moorestown reduces idle power consumption by 50 times compared to its existing Menlow platform.
Though ARM chips have long held an advantage over Intel with respect to power, Arm needs better software support around the chip architecture. There is a strong software infrastructure around the x86 architecture, which could help push Intel chips into many mobile devices, McCarron said.
- Intel confirms using ARM-based chip core in smartwatch it demoed at CES
- You'll want a PC with Intel's new chip for the battery life alone
- Desktop chips zip past 4GHz; next stop 5GHz?
- After a tough year, Intel and HP push ahead on Itanium
- Dell testing 64-bit ARM server with AppliedMicro chip
- Physicist says Moore's Law is 'collapsing'
- Intel's Ivy Bridge chips raise the bar for rivals
- Intel ready to take on tablet chips
- AMD execs tout firm's tablet plans
- AMD moves away from Intel rivalry, rethinks course
- Silicon Valley's 19 Coolest Places to Work
- Is Windows 8 Development Worth the Trouble?
- 8 Books Every IT Leader Should Read This Year
- 10 Hot Hadoop Startups to Watch
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Infographic: Converged Infrastructure Benefits This Infographic quantifies the savings organizations are realizing from increased deployment speed, higher availability, and lower annual costs.
- CIOs Deliver Productivity Breakthroughs with Intelligent Digital Signage Retailers have long recognized the influence that digital signage provides over a shopper's point-of-purchase decision making process.
- Going Paperless? Here's What You Need to Think About As makers of some of the world's most popular PDF solutions, we often consult with businesses & governmental agencies that have the goal...
- The Big Data Opportunity for HR and Finance If CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and CHROs want to drive their businesses forward, they will need to quickly recognize the enormous value of big...
- Redefine Your IT Operations: Remote Office IT Has Never Been Simpler Join us to see why PC Pro named Dell PowerEdge VRTX the "2013 Server of the Year." PowerEdge VRTX may be just what...
- Building Tomorrow's Infrastructure Listen to this podcast to discover how Crider Foods worked with PC Connection to update their IT infrastructure, while maintaining compliance and control. All Hardware White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!