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ARM chips running at 3GHz on the cards for next year

by Mark Tyson on 11 July 2013, 09:45

Tags: ARM, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), TSMC, GLOBALFOUNDRIES

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ARM SoCs are set to be speed cranked next year as both TSMC and GlobalFoundries have revealed they plan to release chips running at 3GHz sometime in 2014. Phys.org reports that the current fastest ARM chips are clocked at about 2.3GHz, and most are around 1.6GHz, so the new chips should provide quite a bit more oomph.

Both TSMC and GlobalFoundries will be moving their chip making process to 20nm, down from the current smallest scale they can work on which is 28nm. As well as allowing the manufacturers to make faster chips without extra cooling considerations, the process shrink also has the ability to bring with it a reduction in power consumption.

Intel are snapping at ARM's heels, aiming to take a big bite out of the mobile and tablet processor cake. Currently it is just a bit part player in this market but has been talking up the efficiency, bang-per-watt, of its scalable Silvermont cores which it intends to have available in devices in time for Xmas, in smart-connected devices packing the BayTrail Atom chips. These new Intel chips will be built on the 22nm Fin FET process with 3D transistors and it sounds like they will be available several months before ARM's improved efforts from manufacturers TSMC and GlobalFoundries. We saw some leaked early Android AnTuTu benchmark results only last week, which showed a BayTrail T processor in a very good light.

We will have to wait and see what dent on ARM's market share the Intel Silvermont chips can make and also what real world advantages they might bring compared to competitor chips. ARM and its partners aren't standing still of course and we will see other improvements alongside this process shrink by TSMC and GlobalFoundries next year.




HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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There's going to be a point where ARM boost Mhz for Power and Intel engineer lower power consumption and both technologies will reach a vergence of equality.

There's no doubt Intel have the resources and technology partnerships to shrink dies down faster than anyone else right now, 14NM has slipped to 2015 though maybe TSMC and Co will have similar delays or seize the opportunity to catch-up?

The x86 architecture lends itself to easier multi platform software….their challenges has included power consumption versus ARM and being able to break into a portable market dominated by software developed for ARM and it's partners.

This battle is getting interesting because ARM's biggest challenge has been creating a complete ecosystem on platforms beyond phones, tabs and smart TV's, but they rely on developers to do this for them which is why Microsoft finally getting on-board to do this has been a great help to anyone not engaged in iOS.

The actual market is looking mighty crowded, with so many players in it, but this competition will be good for the consumers :)
maverik-sg1
There's going to be a point where ARM boost Mhz for Power and Intel engineer lower power consumption and both technologies will reach a vergence of equality.

Not sure anyone cares about equality tbh.

Consumers want something that runs their apps. Android games are written for ARM, Android is the dominant OS of the moment, safest bet is ARM. As long as performance is good enough, Intel can go as fast as they want. Angry birds won't fly any faster across the screen.

If I was Intel, I would be looking very scared in the direction of RockChip and AllWinner atm. They seem to dominate the £50-£150 tablet market processors.
Price is going to be the most important factor IMHO. If you look at tablets and phones,battery life is determined more by the screen,wireless components and capacity of the battery.
maverik-sg1
There's going to be a point where ARM boost Mhz for Power and Intel engineer lower power consumption and both technologies will reach a vergence of equality.

That's already happening, there are ARM SoCs (notably A15) drawing more power than CloverTrail+ and Atom powered Windows 8 tablets are faster with similar battery to the ARM powered RT tablets.

DanceswithUnix
Consumers want something that runs their apps. Android games are written for ARM, Android is the dominant OS of the moment, safest bet is ARM. As long as performance is good enough, Intel can go as fast as they want. Angry birds won't fly any faster across the screen.

Samsung are using Atom in some of their latest Android tablets…

DanceswithUnix
If I was Intel, I would be looking very scared in the direction of RockChip and AllWinner atm. They seem to dominate the £50-£150 tablet market processors.

Why? Those are low margin products using SoCs that are significantly behind the ARM market leaders like Qualcomm. If Intel should be worried so should Qualcomm, NVidia et al.
kingpotnoodle
Why? Those are low margin products using SoCs that are significantly behind the ARM market leaders like Qualcomm. If Intel should be worried so should Qualcomm, NVidia et al.

*Because* they are low margin (and low risk).

A year ago you would have included Texas Instruments in that high end lineup. Staying in the lead is an expensive and risky game, and apparently not for them.

Phones are basically made by Samsung and Apple atm, with others fighting over scraps. Samsung and Apple are currently both Intel customers, so can be “negotiated” with. Samsung might make an Intel based tablet and they will get attention in the press, but I wonder if they sell many.

Qualcomm are probably a bit of a worry, they have some nice devices and a good reputation.
NVidia don't seem to be getting design wins, I expect only NVidia are losing sleep there.

Rockchip are a complete outsider, yet I know for sure I have two of their dual core chips in my house. For all I know there might already be more. They sell to Chinese factories who can then export through all sorts of channels into our homes. I notice in my daily marketing email from EBuyer that they now have a quad core 10" tablet with 2GB of ram and an IPS screen for the cost of an i5. Intel have an answer to expensive stuff, but they don't have anything to counter the low end.

Someone at Intel once said that they didn't worry too much about AMD, it was VIA attacking them from below that they worried about. Well they managed to fend off VIA, but I don't think the same legal tactics will work against a low overheads consumer ARM chip designer.

Just think, millions of low cost computing devices pouring into the market, and the only way Intel can compete is to lower their margins?