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Hardware

Marvell Launches First Triple-Core Hybrid ARM Chip 117

Posted by kdawson
from the just-a-trickle dept.
Blacklaw passes along an excerpt from Thing.co.uk that begins "While other manufacturers are content to develop dual-core ARM processors, Marvell has gone one better — literally — with a new triple-core chip called the Armada 628. The system-on-chip design, based on ARM's v7 MP series, features two dedicated 1.5GHz processing cores plus a third 624MHz core in a single application processor — making Marvell the first company to bring such a beast to market. While two of the cores are a pretty standard SMP setup, as seen in other dual-core ARM implementations, the third is a standalone processor designed for ultra-low-power draw. The idea behind such a design is that when the system is idle, or only running a low-performance application on a single thread, it can shut off the dual-core portion and save oodles of power."
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Marvell Launches First Triple-Core Hybrid ARM Chip

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  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Informative)

    by santax (1541065) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @12:18PM (#33677492)
    From the full article: While two of the cores are a pretty standard SMP setup, as seen in other dual-core ARM implementations, the third is a standalone processor designed for ultra-low-power draw. The idea behind such a design is that when the system is idle, or only running a low-performance application on a single thread, it can shut off the dual-core portion and save oodles of power. So, they have designed that third core from the ground up with powerconsumption in mind. Whereas the 'normal' cpu's are designed with speed, processing-power and scalability in mind.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:14PM (#33678878) Homepage

    I think we're tripping up over the reporter's choice of language here. From Marvell's actual press release [prnewswire.com]:

    The tri-core design integrates two high performance symmetric multiprocessing cores and a third core optimized for ultra low-power. The third core is designed to support routine user tasks and acts as a system management processor to monitor and dynamically scale power and performance.

    Depending on what their definition of "routine user tasks" might be, it sounds like it doesn't actually shut off both cores and run exclusively off the third core, the way TFA makes it sound -- it only does that if the device isn't doing anything. More interesting stuff:

    Marvell's ARMADA 628 tri-core CPU comprises a complete SoC design – a first for the industry. In addition to the tri-core CPU, there are six additional processing engines to support stunning 3D graphics, 1080p video encode/decode, ultra high fidelity audio, advanced cryptography, and digital photo data processing – for a total of nine dedicated core functions.

    This sounds like a pretty cool chip.

  • by Halo1 (136547) <jonas...maebe@@@elis...ugent...be> on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:54PM (#33679408) Homepage

    ARM is very good at confusing numbering schemes. There are basically two separate numbers: the architecture version and the cpu model number. The ARMv7 (note the *v*) in the article is about the architecture version (ARMv7 is currently the latest version), while the ARM9 you are talking about is a core that implements the ARMv5 instruction set. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture#ARM_cores [wikipedia.org] for a list of ARM cores and the corresponding architecture version they implement.

  • Re:Power != Energy (Score:3, Informative)

    by MorpheousMarty (1094907) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @03:29PM (#33679884)
    Processing efficiency is ARM's whole focus. They usually talk about the performance per milliwatt of their chips. This is why they never compare themselves to Intel or AMD, which focus on performance, and why most hand-helds use ARM based processors (PSP, Nintendo DS, iPhone, basically every single Android device, etc). If your device runs on a battery this makes good sense unless you have to have x86 compatibility.
  • Re:Iron Man (Score:4, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:04PM (#33680338) Homepage Journal

    Oh come on, that was FUNNY, not OFFTOPIC.

    Attention uninformed moderator: DC and Marvel are both comic book publishers. In fact have for decades been rival companies and each "universe" is known for certain superheroes. On the DC side you have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Teen Titans, and so on. The Marvel universe features The Amazing Spider Man, X Men, Fantastic Four, Daredevil, Iron Man, and so on. Heck, with all the comic book-based movies over the last 20 years, even women know about comic books, and not just the geeky ones among us.

    In other words, parent post was a topical JOKE (NOT OFFTOPIC), and you should instead focus on modding "insightful" and "informative" posts UP rather than modding posts you disagree with or jokes you don't get "down". In other words, follow the moderation guidelines - and consider developing your sense of humor while you're at it.

    HTH!

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