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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:3, Insightful)

    by CajunArson (465943) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @12:23PM (#33677572) Journal

    That doesn't really answer my question though. First what does "standalone" mean? Any CPU that can access memory and run a process could be called "standalone". Second.. you mentioned power draw which is nice, but also not the important factor. The important factor is ENERGY efficiency. As an example: A 100 watt power draw from a CPU that takes 1 second to finish a task is more energy efficient than a 10 watt power drawn that takes 12 seconds to finish the same task. In the case of the faster ARM cores, if they can get a task done quickly and then drop back into standby, they could very well be more energy efficient than this "standalone" processor.

        I can take a guess since the article doesn't say, but this "standalone" processor might actually be some sort of DSP that is doing things the normal ARM cores really can't do effectively, and the power savings come from using the DSP for the specialized tasks it is more efficient at... otherwise I think it's jut Marvell trying to move silicon that didn't bin too well.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xouumalperxe (815707) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @01:07PM (#33678186)

    The important factor is ENERGY efficiency. As an example: A 100 watt power draw from a CPU that takes 1 second to finish a task is more energy efficient than a 10 watt power drawn that takes 12 seconds to finish the same task

    What if the task at hand is a continuous, undemanding one, like, say, basic mobile phone functions?

Programmers do it bit by bit.

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