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Samsung ups iPhone-class CPU to 1GHz

updated 08:30 am EDT, Mon July 27, 2009

Samsung 1GHz ARM CPU

Samsung today unveiled a new ARM processor that could show the direction for future smartphones. Nicknamed Hummingbird, the design uses the same Cortex-A8 architecture as the chip in the iPhone 3GS but clocks at 1GHz, significantly higher than the 833MHz of its previous best. The feat is accomplished both by a smaller, more energy-efficient 45 nanometer process as well as partly customized circuits designed to handle the load.

In ramping up the performance, the company says the processor can handle up to 2 billion instructions per second but will consume only 640mW of power and doesn't need more than 1V of voltage. As a Cortex-A8 chip, Hummingbird is a dual-issue (two instructions at a time) processor with special media extensions, known as Neon, that can speed up common audio or video tasks.

Customers haven't been named for the processor, although Samsung makes it clear it sees Hummingbird reaching "advanced mobile devices" once it's turned into standard system-on-chip processors. Apple has been one of Samsung's larger customers for ARM processors, although it has typically underclocked the processor for the iPhone to accommodate the heat concerns in the tight enclosure.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008


    The cellphone processor

    chip-speed wars are really starting to escalate. These things are going to have the power of notebooks in a year or so. No way battery technology is going to be able to keep up in a hand-held device the size of a cellphone. I guess Apple is going to get first crack at any of Samsung's top processors. Gee, I doubt this is going into the next gen iPod Touch due this year.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003



    I have an iPhone 3G. I love it. By the time i'm eligible for an upgrade, i can't imagine the advancements that will have been made. This isn't just about speed, it's about power savings. This chip uses less electricity than the one in the 3Gs. I can imagine some adventurous souls with the right tools popping this one into their current iPhone/iTouch. Heck i know i would! My iBook is 1.33 ghz, i can just see my next iPhone being about the same, with 1 gig memory just like my iBook too!

    - A

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