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ARM Prepping Dual-Core Chips for Phones

Thursday, June 18, 2009
ARM, the company that designs chips for the world's smartphones, said: “Handset makers will deliver the first models using more than one processor core next year, as high-end mobile phones begin to mimic the hardware attributes of PCs”.

James Bruce, wireless segment manager for ARM, said: "You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010” referring to the next-generation Cortex-A9 processor from ARM. He did not name any handset makers or phones in particular that will use its A9 chip, but said, "It's very aggressive. It's only going to be in a year's time that you're going to get these phones."

ARM's A9 chip will offer 10% to 20% better power efficiency compared to its current A8 chip, which runs a single core, because it uses 45 nanometer processes compared to the A8's 65 nanometer processes.

In order to use dual-core chips, the proper support for them will need to be built into the phones' operating systems. Symbian has said that future versions of its OS will support multiple cores, but other phone makers have remained mum.

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