ARM based SoC core to power mobile devices

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Samsung and Intrinsity have developed what they believe to be the fastest mobile processor core implementation of the dual issue ARM Cortex-A8 processor architecture.

Designed for manufacture on a 45nm low power, low leakage process, the core, code named Hummingbird, delivers 2000DMIPS at 1GHz. Hummingbird comes with 32kbyte data and instruction caches, as well as a customisable L2 memory cache. The core also features an ARM NEON multimedia extension. "The biggest challenge in mobile processor core design and implementation is to achieve high clock speed performance while keeping the power consumption low," said Dr Jae Cheol Son, vp of SoC platform development within Samsung's system lsi division. "The collaboration between Samsung and Intrinsity combines the best design and implementation technologies in the industry in successfully meeting the aggressive performance and power consumption targets of the Hummingbird. According to Dr Jae, Samsung's forthcoming Hummingbird based SoCs will enable its customers to add more advanced processing capabilities to mobile products without sacrificing battery life. To achieve a 1GHz operating clock speed in 45nm LP process, Hummingbird uses a semi custom design flow. A multi Vdd, multifrequency design methodology was also used to ensure the core can run at a high speed, even at 1V. Low power consumption and high operating clock performance are said to make Hummingbird ideal for use in advanced mobile devices. Intrinsity ceo Bob Russo added: "Mobile device end users want smoother video, faster gaming and a longer battery life. Meeting these conflicting demands typically means building a new processor implementation from scratch."