Marvell Armada Processors Go Quad-Core
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The primary rules for using embedded processors is keep the heat and power draw down. So wouldn't going to four cores violate those basic tenants? Not necessarily, argues one analyst in response to Marvell's new quad-core embedded processor. It may actually save power. Hardware Central explains how.
Embedded processors have lagged behind their desktop and laptop counterparts in the multi-core race, sticking to single-core designs in most cases, with the occasional dual-core Intel Atom or ARM processor.
Well, Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is upping the ante with the announcement of a quad-core ARM design for embedded systems. The chip, which will ship some time later this year, is based on the firm's recently announced Armada 500 and 600 processors and can hit up to 1GHz in clock speed.
Marvell is one of many licensees of the ARM architecture. It has an architecture license from ARM, meaning it can not only modify the core design of the processor, it can add to it. In addition to its own expertise, Marvell acquired the Xscale team from Intel in 2006, which also focused on ARM designs.
The Armada 500 series is for high-end smartbooks and tablets and the 600 series is for high-end smartphones. Both have been tuned for very low power consumption, something Xscale technology is very good at.