LONDON Marvell Technology Group Ltd., a supplier of chips for storage, communications and consumer electronics, claims to have developed the world's first "quadruple" core processor based on the ARM architecture.
Marvell's quad-core implementation can operate at above 1-GHz clock frequency on all four cores providing high performance in those applications that can keep four cores fed with data.
Marvell (Santa Clara, Calif.) said the quad-core has been designed for "high volume gaming applications" and other mass consumer applications.
The quad-core is based on the same CPU architecture as Marvell's recently launched Armada 500 and 600 processors. These are declared to be ARMv7 instruction set architecture processors but it has not been revealed whether they are based on Marvell designs from the ground up or on a core supplied as intellectual property by ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England), such as the Cortex-A8 or Cortex-A9.
The Cortex-A9 is an ARMv7 processor designed to support up to four-way multiprocessing.
Marvell did not indicate what process technology the quad-core is implemented in, where it is being manufactured, what on-chip memory is provided or the quad-core's typical power consumption. Nor did Marvell indicate whether the quad-core design is complete and awaiting manufacture, or whether it already has silicon in hand.
"Introducing our quad-core technology to the world represents a pivotal moment in CPU development for the consumer electronics industry," said Weili Dai, Marvell's co-founder and general manager of Marvell's consumer and computing business unit.
"Before Armada, the ARM ecosystem was thought to be limited by performance barriers. Now, with this announcement of its quad-core technology, Marvell is showing the world the ARM ecosystem's true potential while cementing its position among the leaders in advanced CPU development for mass market consumer applications," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group, in a statement issued by Marvell.
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