The Dual-Core ARM Powered products are coming

Posted by – December 22, 2010
Category: Opinions, Google

Buy a Gingerbread Nexus S now or wait for Dual-Core Android? That is the question early adopters have.

Nearly a year ago, Nvidia unveiled its awesome Tegra 2 platform at CES, I was there and I filmed it (2), (3). It took a while for Nvidia and its manufacturing partners to start bringing actual products with Nvidia’s Tegra 2 ARM Cortex-A9 processor onto the market. Possible delays may have been due to manufacturing problems or a wait for stabilized software, new versions of Android and Flash to support this new type of Dual-Core processor.

Other Dual-Core processors are about to reach products in the market as well:
– Texas Instruments OMAP4430 1Ghz ARM Cortex-A9 based products will be introduced in products to the market soon.
– Qualcomm MSM8660 or faster Dual-Core Snapdragon platform may be imminent.
– Marvell Armada 628 Tri-Core platform available in products soon offers upwards 200 million triangles per second.
– Samsung Orion with Mali-400 was unveiled last month (2), will probably show in products within months. Although some rumors also say Samsung may be using the Tegra 2 platform for some products to be shown even earlier.
– ST-Ericsson is working with Nokia to release some Dual-Core Meego devices probably soon.
– Nufront are releasing their Nufront ARM Cortex-A9 for Laptops and Desktops.

Google may focus on Tegra 2 for Honeycomb as some rumors are saying, just as Google prioritized their “Reference designs” like this:
Eclair + Froyo: Snapdragon (Nexus One)
Gingerbread: Hummingbird (Nexus S)
Honeycomb: Tegra 2 (Motorola’s upcoming Tablet)

A “reference design” to Google basically means the actual development hardware Google engineers work on to get their new software released. Though I expect Google and the Open Handset Alliance to bring-up Gingerbread and Honeycomb about as fast on all other Single-Core and Dual-Core platforms as well, just as Froyo got ready on all the other platforms relatively fast.

Dual-Core ARM Processors are probably also what we need for Chrome OS and Ubuntu powered Laptops and Google TV Powered set-top-boxes.