Marvell Tri-core Chip Aimed at Tablets, Smartphones

Marvell officials say the 1.5GHz, tri-core Armada 628, which is available for sampling, will deliver higher performance and better energy efficiency to mobile devices.

Marvell Technologies is unveiling a tri-core, ARM-design processor that officials say is aimed at smartphones and tablet PCs.

The 1.5GHz Armada 628, announced Sept. 23, will bring strong graphics capabilities and high application performance, according to Marvell officials.

The processor offers two high-performance cores designed to run workloads over multiple cores and a third ultra-lower power core for what Marvell officials say are routine user tasks. It also acts as a system management chip to monitor and scale power and performance.

Marvell officials said the processor will offer better performance and energy efficiency over dual-core chips. It also will bring dual-stream 1080p 3D video and 3D graphics to mobile devices.

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The Armada 628 can provide up to 10 hours of HD video or 140 hours of music on a single battery charge; supports USB 3.0; offers 1MB of Level 3 cache; and supports Research In Motion's RIM OS, Google Android, Linux, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and full Adobe Flash.

"This is important because today's consumers expect robust enterprise and consumer applications delivered to the palm of their hands," said Weili Dai, co-founder and vice president of Marvell and general manager of Marvell's Consumer and Computing Business Unit.

The Armada 628 is currently available to customers for sampling, according to the company.

Marvell is bringing a tri-core chip to such devices as tablets and smartphones at the same time several other chip manufacturers, including Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, are planning to launch dual-core ARM-based chips to the market. In addition, Intel has dual-core versions of its Atom processors, which initially were aimed at the netbook market but are now expanding their reach into other devices, including tablets and handheld devices.