Marvell announces the world’s first quad core ARM processor

CES 2010 Gigahertz-plus performance

MARVELL SEEMS TO be set on becoming the leader in ARM based processors and its announcement of the world’s first quad core processor based on the ARMv7 architecture must be a major blow to its competitors.

There’s no secret that several companies have been working on quad core ARM based processors with Qualcomm having been tipped as being the first one to get there. However, as we know, it’s not always enough to be first at announcing something, you need to be able to get it to market and there’s no word as on when the new quad core CPU will be available.

In fact, the press release seem to mention as little as possible about the product apart from the fact that it offers “Gigahertz-plus processing per core” and that is has been “designed for customer-specific products such as mass consumer market and high volume gaming applications”. The latter doesn’t necessarily mean consumer gaming devices as it’s more likely to mean the kind of “gaming devices” that you’ll find in Vegas. The new quad core CPU is based on Marvell’s Armada 500 and 600 series of CPUs which suggests that it is based on the ARMv7 architecture.

There’s no word on either pricing or availability and the overall general lack of information is suggesting that we won’t be seeing the new quad core CPU in the very near future. Also, don’t expect this processor to end up in Smartphones, as it’s most likely too power hungry. Still, this might give Intel’s Atom processors and Nvidia’s Tegra a good run for their money, which can’t be a bad thing, especially in something like a smartbook or HD media playback device.S|A

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