Skip to main content

ARM: True 3D Netbook Gaming in 2010

TechRadar recently spoke with embedded core designer ARM Ltd. in regards to its new 2 GHz multicore Cortex-A9 mobile processor. The company revealed that it is currently developing dual-core, quad-core, and eight-core processor designs for the mobile, netbook and smartbook markets. ARM's VP of Marketing in the processor division, Eric Schorn, said that gamers should see netbooks capable of running the latest PC games sometime in the first half of 2010.

Earlier today, ARM also announced the development of two Cortex-A9 MPCore hard macro implementations--code-named Osprey--for TSMC's 40nm-G process. This allows silicon manufacturers "to have a rapid and low-risk route to silicon for high-performance, low-power Cortex-A9 processor-based devices," and also enables devices to operate at frequencies greater than 2 GHz. "This hard macro implementation operates in excess of 2GHz when selected from typical silicon and represents an ideal solution for high-margin performance-oriented applications," the company said.

PC World also expands the news, chatting with Nandan Nayampally, director of CPU marketing at ARM. He said that the dual-core ARM processor will not always be used at 2 GHz, revealing that the speed can be scaled down to drop power consumption (although it consumes 1.9 watts of power). He said that the speed will ultimately depend on customers who implement the design.

However, if netbooks manufacturers choose to pre-install Windows 7 Starter Edition, they may have to abandon designs using the ARM architecture, as Microsoft announced back in June that the new OS would not run on ARM's technology. PC Magazine suggests that companies such as FreeScale will have to use the core found in Linux-powered smartbooks.