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Chinese chip firm creates a dual core 2GHz ARM chip

Pitches it at Intel loving OEMs
Tue Sep 14 2010, 15:08

CHINESE CHIPMAKER Nufront has managed to implement ARM's dual core 2GHz Cortex A9 chip in one of its system-on-chip (SoC) designs.

The 2816 Computer System Chip is, like all of ARM's designs, extremely power efficient with Nufront claiming that the dual core Cortex A9 design sips just 2W when running at 1.6GHz. The firm is heralding the chip as an opportunity for it to go up against Intel in the ultra-thin laptop and netbook market.

Nufront claims to be the first company to integrate ARM's dual core Cortex A9 chip at 2GHz. Other parts of the SoC include a multi-core graphics chip, a 64-bit DDR2/3 memory controller, a 1080p "multi-format video engine", SATA2, USB2, Ethernet and a general I/O controller.

ARM's architecture does not natively support the x86 instruction set, meaning that a bog standard copy of Microsoft Windows will not run on ARM chips. Nufront said that it is working on getting the open source operating systems Ubuntu and Android to run on its SoC.

Nufront is the first Chinese company to use the 40nm manufacturing process, and given ARM's dominance in the embedded market, it's highly likely that other low cost Chinese chip outfits are not far behind.

While Intel gets ready to take on ARM, the British chip designer appears to be recruiting chipmakers to produce products that will encroach into Intel's back garden. µ


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