Fast Company: Is Samsung’s 1GHz Chip Racing Towards The iPhone

This image described by iPhone 3GS, Samsung, qualcomm, Texas instruments, microprocessors, ARM, Samsung_dragster

That "boom" you just heard was the speed of light, sound — and a few other senses — being broken.

Basically, Samsung and its chip-building partner Intrinsity took their current 600 MHz processor (itself licensed from the ARM Cortex A8 chip) and hooked up a nitro-injection system.  The new chip, code-named "Hummingbird," burns down the quarter-mile at a brain-blistering 1 GHz — nearly twice the speed of its predecessor.

What's more, this "bird" could be easily dropped into the iPhone 3GS' existing engine (the S5PC100 processor) with little to no modifications.  The trick is to balance an overclocked CPU with reduced power consumption.  That means the current 65-nanometer process to manufacture ARM chips needs to shave off about 20 nanos or so.

And with both Qualcomm and Texas Instrument either shipping or announcing their own 1 GHz chips, Samsung needs to put the pedal to the metal to beat them both to the finish line.

(Thus ends our collection of drag-racing cliches for today.)

[Via CNET]

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