TSMC hits 3.1Ghz on a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor, makes us weep with joy

Daniel Bader

May 3, 2012 11:17am

The Cortex-A9 may not be the most modern ARM design, and its more efficient Cortex-A15 successor is coming soon, but component manufacturer TSMC has hit a pretty huge milestone with a 28nm variant of the A9 chip.

Under optimal conditions, the company has managed to hit 3.1Ghz on both cores of a standard dual-core Cortex-A9 chip, similar to the design in the Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation. Regular Cortex-A9 processors manufactured under a 40nm process tapped out at 1.5Ghz in each core, but TSMC claims that with a low-leakage 28nm process it can run stably at 2.0Ghz and, with increased battery use, at 3.1Ghz.

“At 3.1 GHz this 28HPM dual-core processor implementation is twice as fast as its counterpart at TSMC 40nm under the same operating conditions,” said Cliff Hou, TSMC Vice President, Research & Development. “This work demonstrates how ARM and TSMC can satisfy high performance market demands. With other implementation options, 28HPM is also highly suited for a wide range of markets that prize performance and power efficiency.”

High availability of Cortex-A15 SoCs will not be until early 2013, so in the meantime manufacturers such as Nvidia, Samsung and Texas Instruments can likely use this new process to increase speeds while maintaining excellent battery life.

Source: TSMC
Via: Engadget

  • bob

    Daniel, the HTC Sensation has a Snapdragon chip, which isn’t a Cortex A9.

  • Alpha

    Should also add “Now with amazing 17 minute battery life!”

    You can’t get something for nothing. Law of thermodynamics, etc.

  • Nick

    Actually, Alpha, a guy did manage to make a motor, electrical I think, that produced more power than it required. but he was bought out by the oil companies:/

    • TheCyberKnight

      @Nick
      Please, tell me you’re not serious.

    • JR

      That would mean that someone has actually produced a perpetual machine. Is that what you’re saying? Really? Kidding? Right?

  • mattprime86

    Moar power!

  • mattprime86

    Don’t ALL motors output more than they consume? Doesn’t every marketable invention EVER do that? If it didn’t, it would be pointless…

    • Alpha

      Sadly, this is not the first time I’ve heard of these magical perpetual energy machines.

      I’m still waiting for the 1800 brazillion kWh zero-point energy battery the size of a dime that’s supposed to be powering our inter-galactic voyages.

  • IAK

    Look at those processor ninjas! Honestly, I’d be more excited about a thin battery that last an entire week, than a processor that will have my phone heat up and sink through my desk.

  • Munir

    A motor will never produce more power than its input. If it can do so, then people will use that motor to run another generator while feeding the motor from the generator and use the extra power somewhere else. Then they will get power from nothing! You see how insane that sounds?

  • bb_turned_android

    This is great news. This will definitely lead to better battery life for the same power.

  • Zeake

    I’m NOT impressed. I want to see 4500+ battery. That will impress me.

  • Danc

    please stop trying to make your headlines sound like engadget’s. you should get your own voice.

  • Me

    I don’t need my phone to be faster than my laptop. However, I would like it to last the whole day.