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Marvell announces new processor

Marvell announces new processor

The new processor from Marvell offers twice the 3D performance of rival Qualcomm's popular Snapdragon chip, claims the company.

Chip manufacturer Marvell has announced a new processor for portable devices which aims to give rival Qualcomm's 1GHz Snapdragon a run for its money.

As reported over on PC Magazine, the new Marvell Armada 618 is an ARM v7-based 1GHz processor with integrated 3D graphics support for DirectX, Open GL ES 2.0, and Open VG 1.1 - which the company claims offers rendering speeds of up to 45 million triangles per second, roughly double that offered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon.

As well as vastly improved 3D performance, the company's co-founder Weili Dai claimed that the new chip will enable "next generation smartphones to take a dramatic leap forward into high-end multimedia capabilities" with support for 1080p full-HD video playback via an in-built HDMI output and planned integration with 802.11n wireless chipsets.

The new chip also looks to keep the power draw down, despite its impressive performance: with support for low-power DDR-1 and DDR-2 memory and optimised power management, Dai claims that the Armada 618 will offer "longer battery life" than rival processors.

The 618 joins the lower-performance Armada 610 previously announced by the company which is aimed at lower-power devices such as e-readers and basic handsets, with the 618 taking pole position for high-end smartphone devices.

Marvell claims that the new chip is already in production, and that several unnamed manufacturers have already started integrating the processor into their products - although so far there's no comment on when Armada 618-based handsets will be hitting the market. The company has, however, promised to reveal reference designs at next week's Mobile World Congress trade show - at which point the manufacturers will probably come out of the woodwork to show off their new high-powered handsets.

Do you think that high-powered, HD-capable chips is the way forward for smartphones, or should companies be concentrating on offering reasonable functionality for a far lower power draw? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

13 Comments

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Arkanrais 12th February 2010, 15:28 Quote
I saw a video of a demonstration from Marvell where they were simultaneously streaming 1080p video to an external monitor while playing a 3d game that looked half decent on a reference handset, and another demo where they were playing 6 HD videos rendered onto 3d objects on screen.
Devices based on this look pretty damn awesome for something that fits in your pocket.
eddtox 12th February 2010, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkanrais
I saw a video of a demonstration from Marvell where they were simultaneously streaming 1080p video to an external monitor while playing a 3d game that looked half decent on a reference handset, and another demo where they were playing 6 HD videos rendered onto 3d objects on screen.
Devices based on this look pretty damn awesome for something that fits in your pocket.

Lol, I don't think my current desktop could do that :P
rickysio 12th February 2010, 15:34 Quote
**** Snapdragon, I want this.
Jux_Zeil 12th February 2010, 15:50 Quote
Personally I would like to see less of the 'look at the games you can now play on your phone' and more battery life,better reception locking and 3.5G everywhere other than in major town areas. I find that these gimmicks are just that, When you get to actually try it the product feels like a downgrade compared to my PC(or even my PSP). When are these manufacturing companies going to realise that when it comes to entertainment, bigger is better, that's why my TV keeps getting bigger and my PC keeps getting more powerful. It is great that I can view my emails and do a quick search of the news on my phone but HD is for a big screen and when does a mobile pocket phone stop being such and starts to become a PDA/handheld gaming console that needs a carry case with chargerfor when it dies within 4 hours. Rant over.
chrisb2e9 12th February 2010, 20:10 Quote
How does this compare to the Nvidia Tegra? Or is it a completely different playing field?
theflatworm 13th February 2010, 17:28 Quote
1080p on a tiny smartphone screen? Why does this strike me as a waste of pixels?
theflatworm 13th February 2010, 17:30 Quote
Whoops. I should actually read the article properly before I post. Though I'm not really sure why you'd want to hook one up to a tv screen. I use mine to make telephone calls.
crazyceo 13th February 2010, 21:04 Quote
When I wore a lad, a mobile phone used to just be a mobile phone!

I'm sorry but I still haven't been swayed by the smartphone brigade especially the iPhoney. I only picked up the HTC Touch Diamond2 because it was a free upgrade and it works fine as a phone and an alternative internet connection for my netbook through bluetooth.

Anyone else think these gimmicks are a waste of time and money for most users? Or am I just a grumpy ald tw@t! an honest opinion would be nice!
Saivert 14th February 2010, 06:13 Quote
well they still make regular handsets (non-smartphones) so there is still a choice if you like me just want a friggin phone.
klutch4891 14th February 2010, 06:23 Quote
While this sounds great on paper, how many people are actually going to store 1080p shows/videos on their phone and then play it over HDMI? I mean thats... 4 movies (assuming a 16gb card and a certain Bluray release team). Or you could carry around a laptop and just play your movies from there over HDMI.
Shagbag 14th February 2010, 13:42 Quote
This is exciting news. ARM is a great platform and Intel are justifiably worried. While Atom is a good x86 CPU it's not as power efficient. As general use computing heads more and more away from the desktop and more on to mobile devices (laptops... netbooks... smartphones) with Cloud-based storage solutions, I'm looking forward to the day when I can carry my mobile phone around and just hot-plug it with any screen, keyboard and mouse wherever I am. Even better: wireless screen/keyboard/mouse :) Truly mobile computing. To think of this technology as 'just for phones' only, is really missing the bigger picture, IMHO.
BLC 14th February 2010, 13:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
When I wore a lad, a mobile phone used to just be a mobile phone!

I'm sorry but I still haven't been swayed by the smartphone brigade especially the iPhoney. I only picked up the HTC Touch Diamond2 because it was a free upgrade and it works fine as a phone and an alternative internet connection for my netbook through bluetooth.

Anyone else think these gimmicks are a waste of time and money for most users? Or am I just a grumpy ald tw@t! an honest opinion would be nice!

I had my Touch Diamond stolen about two months ago, so I picked up a cheap (£40-ish) Sony Ericsson thing as a stopgap (still have about 10 months to run on my contract). About the only thing I am missing from a touchscreen smartphone is the higer speed data access. Even that's not really a problem: GPRS is fine for Facebook on the go, and I have a netbook with HSPA built in for when I want faster speeds. What I am enjoying however is the 4/5 day battery life I get, as opposed to just 1 day with the Diamond, and the simplicity. Sure my Diamond had loads of functionality but now I think about it, most of it was gimmicky and useless.
Gonzalo-Gonads 16th February 2010, 21:33 Quote
http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/mobilephones/overview/t700?cc=se&lc=en

Best phone I've ever had! Amazing state of the art features like text messages and colour screen make your phones feel ancient! No but really, a 10 day battery and small form factor really make it ideal!
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