Alright, so Samsung wasn’t exactly the first kid on the block to break the mobile gigahertz barrier, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of effort. It looks like they’re ready to put that behind them, as they and partner Intrinsity have unveiled their first foray into the realm of high performance mobility: the 1 GHz Hummingbird processor.
The Hummingbird itself is based on ARM’s Cortex A8 processor, but what sets it self apart from other A8 processors are modifcations Samsung and Intrinsity’s crew have made to the Cortex arcitecture that allow it to run at such a high clock speed even at low voltage. According to Samsung, the Hummingbird also sports “32KB each of data and instruction caches, an L2 cache, the size of which can be customized, and an ARM® NEON™ multi-media extension.”
The real name of the Hummingbird’s game though, is low power consumption. Sure, we all know that raw processing power helps deliver a truly smooth experience with our phones, but the toll it takes on battery life is enough to make some people want to plow their fist through a window (and by some people, I mean myself). Despite what running a processor at that speed would do a phone’s battery, Sammy and Intrinsity don’t think they’ll be having too much trouble keeping the device running. According to Intrinsity CEO Bob Russo,
“Not only is it the fastest available Cortex-A8 processor in an LP technology on the market, but we believe it has the lowest leakage and dynamic power consumption of any high-end mobile processor core out there”
The Hummingbird seems poised to take on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon for the title of King of the Mobile Powerhouses, and with its focus on long battery life, it just may have an edge. Samsung has already started developing products that use the new processor, so hopefully, all our burning questions will soon be answered.