The rapid pace of technology has led to the ability to pack an impressive number of features and hardware into increasingly smaller systems, and that's what VIA has done with its new Artigo A1250. The Artigo A1250 is supposedly the world's smallest quad-core system, a statement VIA qualifies by limiting to x86 rigs (otherwise that distinction might belong to an ARM-based smartphone).
A few days after a little-known e-tailer was found taking pre-orders for the FX-4130, chip maker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Monday officially added the budget quad-core processor to its FX chip family. Besides launching the FX-4130, the company has also slashed the prices of a dozen or so desktop chips.
Qualcomm's newest mobile development platform is a quad-core tablet powered by a Snapdragon APQ8064 S4 Pro system-on-chip (SoC) clocked at 1.5GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. It runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) and has a 10.1-inch display pumping out 1366x768 pixels. All that juicy hardware (save for the screen resolution, which falls well short of the iPad 3's Retina Display and other Android models boasting Full HD 1080p panels) adds up to a powerful Mobile Development Platform (MDP/T) intended to give programmers a potent device to develop, test, optimize, and showcase their latest apps and games.
Smartphone makers by and large appear to be skipping tri-core silicon and heading straight into four-core territory as they roll out high-end models for 2012. One of those is the X3, LG's upcoming flagship quad-core smartphone that will be powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 chipset and Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform. A name change is probably in the cards.
Don't worry if you just locked yourself into a two-year contract with a dual-core smartphone, there aren't a ton of apps out there that truly take advantage all that computing power anyway. We're not saying that to make you feel bad about purchasing a dual-core phone; on the contrary, we don't think anyone should needlessly stress about all those quad-core devices on the horizon.
Hey, look who's finally joining the quad-core party! It's VIA, who according to reports, is announcing a new chip aptly called "QuadCore." The new part is comprised of two Nano X2 chips slapped onto a single package for a low-cost, low-power processor that will debut sometime in late 2011.
Project Kal-El is the codename for Nvidia's next generation Tegra processor, and if the spec sheet is any indication, it's going to be awesome. Nvidia says Kal-El is the world's first mobile quad-core CPU, and it just happens to contain a new 12-core GeForce GPU as well. Compared to Tegra 2, Nvidia says Kal-El is 5x faster, and you can bank on Kal-El devices being able to handle high resolution content. Nvidia's just getting started. By 2014, the Tegra platform will be in its 6th generation and offer nearly 75X better performance than Tegra 2.
Chip maker Qualcomm announced its next generation mobile processor architecture (codenamed Drait) on Monday, which will take the Snapdragon line to new heights and "redefine performance for the industry." That's marketing speak, of course, but more than just lip service. Next-generation Snapdragon processors will scorch to 2.5GHz and include up to four-cores. The end result, says Qualcomm, is 150 percent higher overall performance than before, and 65 percent less power consumption than the current crop of ARM processors.
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is just around the corner, and that means so is the official launch of Intel's Sandy Bridge architecture. If you've been waiting for one of these chips in mobile form, you'll be rewarded with four cores of computing muscle right off the bat, CNet reports.
"Quad-core goes live in January, dual-core goes live in February," CNet quotes an industry source involved with Sandy Bridge as saying. "OEMs are going to be going public with their quad-core laptops [at CES], but they can't go public with their dual-core laptops until mid-February."
The source went on to say that the dual-core delay is intended to give OEMS time to shift inventories of older products still in stock.
"CES frankly is a very bad time [to introduce products] for OEMs," CNet's source said. "Because they've now built up all of their systems for holiday and now you have new product coming out in January that has to replace the old stuff and it's not an easy transition for OEMs to manage."
Look for quad-core Sandy Bridge silicon to show up in both 15-inch and 17-inch laptops next month.
Intel isn't the only one with new processors on the horizon, AMD plans to release at least a couple of new chips within the next month or so as well, according to reports.
First up is the dual-core Athlon II X2 265. Like the 260, the 265 will carry a TDP of 64W and 2MB of total cache (2x512KB L2 and 1MB L3), but will come clocked slightly higher at 3.3GHz, compared to 3.2GHz. This one will most likely ship in late August.
Higher on the performance food chain is AMD's upcoming Athlon II X4 645. This will supplant the 640 as AMD's fastest Propus chip by upping the clockspeed from 3.0GHz to 3.1GHz. Like the 640, this one will ship in an AM3 package, support DDR3-1333 memory, and carry a 95W TDP. Look for the 645 to ship sometime in the third quarter.