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Multi-Core ARM (iPhone) Chips Due in 2010

CNet reports that ARM will be delivering multi-core ARM chips in 2010, making multi-core iPhones and other smart phones possible.

"You'll definitely see handsets shipping with a dual-core A9 in 2010," James Bruce, wireless segment manager for ARM, said in a phone interview earlier this week, referring to the next-generation Cortex-A9 processor from ARM.

The iPhone currently is believed to use the ARM Cortex A8 processor. While still a notable improvement over the previous generation ARM chips, it remains a single core device. The move to dual-core ARM chips is expected to happen "relatively quickly" and should be seen in about a year.

An ARM representative reassured CNet that the dual-core ARM A9 is actually more power efficient than the A8.

"What we've done on the A9 is actually make it more power efficient than the A8. The dual-core A9 will be coming out on 45-nanometer rather than the (current) 65-nanometer process," Bruce said. Generally, the smaller the geometries, the faster and more power-efficient the processor is.
Bruce continued. "With the dual-core running at maximum load there's probably going to be an increase of about 10 to 20 percent in power consumption but in general day to day use you're actually going to see better battery life."