Samsung delivers frontal mobile assault

Samsung Electronics has officially opened hostilities in the gadget business with a bevy of new tech launches that crack the market wide open for a next generation of mobile devices.

The announcements made this morning were headlined by the 'Orion' applications processor, a dual-core ARM A9 Cortex CPU design built on Samsung's low-power 45nm processor. This apps processor, says the company, will provide oodles of performance for everything you might think of.

The processor specifications are quite yummy, actually. The dual-core processor has 32KB+32KB of L1 cache and 1MB of L2 cache, 1GHz core speed and support for mobile and desktop storage whether it be NAND, moviNAND, SSDs or HDDs. Memory support comes in the form of Low Power DDR2 (which is also being tweaked chez Samsung) and DDR3.

The GPU is another star in this Orion constellation, as it is supposed to deliver up to five times the performance of the previous generation. Orion also embeds a GPS directly into the silicon.

Of the above features, one in particular should get the blood coursing through your veins: the GPU, which Samsung claims will do just about anything five times better than its predecessor.

According to the company, this GPU will be able to decode and encode 1080p video at 30 fps, as well as accelerating 3D graphics and outputting video to a total of three devices simultaneously (yes, a triple-display controller).

The third display receives the signal from an HDMI 1.3a interface, which means you can simply plonk the device in the living room and connect it to your big screen LCD TV, playing back Blu-ray-quality video to your heart's content.

Samsung has gone for extreme integration in this design, and extreme integration usually brings with it extensive power savings. Devices built on the Orion will certainly give Intel's Atom, Qualcomm's Snapdragon, Nvidia's Tegra and Apple's A4 a run for their money.

This general overview should be enough to get everyone panting over just about any mobile device coming out of Samsung's labs during the next few months, we're sure.

The only downside to all the 'ooohs' and 'aahs' of amazement is that Samsung only builds for Samsung, unless this is a prequel to some new company strategy. You never know.