British based firm ARM Holdings has officially released its next generation Cortex-A9 processor - formerly known as Osprey - which can reach speeds of 2GHz and, we've been assured, higher frequencies as well.
The company today announced the development of two Cortex A9 MPCore hard macro implementations using TSMC's 40nm-G process. This will allow ARM partners to choose between a speed optimised version or a power optimised implementation. But even at 2GHz, the power consumption of the Cortex A9 won't exceed 2W.
Both Cortex implementations will support SMP operating systems and offer up to 8MB L2 cache memory, comparable to desktop x86 models from Intel and AMD. ARM will be looking to build on its success in the mobile segment - where its chips power the likes of the iPhone, the iPod Touch, the Pre and all the other smartphones on the market - to invade other segments as well.
15 firms amongst the biggest names in the semiconductor industry have licensed the IP from ARM. Expect to find a number of products based on the Cortex-A9 by the first half of 2010 with applications such as servers, video gateways, infrastructure networking, set-top boxes, Digital TV and even desktops.
"The Cortex-A9 MPCore processor has already been widely accepted as the processor of choice for high-performance embedded applications across a broad spectrum of demanding consumer and enterprise devices," said Eric Schorn, VP marketing of Processor Division at ARM.
ARM is becoming much more aggressive and because it has such a huge ecosystem, Intel will find it extremely difficult to crush it as it did for AMD. Maybe Intel should buy ARM outright or maybe they will be investing massively in making the Atom even more power efficient. One thing is sure, watch out this space.