ARM Cortex A-9 (via TSMC)
Today's processor industry is largely controlled by two companies, Intel and ARM Holdings. Intel produces processors running in most of today’s laptops, desktops, and servers. On the other hand, ARM largely dominates the quickly growing mobile industry. Both are looking to invade each others markets soon by developing processors with high performance and low power consumption, or a strong performance per watt ratio.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) may have just made ARM Holdings future in the CPU market a bit more promising. At TSMC, they have recently ran a 28nm dual-core ARM Cortex A-9 processor at a max speed of 3.1GHz. The clock speed is 55% higher than present and is about twice as fast as its 40nm counterpart at TSMC. Additionally, the ARM chips also have the advantage of very little heat dissipation, giving them the ability to be densely packed together with one another.
Two of ARM's many partners include Nvidia and Calxeda, are both looking to produce ARM based processors to compete with Intel. Calxeda is working on producing chips for servers that work more efficiently. Such as implementing overlapping operations during each clock cycle to allow better speed handling. The method gives them an efficiency boost and may work to an advantage for large data retrieving applications such as web hosting.
TSMC also produces mobile chips for Nvidia. The successful high speed processing test can also mean good things for Nvidia. Nvidia is working on a custom ARM based processor to use in desktops and laptops to compete with Intel. The CPU project dubbed Project Denver has already been in development for some time, but TSMC's latest breakthrough could give the project a large boost.
The coming products produced from this “competition” should give us some interesting products in the future. Both companies will not easily be letting other companies invade their markets. The server market is worth $50 billion due to the rise of cloud computing and use of social networking. In addition, everyone can see the rise in the uses of tablets and smart phones. The competition will lead us into the future of processor technology, which will be developed with these two companies paving the way.