ARM has finally taped out their 28nm process dual core Cortex A9 HKMG processor at Global Foundries; the processor will run between 2-2.5GHz and offer improved performance over their past generation which was 40nm and ran about 500MHz slower. 

At first you might assume this means very little to the enthusiast but that is a mistaken assumption as the number of ARM processors currently in use is estimated to be about 20 billion or about 90% of all embedded 32-bit RISC processors in use.  ASUS has demonstrated a Win7 based tablet that is powered by a ARM v7 processor so these new dual core, low voltage, low heat processors will be powering a device that you own very soon.  A second example would be nVIDIA’s Tegra which is also designed with the help of ARMs architecture and represents something very different from the usual embedded applications that ARM is associated with.

As it has just taped out we do not have a lot of information on the architecture or the capabilities of this chip but you can read about the current generation single core 40nm TSMC made Cortex A9 at ARMs website here.

It’s the processor you didn’t even know you loved and it is about to get better.

ARM's Cortex A9 dual core taped out on 28nm with GlobalFoundries - Processors 2

Click on the picture for a larger version of the slide.