Samsung's Hummingbird 1 GHz ARM Cortex processor already fares quite well against the 1 GHz Snapdragon in the GLBenchmark, and has helped power impressive sales of the Galaxy S line of Android smartphones across all major U.S. wireless carriers. Now, Samsung is introducing a new 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual-core processor, dubbed "Orion."
The Hummingbird, which powers devices like the Epic 4G and the upcoming Samsung Tab, is a single-core processor. The Orion features a pair of 1 GHz Cortex A9's, allowing an estimated 50 percent increase over the Hummingbird's power, while improving battery life and allowing 1080p video capability and HD recording.
"Mobile device designers need an application processor platform that delivers superb multimedia performance, fast CPU processing speed, and abundant memory bandwidth," Dojun Rhee, a representative for the Taiwanese tech company, said in a press release. "Samsung’s newest dual core application processor chip is designed specifically to fulfill such stringent performance requirements while maintaining long battery life.”
The A9's performance is based on its 45nm architecture, compared to the A8's 65nm. Each core will sport a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache, as well as a 1MB L2 cache "to optimize CPU processing performance and provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment." An enhanced GPU will allow five times the graphics performance over the Hummingbird, which should entice heavy gamers.
"Customers have the choice to use different types of storage including NAND flash, moviNAND, SSD or HDD providing both SATA, and eMMC interfaces. Customers can also choose their appropriate memory options including low power LPDDR2 or DDR3, which is commonly used for high performance," the press release said.
The Orion will also allow mobile devices to run two simultaneous on-screen displays, while powering another external display like a TV, thanks to an on-chip HDMI 1.3a interface.
The Orion will be available to "select customers" in Q4 of 2010, and will begin mass production in the first half of 2011. You can expect the first batch of Orion-powered smartphones to hit the market some time around then.