Marvell is planning a new chip that could be a major speed update for both smartphones and tablets, an insider reportedly said Wednesday. The Armada 628 would have three cores rather than the two being promised by most. Dow Jones' source explained that it would reduce power use by reducing the workload and would serve as a traffic controller, using the third core to juggle data between the first two.
It's believed to be in testing by "lead customers" and would be in devices as soon as early 2011.
While not directly connected, RIM is one of the most prominent candidates. The Canadian smartphone pioneer uses Marvell chips for most of its lineup, going so far as to use an older example in the BlackBerry Torch. A faster core like the Armada 618 could also find its way into the rumored BlackPad tablet.
Apple and Samsung won't be affected as they custom develop their own chips, usually making slight modifications to the reference ARM formula. Marvell may instead cater to companies looking to use its Moby reference tablet for their own ends.