ARM: dual core mobiles coming in 2010

The Nokia N900 uses the latest ARM mobile architecture
The Nokia N900 uses the latest ARM mobile architecture

ARM has revealed it expects dual core mobiles to be released in 2010, giving big improvements in speed and battery life.

Speaking to TechRadar, Rob Coombs, director of mobile solutions for ARM, said the company was 'hopeful' of a 2010 release, but it may be pushed back to 2011.

The new dual core Cortex A9 will allow mobile phone manufacturers to offer elements like Flash 10 on bigger screens, or pumping out content in higher definition to bigger screens.

Silly speeds

"We don't need silly GHz speeds," Coombs told us when talking about life beyond the current crop of 1GHz processors. "With our dual core A9, we can get two times the performance, without the speed draining the battery so by the time you get home your phone is dead."

While Coombs admitted that current processor offerings were probably enough, he pointed to some interesting options the likes of the A9 will offer:

"They will allow user interfaces to be a bit more reactive, with some cool and weird options. For instance, if future mobiles rely on speech recognition, which is a processor hogging application, we can deal with that."

Showing off

Coombs also revealed ARM has clocked the A9 up to 2GHz speeds, but purely as a demonstrative exercise:

"That [speed] is more about PC specifications, and would probably be too hot for a smartphone - you'd want something that was a bit cool and lasted an extra day on battery life."

However, with the likes of Google's Chrome OS coming to the PC market ARM is looking to push into netbooks in the near future with its high-powered architecture.

Coombs also revealed that ARM is 'always talking to Microsoft' and that there is 'No technological reason why its chips can't be used with Windows PCs.'

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.