Allwinner gets on the 64bit MPU bandwagon
The latest chipmaker to make the cut in the race to meet the rising requirement for 64bit application processors is Allwinner Technology, with its recent introduction of a tablet processor it expects to release by the end of the year. The firm also said it has a 64bit development board in the works, which should be ready for demo during the Hong Kong Electronics Fair in 2014.
The processor includes support for 4K video codec, H.265, and leading fabrication process. Designed to achieve low power drain to mobile electronics, the chip is positioned as a cost-effective tablet solution to ODM/OEM partners and end-users worldwide.
"The 64bit era is absolutely the new trend. As one of the most important strategic partners of ARM, Allwinner will team with ARM to take the lead in providing highly cost-effective 64bit tablet solutions," said Jack Lee, CMO of Allwinner.
Like other 64bit processors, Allwinner chips feature ARMv8-A implementation. This facilitates delivery of energy-efficient performance and 64bit capability while still addressing current 32bit applications, according to James Bruce, director of mobile solutions at ARM.
Upon release, Allwinner's processors will face competition from several tech big names such as Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Nvidia, which all announced their own 64bit mobile platforms at Mobile World Congress in February.
MediaTek chips targeted at mid-range market sub-segment integrate 4G LTE modem that runs at speeds of up to 150Mbit/s downlink and 50Mbit/s uplink. Qualcomm Snapdragon platforms, on the other hand, brandish the 4th Generation Cat 6 LTE Advanced multi-mode modem for high-end mobile devices, enabling speeds of up to 300Mb/s in a broad set of spectrum deployment configurations.
Allwinner said in an email exchange with EE Times Asia that it will pursue the entry-level to mid-level tablet market sub-segments with its processors, which will feature Android L and next-generation Windows support.
It is not clear how the Allwinner 64bit processors compare against other vendors', but the firm said it will later announce the specifics of the cores including the GPU and video engines. Allwinner also mentioned that it is looking to Linaro's Android Open Source Project (AOSP) build for ARMv8-A for differentiation.
The AOSP build has been tested on the ARMv8-A 64bit hardware development platform "Juno," and made available for part of the Linaro 14.06 release. Allwinner said that it will take advantage of its position as a member of the Linaro organisation and utilise the AOSP build as the key building block to ensure differentiated solutions across multiple markets.
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