Consumers may soon be able to get their hands on mobile devices that support flashier multimedia content and services thanks to a speedy new chip being developed by Samsung Electronics.
Samsung claimed that its S3C2440 chip would be the "world's fastest" CPU (central processing unit) for gadgets such as handheld computers and smart phones. With a clock speed of up to 533 MHz, it was being designed to keep power consumption to a minimum and would support features such as a camera, touch-screen interface and USB (Universal Serial Bus) connection.
A representative at the Korean company couldn't say exactly how long it would be before the chip reached the market since it was still under development.
Mass production is planned to begin in the fourth-quarter of this year, however, and end-users could be clutching a S3C2440-powered smart phone or PDA (personal digital assistant) as soon as six months after that, the representative said.
The chip is based on the ARM920T core, with a 16/32-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computing) microprocessor and a core voltage of 1.3 volts. As well as offering high performance from relatively low power consumption, the chip is being designed to fit into small form factor devices.
Samsung is also trying to help device makers keep system costs down by offering a chip that doesn't require them to configure additional components. The S3C2440 has a built-in NAND flash boot loader, for example, so that high-density NAND flash memory can be installed without an additional support chip.
The popularity of mobile multimedia applications is driving the market for high speed, low power chips, according to Samsung. The company is sampling its S3C2440 CPU in 533 MHz, 400 MHz and 300 MHz versions. It supports the Windows CE, Palm, Symbian and Linux operating systems.
The representative said it was too early in the development process to name any manufacturing customers Samsung may have secured for the chip.