Samsung Orion – ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core, Low Power Application Processor For Mobile Devices

Written By Sam on 9 September 2010
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Samsung Electronics has introduced its 1GHz ARM Cortex A9-based dual-core application processor, codenamed Orion. The processor, designed for advanced mobile applications, will be demonstrated at the seventh annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum in Taiwan. Designed using Samsung’s 45 nanometer low-power process technology, Orion features a pair of 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores, each equipped with a 32KB data cache and a 32KB instruction cache. Orion also includes a 1MB L2 cache to optimize CPU processing performance and to provide fast context switching in a multi-tasking environment.

In addition, the memory interface and bus architecture of Orion supports data intensive multimedia applications including full HD video playback and high speed 3D action games, the company said. Samsung is pretty upbeat about Orion’s “rich portfolio of advanced multimedia features”. The company boasts features like video encoder/decoder that support 30fps video playback and recording at 1080P full HD resolution. Using an improved graphics processing unit (GPU), the new processors are claimed to be capable of delivering five times the 3D graphics performance over the previous generation of processors from Samsung.

Of the multimedia features, the processor’s onboard triple display controller architecture invites attention. We are told a mobile device using the Orion Processor can simultaneously support two on-device display screens, while driving a third external display such as a TV or a monitor, via an on-chip an HDMI port. In addition, a global positioning system (GPS) receiver baseband processor is embedded in the processor to support location based services (LBS) aimed at emerging mobile applications. Orion is designed to support package-on-package (POP) with memory stacking to reduce the footprint. The company has further informed that a derivative of the processor, which is housed in a standalone package with a 0.8mm ball pitch, is also available. Orion is scheduled for mass production in the first half of 2011.

One Response to “Samsung Orion – ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-Core, Low Power Application Processor For Mobile Devices”

  1. JohnB says:

    Orion’s CPU core will perform about the same as other Cortex A9 based processors. The most interesting aspect of Orion is its GPU – Samsung claims it is up to 5 times faster than Hummingbird, which is already the fastest on the market! If this is true, Samsung will again have the fastest GPU on the market amongst Cortex A9 based processors (well, at least according to this article)!

    Here’s a good article for Samsung Orion, if yo want to know a bit more details on this processor:

    http://smartphonebenchmarks.com/forum/index.php?/topic/94-looking- into-samsung-orion-samsungs-implementation-of-arm-cortex-a9/

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