Broadcom launches new BCM23550 quad-core CPU for mid-range smartphones

broadcomIt doesn’t seem to matter just how filled up the market gets with CPUs, there’s always room for one more.

Latest cab off the rank is Broadcom with its new BCM23550 chip aimed squarely at the burgeoning mid-range smartphone market.

The BCM23550 is a quad-core designed built around ARM’s popular Cortex A7 core architecture. It’ll run at 1.2GHz clock speed but also have extras such as 5GHz W-Fi. And in a market that’s gone decidedly all ‘photographic’ this week, the BCM23550 has enough horsepower to plough through 12MP of image sensor data.

According to The Inquirer, the chips are sampling now and should be ready for production in third-quarter, possibly with a view to products being on store shelves by Christmas.

The only drawback we can see from Broadcom’s announcement is the screen support seems to top out at 720p (1280×720-pixel) resolution – probably why its been marketed for mid-range smartphones or ‘high-performance entry-level smartphones’ in Broadcom parlance.

Broadcom is probably better known for its base-band communications technology, but these days, it’s also equally well-known for providing the brains behind the famed Raspberry Pi computer. That design uses the BCM2835 SoC CPU, clocking in at 700MHz with a built-in graphics core. That chip is based on ARM11 technology, namely ARM’s ARM1176JZFS core design with added support for MPEG-4 hardware video decoding added in.

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