One of the things Intel and AMD found during their clock speed race back in the early 2000s was that the smaller the production scale you can use, the easier it is to ramp up the clock speed of your chips. Not only that, but you also get to reduce your power consumption at the same time – a win-win situation.
Now Intel’s newest rival, ARM Holdings, is set to ramp up another gear in 2014 when it brings down CPU production scale from 28 to 20-nanometres, enabling a clock speed rise up from its current 2.4GHz limit to 3GHz. The new production method will also see power consumption drop by 25%, improving battery life.
The new scale will be achieved by fabs-for-hire TSMC and GlobalFoundries and is expected to begin during the second-quarter of 2014, according to androidpc.es.
As demand for more performance sees chip makers and smartphone/tablet manufacturers continually increasing the core count inside CPUs, power consumption and battery life will be two key features that will need to be constantly considered. Reducing the production scale of SoC CPUs is one of the key tools chipmakers have at their disposal. That said, having already dropped down to 28nanometres and soon to become 20nm, there’s not a lot of room left before you can’t go any smaller.
In the meantime, one phone maker has gone to extra lengths to keep its latest smartphone cool. NEC’s Medias X N-06E has become the first smartphone to use water-cooling and our bet is over the next couple of years, it might not be the last.
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