Popular Chinese ARM chipmaker Allwinner has announced that its new A33 quad-core SoC CPU will hit mass production in July 2014.
The new SoC (system-on-a-chip) features four ARM-designed Cortex A7 cores along side ARM’s Mali400MP2 dual-core graphics engine and is a drop-in replacement for the previous dual-core A23 SoC.
According to the company, the SoC is priced at $US4.99 in quantity in an AXP233 package. However, it believes we’ll start seeing seven-inch tablets powered by the new quad-core option with prices starting at $US40 for basic 800×480-pixel resolution, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of flash. Larger iPad mini-style models with 7.85-inch chassis and 1024×768-pixel resolution touch panel will sell for around $US45 with the same RAM, flash and Allwinner A33 SoC CPU.
Spend another $US5 and you’ll see eight-inch models with 1280×800-pixel resolution.
The Cortex A7 core is fairly long in the tooth these days and isn’t likely to match even the Rockchip RK3188 quad-core Cortex A9 SoC with its quad Mali400MP4 GPU engines for application (or gaming) performance. However, this is the first time quad-core tablets will hit the $US40 mark. That said, it seems a no-brainer to spend the extra $10 and go for a decent 1280×800-pixel screen for the higher pixel density.
According to ARMdevices.net, Allwinner is claiming a lower power consumption for the A33 than the dual-core A23 (something we find difficult to believe). If so, it’ll be an impressive achievement.
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