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Processors: What to Expect From Cpus in 2012

Nvidias Tegra 2

NVIDIAs Tegra 2 chip will soon be replaced by the quad-core Tegra 3 chip.

Analysts expect that the next generation of central processing units (CPUs) will offer more speed and consume less power.

For example, Intel will shrink its Sandy Bridge microarchitecture down to the 22-nanometer process, which will lead to new CPUs, code named Ivy Bridge, that will be even more energy efficient and more powerful. An Ivy Bridge CPU will supply performance similar to that of a Sandy Bridge CPU while using less power, and it will offer better performance while using the same amount of power. It is possible that Ivy Bridge CPUs and products equipped with them will be available by the second quarter of 2012.

AMD is focusing on Fusion Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), which combine CPUs and graphical processing units onto a single piece of silicon. AMD also recently released its Bulldozer architecture. The company will follow up the Bulldozer microarchitecture with Piledriver, an enhanced variant of the Bulldozer core that is expected to be a 32-nanometer architecture.

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 is one of the first quad-core mobile CPUs to hit the market, and the latest in Nvidia’s Tegra system-on-a-chip line. The system consists of an ARM Cortex A9 CPU with an integrated 12-core GeForce GPU to power the graphics. Expect a deluge of Android tablets to use these chips, as device manufacturers pile on the features in a never-ending arms race.

Qualcomm will introduce its quad-core Snapdragon S4 chips by the 2012 holiday season. The chips, which are built on the 28-nanometer process, will support tablet computers running Windows 8.

From PC World
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