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MWC 2010: Marvell Armada Out to Sink Snapdragon

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Intel, I'd start getting worried if I were you...

Continuing the relentless push of ARM-based chipsets into the smartphone market today is Marvell, which has joined Qualcomm and Nvidia with a Snagpdragon and Tegra 2 beating chipset of its own.

The chip maker has announced the latest addition to its Armada series and the '618' is a doozy. Using an ARM v7 design, the Armada 618 matches its rivals with a 1GHz CPU and courts the gaming sector with 3G graphics capable of 45m triangles per second rendering, a complete floating point pipeline and unified vertex and fragment/pixel shading. It is also compatible with DirectX, Open GL ES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1.

From here things get even more interesting with support for Full HD 1080p video playback, 533MHz DDR2 memory, integrated 802.11n WiFi and HDMI. Furthermore, Marvell claims the Armada 618 operates at up to twice the speed of Snapdragon in real world tests giving it "PC-class performance", and also says it will deliver superior battery life. Marvell didn't put any figures behind these statements, so we'll just have to wait and see.

We're waiting on Marvell to announce design wins for the Armada 618, but the company has already said it is compatible with Linux, Android, Windows Mobile and full Adobe Flash so expect interest to be high. Next generation smartphones and smartbooks, here we come!

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