It’s probably not a big surprise that we’ll see ARM-based chips that offer faster speeds and consume less power next year. But if you’re wondering how chip makers will achieve that, TSMC and GlobalFoundries both say they’ll start producing chips based on 20nm designs in 2014.
That should allow for ARM-based chips that run at up to 3 GHz while using less power than the 28m chips that lead the market today.
Theoretically we could see devices with up to 25 percent better battery life and up to 30 percent higher performance.
Today’s top-of-the-line chips from Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA, and Rockchip tend to be based on the less-efficient 28nm architecture and typically don’t reach clock speeds higher than 2.3 GHz.
But it’s not just makers of ARM-based chips that are making processors more efficient. Intel continues to reduce the power consumption of its processors while improving performance — and while once upon a time that only really mattered in the laptop, desktop, and server arena, Intel is making a big play for smartphones and tablets these days.
So in 2014, devices with 20nm ARM chips won’t just be competing with older ARM-based processors, they’ll also be going head-to-head with Intel’s 22nm Bay Trail and Merrifield chips for mobile devices.