Samsung launches dual-core A9 Orion

Samsung has announced its dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor will start shipping in the fourth quarter and hit the mass market early next year. The 45nm processor design, codenamed Orion, uses a pair of Cortex A9 cores which both have a 32KB data and a 32KB instruction cache.

Samsung also added a 1MB L2 cache. It includes a GPS receiver baseband processor to enable GPS-based location based services.

According to the company, it will support 30fps video playback and recording at 1080 full HD resolution. Coupled with a better GPU, Orion is supposed to deliver five times better 3D graphics performance than Samsung’s previous generation.

Makers of mobile gadgets will be able to use it with various storage types, such as NAND flash, moviNANDTM, SSD or HDD providing both SATA, and eMMC interfaces. In terms of memory, Orion can be bunged with with LPDDR2 or DDR3, depending on what device the maker has in mind.

On top of that, it has a native triple display controller architecture, meaning it can show stuff on two displays on a gadget, while at the same time being connected to a telly using a HDMI 1.3a interface.

The first prototype netbooks, tablets and smartphones packing Orion can be expected soon.

Market soothsaying outfit Juniper Research expects that dual-core application processors like the Orion will boost the high-end smartphone market in the next couple of years to reach shipments worth $94 billion by 2015.

However, smartphone demand will only be high in the oversaturated and developed first world, Africa and parts of Latin America won’t have the economic clout to buy such devices.

Samsung also announced Saratoga, a 32nm application processor based on an ARM1176 core. Saratoga is the first processor made using a 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HKMG) process says Samsung. The low-power chip supports OpenVG and features 2D graphics acceleration. It is intended to be used in ebook readers, navigation devices and electronic dictionaries.