In the mobile industry, just like any other really, there are heavy uses of buzzword and marketing ploys to grab your attention. The TV industry suffered from it with "HD Ready" sets, when there was next to no content in HD and for the last couple of years, Android phones and tablets have been packing quad-core processors, despite the evidence that they're not always as fast as they claim to be. It's no secret that we all want the fastest smartphone on the market and we all want to hold up our phone and proclaim that ours is faster than someone else's. All of this comes at a cost however, and smartphones are still pretty expensive for a lot of folk. So, what are you to do if you need a quad-core CPU in your phone and you just can't wait to get it? Well, you have to go the budget route.
Recently, MediaTek have seen their budget quad-core SoC find its way into products throughout Asia and now, it looks like it's going to be getting some competition. In the budget silicon world – at least when it comes to ARM-based CPUs – Marvell is another name that do a good job of pushing those prices down. They've announced a new SoC that packs in a quad-core CPU and all the other usual suspects including: a Vivante GPU that supports OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.1 and OpenVG 1.1 capable of decoding 1080p video and it supports the following cellular connections: 21Mbps HSPA+, TD-HSPA+, EDGE and WCDMA. The quad-core CPU is clocked at 1.2 Ghz a core and should be plenty good enough for the everyday sort of stuff.
You're probably wondering why Marvell are even bothering in such an SoC but as we always hear when covering Android news, there is a lot of money to be made in emerging markets, particularly in Asia. Being a key chip-supplier to a growing market is something that will prove to be quite lucrative for Marvell. Certainly, it's not something any of us would want to use but, they say devices will come under the $100 for smartphones and tablets. Which is pretty awesome, right?