Marvell Launches Fleet of Armada ARM CPUs

We may talk a lot about Core i7 and Phenoms, but one type of processor that never gets as big a spotlight is those based off of ARM technology.

ARM chips are hugely popular. According to analyst firm the Linley Group, ARM instruction set CPUs power 98 percent of all mobile phones and are becoming the standard for other forms of mobile computing.

Semiconductor company Marvell today announced a new family of ARM-based processors it is calling "Armada" designed specifically for next generation ARM instruction set smartphones, smartbooks, consumer and embedded devices, and displays.

Marvell's Armada fleet will consist of four models: the 100, 500, 600 and 1000, each with varying target segments. Some models are capable of supporting Adobe Flash technology and Blu-ray 1080p decode.

The Armada 100 series is aimed at mainstream Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), connected consumer products, e-readers, and new personal information appliances. The specs for the 100 series are:
Marvell Sheeva ARMv5 at 400MHz –1.2GHz
Wireless MMX2
Up to 128K L2 cache
2D hardware accelerated graphics
DDR2/LPDDR
WUXGA resolution with HD 720p MPEG4

The Armada 500 series is aimed at high-end smartbooks and tablets. The specs for the 500 series are:
Marvell Sheeva ARMv7 at 1.2GHz
Wireless MMX2
512K L2 cache
2D/3D hardware accelerated graphics
DDR2
WUXGA, HD1080p video playback
Integrated SATA, PCIe and Gigabit Ethernet
Security

The Armada 600 series is dedicated to high-end smartphones. The specs for the 600 series are:
Marvell Sheeva ARMv7 at 1GHz
Wireless MMX2
256K L2 cache
2D/3D hardware accelerated graphics
LP-DDR1/DDR2 and DDR3 support
WUXGA, HD1080p video encode/playback
HW security
Ultra low power operation

The Armada 1000 series is focused on Blu-ray players, digital media adapters (DMAs), connected digital TVs, streaming HD set-top boxes. The specs for the 1000 series are:
Dual Marvell Sheeva ARMv5 at 1.2GHz
Wireless MMX2
2D hardware graphics
DDR2
Dual HD1080p video playback
High performance audio DSP
Integrated award-winning Qdeo video processing
Integrated SATA, PCIe, SDIO, USB, Ethernet, and HDMI
Security

Marvell hasn't yet announced any product partners that will be using its chips, but the company expects them to look something like the product images used in this story.