Freescale’s New i.MX6 Quad-Core CPUs to Power Tablets, Smart Phones

Freescale, the company that makes ARM-based CPUs found in just about every mobile device– smart phones, tablets, eReaders, and more–launched its new i.MX6 series CPU, which will offer greater performance and 3D graphics, among other features.

What does this mean for consumers? More power. Where most ARM-based CPUs have only one core, the i.MX6 series will come in single, dual, and quad-core versions. Given that we’ve seen some impressive performance from tablets and smart phones with a single core, a quad core chip will obviously take things to the next level. Devices utilizing it will be good enough for both content creation and consumption, according to Freescale.

Another advantage: Better multimedia. The dual and quad-core versions of the chip will offer three separate graphics cores that can be used simultaneously. This is great for games, of course, as well as HD movies and image or video editing software. Plus, devices will be capable of smooth 3D graphics in the UI, games, and video. These chips even make it possible for a device to capture and play back 3D video, as it includes support for HDMI 1.4.

Now, raw power isn’t everything.  Looking back over the past year of crappy tablets and eReaders, it’s easy to see how even good chips can be hampered by poor software–such as the ViewSonic G Tablet. Freescale says that they’ve made it easier on manufacturers by creating one architecture for all three versions of the i.MX6; this should cut down on the time it takes to create software and get a product to market.

The bottom line is that the mobile devices we’ll see with this chip are not only going to be fast, they’re also going to do more. And you won’t have to wait too long for it. Devices using the i.MX6 processor should arrive in mid-to-late 2011. We’re going to drop by Freescale’s booth during CES this week to get a peek at some of the mobile gadgets powered by their chips.

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