The Secret Future of Mobile Computing

December 4, 2011, By George Lang

Long-anticipated quad-core processing is finally arriving this month to the tablet PC (e.g., ASUS Transformer Prime). But what lies in the secret wings of Silicon Valley may astound those who have already committed their pocketbooks to the 40 nanometer Tegra 3 process.

California chip-maker nVIDIA plans to unveil an impressive array of 28 nanometer CPUs over the next few years; two of which have been rumored to become reality before the end of 2012—just in time for the release of Microsoft Windows 8 for both PC and Smartphone!

One 28 nm chip, code named “Logan,” has been leaked to be 10 times faster than the current 40 nm nVIDIA Tegra 3 installed in the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet. Keeping up with the Joneses of Chipville is no longer for the faint of heart—and is no longer a secret quest.

Patience has brought us to the brink of having our grubby little gaming fingers all over a quad-core tablet, only to find that next year’s models are taking a flying leap to an entirely new architectural metric. How important could this fundamental transformation be?

Well, if recent Intel transformations are any indication, it might be instructive to learn that whole new factory complexes were built to move Intel from the Pentium family of processors to the Core series. Real-estate was purchased, land cleared, and billion dollar facilities were engineered and built to accommodate the manufacture of silly little silicon chips!

The latest facility is being constructed in Chandler, Arizona and will house a 14 nm fabrication process. This new factory will cost billions and is scheduled for completion in 2013 (EE|Times).

Intel 14 nm Fab 42

The four major players all have similar plans in the works: Intel, AMD, nVIDIA, and Qualcomm are all spending billions upon billions of dollars in an effort to be the next major player in the processor wars. What the electronics consumer buys this holiday season will be a worn out disposable by the same time next year.

Keeping you up on the changes is our mission here at DeviceMAG. We are letting the secrets out of the proverbial bag. New knowledge plus a little patience, we hope, will help make your next purchase last a little longer than those made by the less informed. Happy holiday shopping!

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