Marvell eyes tri-core processor for mobile devices

Marvell Technology Group is planning to launch a tri-core, ARM-based processor targeted at the lucrative mobile device market.

The new chip – dubbed Armada 628 – is expected to “focus” on providing higher performance per watt compared to earlier iterations of the processor.

According to Shara Tibken of Dow Jones Newswires, Marvell’s unique tri-core design is expected to help facilitate more efficient switching and load balancing between the processor’s other two cores.

However, as Tibken points out, Marvell’s next-gen processor will debut in the shadow of fierce competition from rival industry heavyweights, including Nvidia (Tegra), Qualcomm (Snapdragon) and Samsung (Hummingbird).

“[Remember], chip makers are increasingly looking for mobile devices to drive growth as sales of traditional PCs slow [considerably]. 

“[But] like its rivals, Marvell has focused on expanding its presence, aiming its Armada chip line at tablets and other wireless gadgets.”

The advanced chip is currently undergoing extensive testing by “lead customers” and is expected to power smartphone and tablet devices by early 2011.