The world's two most visually engaging smartphones -- the iPhone
and the Pre
-- share very similar cores based on ARM's Cortex A8 architecture, and with the newer, more advanced Cortex A9 in the pipeline, you can't help but let your mind wander a bit as you envision what twice as much computational power could bring to a handset. The A9 employs more advanced instruction pipelining than its predecessor, but the biggest news has to be the fact that it can pack two or more cores -- and ARM fully expects dual-core A9-based phones to hit in 2010. Of course, power consumption is the biggest constraint when it comes to this category of device, and while the company says that peak drain will exceed that on today's crop of devices, average consumption will actually drop thanks largely to a move from 65nm to 45nm manufacturing processes. Add in 1080p video promised by TI's next-gen OMAP4 silicon
wrapped around an A9 core, and you've basically got a home theater in your pocket that's ready to rock for a few hours on a charge. That and Snoop Dogg, of course.