For now, the HTC Flyer can console itself for not having a second core (like all the other guys) by noting that its 1.5GHz clock speed is faster than any other tablet. Pretty soon, however, the choice between speed and core count might not have to be made at all, as ZiiLabs has just announced new dual-core and quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 systems-on-chip that run at the same 1500MHz speed as the Flyer. Dubbed ZMS-20 and ZMS-40, respectively, they're taking the ZMS-08 legacy of focusing on HD video decoding even further, while also throwing in specific optimizations for Android Honeycomb tablets. The earlier-gen SOC was only picked up by parent company Creative, who inserted it in its ZiiO tablets, so let's hope the new silicon proves compelling enough for us to see it in more manufacturers' slates. Full PR and an intro video follow after the break.


Show full PR text
ZiiLABS Announces ZMS-20 & ZMS-40

Energy-Efficient Processors Optimized for High-Performance Android 3.0 Tablets


-- ZMS-20 Combines 48 Stemcell Media Processing Cores and Dual-Core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Processors to Reshape the Landscape for Tablet Computing

-- Quad-Core ZMS-40 Delivers Aggregated Cortex-A9 Clock Speed of up to 6GHz and Scales Up Total Performance to 100 Processing Cores

Singapore – 10th May 2011 – ZiiLABS, a pioneering media processor and platforms company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative Technology Ltd, today introduced its most powerful Zii family of energy-efficient media processors, the ZMS-20 and the ZMS-40.

Targeting the up and coming explosive tablet computing markets, the ZMS-20 (with Dual-Core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Processors) and ZMS-40 (with Quad-Core 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 Processors), besides having more than generous ARM processing power, are turbo-charged by an array of up to 96 Stemcell media processing cores to give an incredible performance of up to 100 processor cores, previously unheard of in the handheld mobile device markets!

Engineered for the high-resolution tablet computing markets, the ZMS-20 combines ZIiLABS' 48 Stemcell media processing cores with dual 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore processors with Neon to deliver stunning 1080p high profile video playback, immersive OpenGL ES 2.0 3D graphics, HD video calling and a rich desktop browsing experience including Adobe Flash Player.

With multi-core application acceleration and dynamic power management for longer battery life, the ZMS-20 delivers the efficient and high-performance platform required for the next generation of Android 3.0 based devices and beyond.

"Designed to increase application performance by 4X over the ZMS-08 processor, the ZMS-20 was specifically engineered to meet the performance and power efficiency requirements of high-resolution Android tablets more effectively than any other processor on the market," said Hock Leow, President of ZiiLABS. "The ZMS-08 established our leadership position for High Profile H.264 playback and the ZMS-20 takes that to the next level by adding dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores plus a host of new features such as DDR3 and LPDDR2 support, HDMI 1.4 and OpenCL."

"We are targeting this amazing family of ZMS-20 and the ZMS-40 Zii Stemcell media processors dead-on the explosive tablet computing market. The competitively priced ZMS-20, and the ZMS-40 with its quad Cortex-A9 cores will herald a new generation of low-cost, low-power yet high-performance tablets, mobile thin clients for cloud computing and other embedded appliances for the post-PC era," said Sim Wong Hoo, Chairman and CEO of Creative Technology Ltd.

"The design and development of ZMS-40 is done, we will unleash it to ride on the up and coming new wave of tablet computing revolution. The scalable ZMS-40 will lead the way to show the world that tablet computing can be truly effective and without any compromise. With the ZMS-40, we will be able to bring the performances of tablets or other handheld devices to rival notebooks and even desktop PCs." Sim added.

"As consumer demand for smarter connected devices increases, so does the industry's requirement for low-power, high performance semiconductor solutions," commented Eric Schorn, Vice President Marketing, Processor Division, ARM. "The combination of Cortex-A9 processors incorporating ARM NEON and TrustZone technologies provides the multicore technology to drive the latest Android tablets and ensure a high-quality user experience."

Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablets and associated design-kits based on the ZMS-20 will be showcased at the ZiiLABS suite (Grand Hyatt Hotel Taipei, Grand Room, #1137) in Taipei, Taiwan between 31 May and 4 June at the Computex 2011 tradeshow.

ZMS-20 Key Features
Dual 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A9 cores with Neon
ZiiLABS flexible Stemcell media processing capabilities
Low-energy SIMD architecture for high performance media acceleration
48 x 32-bit floating point media processing cores for 26GFlops of compute
High Profile H.264 video playback at 1080p@30fps
Wide range of accelerated video codecs including H.264, VC1 and VP8
High Definition, low latency video conferencing
Optimised OpenGL ES 2.0 for robust 3D graphics acceleration and application compatibility
Accelerated OpenCL 1.1 (desktop profile) integrated into Android NDK
High Dynamic Range (HDR) Image Processing
High-quality Text-to-Speech and Voice Recognition
150 MPixel/sec image processing
Adobe Flash 10 acceleration
Integrated HDM1 1.4 with 3D stereo support
1GB addressable memory
DDR2/3 at 533 MHz for low-cost
LPDDR2 for maximum memory bandwidth and low-power
64-bit wide memory bus
Quad independent video controllers supporting 24-bit displays and cameras
3V3 and 1V8 I/O's reduce peripheral power consumption
Dual USB 2.0 HS OTG (Host/Peripheral) controllers with PHY for low system cost
Three independent SDIO/MMC controllers
Extended battery life with robust Dynamic Power Management and Instantaneous On
Xtreme Fidelity X-Fi audio effects
Enhanced Security: 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) and TrustZone
Availability
The ZMS-20 is sampling now to select customers and is scheduled for volume shipment to customers in the 3rd quarter of 2011. Detailed specifications of the ZMS-40 will be announced later. Visit ZiiLABS suite (Grand Hyatt Hotel Taipei, Grand Room, #1137) at the Computex 2011 tradeshow to find out more.

Complete Tablet Solutions
ZiiLABS' high-quality OEM-ready reference platforms combine all the hardware, software and integration required to enable ODMs to rapidly deliver customized solutions to meet the growing demand for next-generation Android based tablets.