Vince Zhou, General Manager at NUFRONT CSC on their adoption of ARM’s Cortex-A9 processor and Mali multi-core graphics processor technology, and high-performance Physical IP
Based in Beijing, NUFRONT was founded by Chinese technology experts who have brought our Silicon Valley experience back to China. We have created a highly innovative company developing a broad range of technologies including wireless communication, video search and digital image processing systems and computing system chips. We have an extensive partnership with industry- leading companies, both within China and world-wide, and also with first-class Chinese universities and academic institutes. One of these partnerships is with ARM.
The PC chip market is now being opened up to new companies and a new computing era is coming. This has been enabled by advances in high-performance system- on-chip design and the combined talents of best-in-class companies coming together from across the semiconductor industry. These companies bring their technology and experience, developed in mobile handsets and consumer electronics, to create a highly power-efficient and versatile user-experience.
In August 2010 NUFRONT launched the NuSmartTM 2816. This is the world’s first chip to integrate a 2GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and Mali multi-core graphics processor with all of the functionality that you would expect to find within a desktop computer, including interfaces to high speed DDR2/3 memory, SATA HDD/SSD storage, USB and Ethernet. Built on 40nm process technology, the NuSmart 2816 runs at 1.6-2.0GHz and consumes less than 2 Watts, which is much less power than current PC-chips.
We chose to use the ARM processors because, when combined with ARM’s physical IP, this technology delivers the balance between high-performance and low-power we needed. In addition, the ARM ecosystem of software companies further extends our partnership and enables NUFRONT to provide PC-class operating systems and application software to go with our PC-class chip.
For 2011, we have set a target that $250 laptops will be widely available in China and rest of the world, based on the NuSmart 2816. Together with our partners we have an opportunity to create low-cost laptops with low-energy chips that drive the new computing era.