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Taiwan Semiconductor's Cortex A9 processor hits 3.1GHz thanks to 28nm technology

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Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) just announced a 28nm, ARM Cortex-A9 processor test chip that reaches a whopping 3.1GHz under normal operating conditions.

TMSC chips
TMSC chips

Mobile processor architecture is changing at almost a ridiculous pace — back in 2010, the single-core, 1GHz Snapdragon processor in the Nexus One was a marvel to behold. We're way past that now, with quad-core processors powering the latest handsets, but Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is pushing things even further. It's just announced a 28nm, ARM Cortex-A9 processor test chip that reaches a whopping 3.1GHz under normal operating conditions. The processor has a wide speed range — normally it sits at 1.5 to 2.0 GHz, but can run up to 3.1GHz for "high-performance uses." While it's not clear exactly when TSMC will begin shipping chips that can reach this extreme speed, it's just another example of how important the 28nm manufacturing process is to advancing the mobile computing industry — when phones and tablets start using these chips, what's cutting-edge to us will likely feel as outdated as the Nexus One does now.