The history of ARM

Nintendo DS (2004)

“The DS has two ARM processors in it, an ARM 9 and an ARM 7, the latter used mostly for backwards compatibility with the GBA,” explains Smythe. “When they moved to  the DSi they had to switch to two ARM 9s to support the larger screens and Internet connectivity.”

Apple iPhone (2007)

The original Apple smartphone, based on the ARM 11 CPU, revolutionalised the high-end mobile device market, providing an unfragmented userbase and workable digital shopfront for game developers. The later 3GS switched to a more powerful Cortex-A8 CPU.

Samsung Galaxy S (2010)

With its huge screen and broad array of features, this was widely considered to be last year’s finest Android smartphone. At its core, the Galaxy S has an ARM Cortex-A8, the same CPU as the Galaxy Tab, one of the leading Android tablets on the market.

Nintendo 3DS (2011)

The glasses-free 3D console uses a twin ARM 11 setup, employing the chipset’s SIMD media instructions to power the autostereoscopic visuals and augmented-reality apps. Another example of Nintendo using less-than-cutting-edge architecture to clever effect.

PlayStation Vita (TBC)

The forthcoming PSP successor boasts a quad-core Cortex-A9 setup for superlative processing performance. But watch out also for Nvidia’s Kal-El chipset, which marries a quad-core A9 setup to a 12-core GPU, promising to push out 2560×1600 ‘Extreme HD’ visuals.

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