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RIM’s Love Story with the 624Mhz Marvell PXA930 Processor?

Since the BlackBerry Bold 9000 was launched way back in 2008 RIM has had a bit of a love story with the PXA930 processor from Marvell. This 624Mhz processor was nice and fast when it came out in 2008 but now in mid 2010 it is looking awfully dated.

BlackBerry BoardSo far the following devices have been confirmed to have this processor:

And it looks like the BlackBerry Torch 9800 got the same processor though I am still waiting to confirm that… So I have to ask why is RIM so tied to this processor that is 2 years old? CDMA devices seem to be running a different Qualcomm processor but I have not had a chance to compile that data. If anything RIM needs an upgrade just to be able to FINALLY add OpenGL support for GSM devices like they did for CDMA devices.

What do you think?

Thanks to ghostshell for prompting this article
(PCB board image for the BlackBerry Bold 9000  courtesy of PhoneWreck)

27 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. 9650 has a…?

  2. I know its a qualcomm processor but I am not sure if its the same QualComm MSM7601 as the original Tour. Still I am pretty sure it is also 624mhz but it adds opengl support so it may be a new version…

  3. Whilst, the 9800 hasn’t been released in Europe yet… I’m currently on the fence if I will “upgrade” from my 9700 or wait for the “9800 refresh” i.e. hopefully a faster processor, better screen and same battery as 9700.

    Articles, such as yours earlier today re hourglass, are swaying me to wait and see…

  4. Yes this processor is just terrible. While other phones have had 1ghz+ CPUs for some months now, it seems almost reckless that RIM has let themselves lag behind not just from a software perspective, but also a hardware one.

    I really think it’s a perception issue. The market is essentially demanding high-performance mobile devices, and RIM is essentially saying “no, you don’t need that” instead of just listening to what users want. Here’s to a 624MHz BlackPad!

    • Well, actually, for some people (and probably a lot) RIM is right saying no, you don’t need that speed, and no, you don’t need to occupy that much bandwidth, and no you don’t need to use that much battery every day…

  5. Got a Torch so i can run along side Ronen, i like it, will always keep my 9000, also have a 9700, iPhone 3GS and HTC Fuze, had to see the fuss with iPhone and WinMo, WinMo aint back if you install the SPB Shell, with the iPhone i missed my LED and more customizable message tones per contact.

  6. Good answer… browser experience would be better with a higher CPU

  7. How are you liking it so far?

  8. @Jeff…and the rest of you 1Ghz hopefuls…

    Look I’m in the same boat but perhaps we’re looking at it in an inaccurate way…

    For starters it’s not simply about 624Mhz or 1Ghz per se but in this case it’s about the wrong ARM “family” or generation of a CPU.RIM could have picked the ARM Cortex A8 and just run along with the 600Mhz limit as that chip has an OpenGL supporting 3D accelerator;PowerVR SGX.Bonus there if BB OS 6 needs real graphics firepower (so far most initial reviews indicate to that).Put it simply it’s the same chip in iPhone 3G S etc and are in fact the base for the much celebrated Samsung Hummingbird.

    The prob with RIM and its Blackberry ethos is this;batt life and this time they kinda stretched the card a wee bit too far.From my suggestive example above I don’t see the prob why didn’t RIM just design a heftier 2000mAh batt when 3rd party designers like Seidio are able to without sacrificing overall chassis design (not for BB models though but my point is..),for the Torch or other future models?People pull the economics per phone argument at this half the time and I call BS on that.

    It’s still the same as paying 2010 price for what’s roughly 2007/08 tech.

    • Ergonomics on a slider is much harder to minimize than non sliders.

      It’s less excusable on full touchscreen phones where the phone is basically a screen + battery… Pre had the same problem only a lot worse. The battery lasted about 5 hours… Yeah you could throw in a seidio to make it usable but you literally doubled the thickness of the back half of the phone…

  9. EVO 4G aint much better. 5-6 hours tops for a heavy user.

    Didn’t I just read that 1GHz Snapdragon can easily OC to 1.2 and has been pushed to 1.6. And a dual core version is coming soon!

    RIM uses this same family of CPU for so long so as to maintain the code base of the OS. Can you imagine how much longer we would be waiting for BlackBerry 6 if RIM had to port it to Cortex? Gadzooks!

    • There will be a new chipset BB fairly soon…

      The difference with RIM is that they plan their hardware upgrades way in advance. So if a device doesn’t make it in the window for certain hardware upgrades, they just postpone that for the next releases.

  10. How far in advance was the torch? Right now there has been nothing leaked (except for clamshell) and dont get me started on that. Its at least 6 mo to a year until a leaked device is released. What does RIM have up its collective sleeves? Im not feeling optimistic.

  11. The best part, by the time they come out with 1GHz processor device, others are using 2GHz :). Seriously, RIM need to star be innovative and be a trend setter and stop playing catch-up. They can’t just rely on fan boy, remember PALM used to have lots of fan boy and where are they now in the industry.

  12. 8520 does not have the PXA930? Is this the reason why 9300 will get OS 6 and 8520 not?

  13. Not to get into a bash war, but having come from a Bold 9000 (my first BlackBerry and I think one of the best phones I’ve ever owned) and looking forward to the 9800, I jumped ship to the iPhone 4. Yes, I miss my “real” keyboard and my LED light teamed with BerryBuzz and instant push mail . . . but I was not happy with the Torch 9800 experience.

    If / When RIM gets their act together and moves into the current realm of available hardware to support what we are expecting, I’ll sell the iPhone 4 and be back – even at full price, with no contract available. I will not be an iPhone-boi, I still miss all the pluses that BlackBerry gave me, but the 9800 doesn’t cut it for me.

    Come on Mike / RIM —-> Move Forward and give us the screen and processing power we want while keeping all the features that built you into a great company!

    I’ll be waiting and still haunting the BlackBerry Boards, waiting for “that” leak that shows RIM is listening to the loyal fans out here.

  14. Hey. I am not sure if this is out of topic, but, any idea what is the 8900 javelin using (the processor)?

  15. @Terrence:
    8900 has a Freescale SC29746VK according to phonewreck teardown.

  16. 9650 has the same MSM7600 as the Storm2 and Tour and Storm1. Phonewreck just released a 9650 teardown back on July 26.

    • What’s weird is that phonewreck says the Bold 9650 chip runs at 528MHz, even though they say it’s the same chip that’s in the Tour and the Storm2 and the Storm, and under the Storm they say it runs at 624MHz. Of course, that COULD contribute substantially to why the 9650 has so much better battery life than the Storm’s.

      • Better battery life? I’ve had an 8320, 8900, 8530, and the WORST battery life is on the 9650. I have to give it a full charge twice a day. TWICE! I carry a charged D-X1 with me at all times so I can swap out if I need to on the fly. I read online to check my Mobile Network settings, and I’m pretty sure I have it set correctly.

        • Notice I was speaking relative to the Storm. The 9650 (and 9630) crushes either Storm where battery life is concerned. And I have absolutely no doubt that any of those 8xxx devices you mention beat ANY 9xxx device for battery life hands down.

          Then again, my 7100i could go three days on a charge unless I was direct connecting all day.

  17. Off the top of my head here is why
    8320 312mhz
    8900 512mhz
    8530 512mhz qualcomm
    9650 624mhz qualcomm

    Keep in mind qualcomm chipsets are cdma which is not a tech that idles well so crappier battery life ensues

  18. @ronen @davidB
    Thanks for enlightening me.

    So, could tad be the reason why javelin won’t be sporting os6? Since it seems to me that the devices getting os 6 are the ones with <256mb of memory + 624mhz marvell processors?

    That's sad. I was planning get a torch to replace my current device in either a weeks time or 3 months time (if stock runs out and price reasonable – I'm not getting from at&t but from resellers probably ebay)..
    If its 3 months.. I still want to try os 6 on my jave nonetheless..

    I wonder, if a hybrid os including the webkit browser.. Possible? Would be work nicely?

  19. @Terrence:
    We can’t say BlackBerry 6 is limited to 624MHz Marvell devices since Bold 9650 doesn’t have that and IS getting BlackBerry 6.

    As for the Javelin, Ronen and I were specualting the other day that no trackball device will get BlackBerry 6. Time will tell.

    As for custom hybrids for devices RIM passes over, we’ll see. The hybrid community is likely hard at trying exactly that as we type. I suspect it will not be an easy task as the webkit code is obviously deeply embedded in the OS (as evidenced by current apps that rely on the browser engine are seriously broken when tried on BlackBerry 6). Keep your eye on bbhybrids.net though and hopefully we with unsupported devices will be pleasantly surprised. I’m not holding my breath though.

    RIM is known to make something like 85% of their revenue on device sales, so for them to invest programming resources ported BlackBerry 6 to “old” devices that aren’t going to generate any device sales for them would not be fiscally responsible if you think from a shareholder perspective. JMHO though.

  20. @david

    Opps. I meant running on a 624mhz processor.. Since ronen mentioned that the 9650 is on a 624mhz processor..

    Well, actually, I’m kinda confused with rim. After the 83xx (which I used), the launched the 8900, (then they said was 83xx replacement) then launched the 85xx series and also said the samething! And 85xx and 93xx are worse than 89xx except maybe a boost in processor and a trackpad. (IMO that is)

    Well definately keep a tab on that.

    Now, I juz have to figure out how to get my hands on.. This new device

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