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February 21, 2013

Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt: The story behind the Core

So one of the more curious issues behind the recently launched Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt is the type of chip (SoC) they used with it. We dug a bit deeper into that so we can easily explain to you the details in a more condensed manner.

Actions Semiconductor is practically an unfamiliar name to most of us. We’ve been accustomed to hearing the popular Snapdragon brand from Qualcomm, the Tegra brand from NVidia and the Exynos from Samsung. Some might also be familiar with the TI OMAP chips from Texas Instruments and then there’s Mediatek which has been a popular choice of a lot of local and Asian brands (Alcatel, Lenovo, O+, Cherry Mobile) because they are much cheaper compared to the popular ones.

So how did the Fusion Bolt ended up with an Actions Semiconductor quad-core chip? This is probably because Ainol and Actions had a previous arrangement that a number of the new tablets from Ainol would be using the dual-core and quad-core chips from Actions. This move is primarily driven by cost of the chips. Mediatek has recently announced they also have a quad-core chip but maybe the ones from Actions is cheaper (or faster to market, or a combination of both).

From my previous discussion with CM, they’ve confirmed that they have some sort of licensing agreement with Ainol (probably the same way with other OEMs of their phones). This means they can take any one or more of their devices in the product line and re-label them straight out of the factory. You can only do this if you order in the thousands (it’s normally between 1,000 to 10,000 depending on the cost of each unit).

In the case of the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt, it was a re-labeled Ainol Novo 7 Venus Lite. The processor used is an Actions Semiconductor ATM7025 quad-core processor with a clock speed of 1.0GHz. There’s a lot of evidence (including the CPUID) that it is based on a smaller, and slower Cortex-A5 architecture and not the A9. It’s still a quad-core chip and will certainly benefit apps/processes that can fully utilize it. However, there are bench results that even a dual-core Cortex-A9 can almost match its performance.

Probably, the most questionable component of this chip is the Vivante GC1000 GPU. It is less known than Actions itself and with merely a dual-core graphics processor, is most likely the source of the bottleneck. It is also based on the 40nm process technology with a frequency of 630MHz.

Compare that to the popular ones like Mali-400MP which has 4 cores and is widely used by Samsung in their Exynos chips or the PowerVR SGX-554 quad-core GPU used in the new iPad 4 3 and the ULP GeForce on the Tegra 3 has 12 cores. And that’s just at the surface. We don’t want to dig deeper in too much technicalities here. We just want to point out that a good CPU should also be paired with an equally good GPU for more consistent performance.

We will soon find out once we get the final benchmarks and really see how this new chip combo really fares. More on that in our full review of the Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt.

Updated: We published a complete set of synthetic benchmarks of the CM Fusion Bolt here.


19 Responses to “Cherry Mobile Fusion Bolt: The story behind the Core”

  1. Freeje says:

    Got the Venus with the 7029 chip. Not so good in 3D gaming but if you need it for anything else then it’s ok. Screen and battery life are quite good.

  2. Robin Lim says:

    From the Antutu Benchmarks posted in PinoyTech Blog, the GPU seems decent enough, but the processor performance seems to be the bottleneck.

    • yuga says:

      We’ll do a complete suite of benchmarks today.

    • rui says:

      Looking forward to the review. Interested to see actual performance difference between this and the regular Venus (ATM7029 @1.2GHz). Also curious if this has dimpled back ala-Nexus 7 or if they switch to a diamond pattern similar to the Asus Memo.

  3. rui says:

    Correction, the iPad 3 has a PowerVR SGX543MP4 @250MHz (32 GFLOPS). It’s the iPad 4 that has a PowerVR SGX554MP4 @300MHz (76.8 GFLOPS).

    Also, I believe the Cortex A5 is newer than the Cortex A9. However, it’s a low-power, low-cost part which is considerably slower per clock compared to the Cortex A9.

  4. David says:

    In short, don’t expect a lot from this upcoming tablet or you’ll be disappointed. Hehe.

  5. CF_
    Twitter: carbonfiber_
    says:

    You get what you pay for.

  6. povillo says:

    please do a review and a comparison with a starmobile 7HD dual core tablet. Thanks

  7. chacha says:

    so if it’s a newer chip, it’s real power is not speed but power saving, so that’s why it’s cheaper, though a 1 gig RAM compensates for it, but not speed, but for running multiple apps. but hey it’s a P3,999 quadcore 1GB JB device, Panalo pa rin!

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  10. It is in reality a great and useful piece of information.
    I am happy that you just shared this useful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. my fusion bolt not working anymore. it cannot detect and connect to wifi. sayang 4k !!

    • povillo says:

      wait for a few minutes before setting the wifi to on. this may work though i am using a starmobile 7HD tablet which i also thought of malfunction. try waiting for at least 3 minutes.

  12. russian based says:

    Thanks for sharing such a fastidious idea, post is nice, thats why i have read it fully

  13. sanedracdj says:

    I got a CM Fusion Bolt a week now, my comments are the appearance is good, the screen in 4 angles,movie and videos runs so smooth in HD, IPS G sensor quick response and users friendly, downloaded apps,WPS Office,Adobe reader and others, the most exciting it runs Real Racing 3 game and other 3D games great. the downfall side add battery saver for battery enhancement too bad and hangs during switching on, not compatible with broadbands great with wi-fi connection,battery last only for 12 hours, great for in standby mode it lasted for 36 hours, full of use surfing nets and games reaches only 6 hours. price for the unit very affordable of 4k not bad. we look forward for the improvement, 2Ghz quad core, 2 gb RAM 2 gb ROM. hope there will be CM Fusion Bolt II grab the apps/OS of IPADS and enhance more it’s features. GREAT TABS cost for 4k.
    More Power to Cherry Mobile ! A True Pinoy Technology.

  14. insomniacno1 says:

    Could you check your facts an please contact CM, because there is alot of confusion on which CPU is inside. CM has sold this one as with Cortex A9 ATM7029 – but some people on slatedroid has taken theirs appart and those had Cortex A5 ATM7025 cpu. If in fact its sold as A9 but is really A5 then CM has made a serious mistake. I have tried contacting them, but they don’t reply to me – I think you would have better luck.

    JBJ

  15. adrian says:

    fusion bolt no power after 10 days from purchased,.
    why?????

  16. JBJ says:

    I’m back with sad new and a Good advice.

    The sad news is that my CM Fusion Bolt is bricked after only 4 months use, and now 7 months later still not repaired – why? Because the only place CM can repair it(or should I say ship to china) is from Manila, and they won’t accept hand-in by anyone else than the original owner. Also it took almost 4 months before I could get in touch with them since their email work but they don’t reply, andi had to wait until I were back in the Philippines to call them. Really BAD service.

    Also they adviced me that even if I hand in the tablet to local service center, then its just sent to Manila (and from there to china). So it will take more than 3 weeks to fix.

    The Good advice – Don’t buy Cherry Mobile at all, stay away from tablet and phones, because ther is NO after sales support.

    I’m Pissed!

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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