Update: The launch of the Marvell Armada 628 has been confirmed by the manufacturer. This ultra-low power processor will indeed carry three ARM-compliant CPU cores running at a handsome 1.5GHz (two of them + one lower consumption core), an on-chip graphics processing engine, 1080p video encoding, hi-fi audio, and even USB 3.0 support. With such impressive capabilities at hand, we must wonder what the ideal consumer device for this SoC (System-on-a-Chip) will look like when it arrives next year.

Marvell is developing a new chip that could bring a speed boost for handsets and slates, according to an unnamed industry insider. The company is whipping up a triple-core ARM-based processor known as the Armada 628, the source said. It will reportedly offer more performance than its predecessors and its third core will aid in load balancing between the first and second cores. Further details were not provided, apart from a vague launch timeline.

The Armada 628 is currently in testing by "lead customers" and it could debut as early as the first quarter of 2011. The source wasn't quick to drop any names, but RIM seems like a prime candidate, as it uses Marvell chips in many of its mobile devices. Conveniently, the BlackBerry maker is expected to unveil a new tablet PC in the coming days or weeks, but we'll refrain from speculating. Marvell's new chip will arrive in a similar window as products from competitors including Nvidia (Tegra), Samsung (Hummingbird) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon).