British chip designer says A7 sets a new benchmark

ARM targets entry level smartphones with new Cortex-A7

British tech shop ARM has announced an upcoming mobile processor called the ARM Cortex-A7, the lower-end brother of the previously announced top end Cortex-A15.

Describing the new mobile chip as "the most energy-efficient application class processor ARM has ever developed", the Cortex-A7 is aimed at delivering full smartphone capability in sub $100 entry level smartphones.

Delivering five times the energy efficiency of the Cortex-A8, the new chip also includes technology the Cambridge-based chip designer calls Big.LITTLE processing which combines two processors with software selecting the right processor for tasks at hand.

The lower power processor runs the operating system and always-on basic applications but OS elements and applications can be migrated to the higher performance processor for demanding tasks such as navigation and gaming.

"As smartphones and tablets continue to evolve into users’ primary compute device, consumers are demanding performance as well as the always on, always connected service they expect," said ARM processor boss Mike Inglis.

"The challenge for our industry and the ARM ecosystem is how to deliver on this," he added. Inglis said the new Cortex-A7 set a new benchmark for power efficiency and redefined the relationship between power usage and performance.

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