Low-power processor designer ARM announced a new generation of Cortex processors, the A15, which it said would provide a five fold improvement in performance over today's mobile processors.
ARM creates processor designs which are then licensed to chipmakers to integrate into their own system-on-chip (SoC) parts such as the Apple A4. The ARM Cortex-A8 CPUs are in virtually all of the current crop of high end smartphones such as the iPhone 4 and HTC Desire.
Next generation SoCs are just around the corner with Samsung announcing on Tuesday the 'Orion' based on a dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, embedded GPS, display controller and HDMI 1.3a interface and a graphcs part said to be five times faster than the 'Hummingbird' chip found in the firm's hot-selling Android handset, the Galaxy S.
Samsung's chip and others from the likes of TI and Qualcomm are expected to go into mass manufacturing this year to arrive in new handsets early 2011. ARMs Cortex-A15 will likely then be designed into new chips from the same sorts of companies to be begin manufacturing some time next year with handsets in 2012.
“The launch of the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor marks the beginning of an entirely new era for the ARM Partnership. It brings together more than 20 years of ARM expertise in low-power design with a host of new and very aggressive high-performance technologies,” said ARM processor division boss Mike Inglis. “The Cortex-A15 MPCore processor will become the next major step along the industry’s energy efficient computing roadmap and open up a wide range of new application possibilities for our Partners.”
The new Cortex-A15 is said to be even faster at switching from standby to wakeup, a particularly desirable feature on smartphones. The processor is also the first ARM core to support out-of-order execution which may provide the same sort of performance boost per clock as the move to the Cortex-A8.
ARM also hinted that the chip eventually targetting frequencies as high as 2.5GHz and with a built-in capability to address 1 terabyte of memory, also put the new processor in the running for non-wireless applications such as "base stations for managing cellular traffic, routers to direct the traffic across the connected landscape and servers," the company said.
ARM released a marketing video for the new Cortex-A15 which you can see below:
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