ARM Unveiled Quad-Core Processors Based on Cortex-A15
The quad-core processor that we find in high-end devices like the Asus Transformer Prime and the HTC One X are based on ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. Now, ARM introduces a new quad-core variant that uses the Cortex-A15, based on 28nm architecture, each core can be clocked up to 2GHz, while consuming similar amount of power with current A9-based chips. The chip has fixed specification or also known as a “hard macro” variant. Many OEMs use “soft core” processors that allow more tweaking to meet specific requirements. ARM said that “hard macro” specification allows OEMs to cut down on research cost and implement the chip faster. The hard macro development results from a unique synergy between various components; such as ARM Cortex processor IP, CoreLink(™) System IP, Artisan® Physical IP, TSMC 28HPM process and ARM’s integration capabilities.
ARM projects that a proper balance between performance and power allows the processor, powering not only smartphones and tablets, but also netbook and thin network hardware. The IEEE symposium will be held in Japan soon and it’s a good opportunity for ARM to release more detail on the chip. While we won’t be seeing devices powered by this processor anytime soon, ARM is hoping to see an implementation on commercial products as early as Q4 2012. The “hard macro” specification might speed the manufacturing process up and the next generation quad-core Cortex-A15 devices could make their way into 2013’s devices. ARM micro-processing technology is currently at the heart of many consumer digital products from mobile devices, networking, imaging, storage, wireless to automotive.