We’re not yet to 2013, and ARM is already thinking of 2014. At the beginning of November the maker of microprocessors and other products for the digital world shared with the rest of us some details about their next 20-nm SoC processors: Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53.
The Cortex-A50 Series will actually take the current Cortex-A15 processor to the next level, as it can be used by a larger suite of devices, from smartphones to laptops, tablets or server products. That’s because chips in the A50 Series are capable 64-bit processors, which can optimally run 32-bit code.
Cortex-A57 will be ARM’s most powerful processor. It borrows some of the elements of the current A15, but it will come with 64-bit registers, 64-bit memory addressing, various low-level tweaks and TrustZone hardware support. On the other side, ARM says that A50 is more power-efficient, enabling all-day battery life for typical device uses.
The interesting part is that you pair both processors into a big.LITTLE configuration that will allow a high performance yet optimal energy-efficiency, just like you can do right now with the Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors. ARM says this big.LITTLE configuration can extend battery life up to 70 percent.
If the current generation of fast and power-efficient processors weren’t enough, ARM’s new suite of processors will actually deliver a lot of new improvements. For now I’ll just mention the 64-bit architectural support, which means 64-bit applications will run smoothly on all future portable devices. It will be a major breakthrough that will decrease a lot of the gap between a computer/ultrabook and a tablet/smartphone. We’ll see it in action starting in 2014 and 2015.
Image: Cortex Relative Comparison [ARM]