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The ARM Cortex – A57 Processor Ready For Prime Time Just Six Months After Design Phase

April 2, 2013 - Written By Joe Levin

You know how sometimes technology moves so fast that a year almost feels like a lifetime ago? Well it seems that in the processor world six months is apparently a lifetime because ARM and TSMC have just announced that the Cortex – A57 has reached what they call “tape out” stage, or geek speak for “ready for mass production”.

By taping out on TSMC’s 16nm FinFET technology, the CPU will be three times more powerful than the chips that are currently in use today. This also means that the end user will get five times the battery life they are currently experiencing while using the same speeds when the processor starts making it’s way into computers, tablets, smartphones, server products, etc.

This processor will either be used individually or it will be paired with another processor, more specifically the Cortex – A53 to form what’s called an ARM big.LITTLE. The big.LITTLE actually gives off even better battery life because “software workloads are dynamically and instantly transitioned to the appropriate CPU based on performance needs.” In doing this the actual energy consumption is reduced somewhere between 50 and 70 percent depending on the workload, as the correct processor is automatically chosen for each task.

ARM believes that the increase in processing power is seeing a higher demand because smartphones and tablets are beginning to transition from content consumption devices to content creation devices.

Now that smartphones are able to capture high quality video and photographs, consumers want to edit and share this content, driving the need for further processing power delivered by the Cortex – A57 processor. Content creation is not limited to multi-media, but also documents.

A Cortex – A57 processor-based smartphone, wirelessly connected to a screen, keyboard and mouse, delivers a full laptop experience that consumers receive from their typical laptop today.

Finally here are some of the highlights of the ARM Cortex – A57 processor

  • Can deliver all the compute capability a typical consumer needs, from replacing your gaming console to your laptop in innovative portable form factors

  • Efficiently runs legacy ARM 32-bit applications

  • Features cache coherent interoperability with ARM Maliâ„¢ family graphics processing units (GPUs) for GPU compute applications

  • Offers optional reliability and scalability features for high-performance enterprise applications

  • Connects seamlessly to ARM interconnect IP with up to 16 core configurations with more in the future

Source: ARM.com