Stepping Up to 64-Bit Processing with the Cortex A50 Series



It seems that AMD agrees with opinion-pieces that have been popping up online (including our own AMD Needs a New Strategy Right Away) regarding the company's role in the mobile market.

AMD is helping the mobile space push forward with the Cortex A50, the first 64-bit core architecture by ARM. And the technology is coming soon. The Cortex A50 is already slated to hit the market in 2014 / 2015 with two versions: the Cortex A53 (LITTLE) and Cortex A57 (you guessed it, "big").


AMD's new tech is based on the ARMv8 architecture, which prioritizes power efficiency. ARM chooses not to build hardware, but instead the company focuses on designing the architecture. Companies like AMD, Apple, and Qualcomm take those designs and actually build out the products.

64-bit Processing for Mobile Devices

Right now, the mobile industry uses 32-bit processing to handle up to 4GB of memory. Not many devices actually use up the full amount of RAM possible, choosing to stick to 2GB instead. (Even the new Nexus 10 is using 2GB.)

Moving beyond the 4GB barrier will suddenly enable mobile devices with more intensive apps, potentially rivaling what desktops can deliver. It's conceivable that a much richer mobile version of Photoshop could exist that would allow for features currently only available in the PC / Mac environment. The price point for such an app would likely climb substantially (Photoshop ain't cheap!), but the availability of the product could still be a big boost for graphics professionals on the go.


What's the Difference?

As you can imagine, the Cortex A50 variations each has its own plan for power-management and peformance.

The Cortex A57 is all about performance, with clock speeds of up to 3GHz – 20 to 30% better than the Cortex A15. The A57 is designed similarly to the A15, with a 15-stage pipeline and a 3-wide instruction decoder.

The Cortex A53, on the other hand, is more similar to the A7 but with 64-bit support. The A53 is focused much more on power efficiency, and its performance level is set to match current A9-based systems.


It's good to see AMD with a real strategy to compete in the coming years. Intel is on its game with an upcoming Atom core soon, so the competition will only continue to increase. And that's good news for us, the consumers.

For more details on the everything Cortex A50, be sure to check out the images below.

Source: Phone Arena