It seems next year we’ll get getting one more option for ARM powered devices, this time targeted at the mid-range market for $200-$350 unlocked smartphones and tablets. This new option is a combination between a new Cortex A12 CPU, and a Mali T622 GPU.
We have Cortex A7 for the low-end right now (which will probably begin being replaced by Cortex A53 at the low-end by the end of 2014), and then we have Cortex A15, which is meant only for high-end smartphones, tablets, and micro-servers. The Cortex A12, along with the Mali T622 GPU will fill the gap between Cortex A7 and Cortex A15, and also between Cortex A53 and Cortex A57.
Cortex A12 will come with 4 cores, and it should be 30% smaller than Cortex A9, and up to 40% faster (which means it will also about 40% faster than Cortex A53, which will be targeted at the low-end). Its Mali T622 GPU will come with support for OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics, and its new Mali-V500 decoder and encoder will support 4k video and up to 120 FPS video, too, if there are enough processing cores.
As you can see, while the Cortex A12 is meant for $200 smartphones, it’s no slouch. This will ensure that even if the Android OS and Android apps become more polished and more advanced, and need more resources, they should still be very fast even on mid-range devices, thanks to chips like the Cortex A12 and Mali T622.
The Cortex A12 will be mainly targeted at emerging markets where there is potential to sell in up to 1 billion smartphones by the end of 2015. This chip will ensure that all these people have a fast and advanced mobile phone, even for a more reasonable price, and they don’t have to pay $700+ for a high-end one to get a good experience.
The Cortex A12 can also be paired with Cortex A7 to form a big.Little set-up, but you’ll probably see that in smartphones or tablets that are more at the $300 range. All these new and powerful ARM chips should be pushing higher-end performance into the low-end market for years to come.