ARM has officially launched its first processor designs based on its ARMv8 architecture, bringing 64-bit computing to its ecosystem for the first time.
The new designs will enable the firm to target everything from high-performance smartphones through to scale-out enterprise servers.
The Cortex-A50 series is claimed by ARM to be the most power-efficient available. It initially comprises the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 core designs, which are compatible with all existing 32-bit software but add a new 64-bit execution state and 64-bit instructions, ARM said.
As with all ARM processors, the new Cortex designs will be produced by the firm's silicon vendor licensee partners. The first chips are expected by 2013 at the earliest, while devices based on them are slated for the 2014 to 2015 timeframe.
ARM first detailed its 64-bit ARMv8 architecture a year ago, but today's core designs are the first products from the firm to make use of it.
Licensees for the 64-bit chips include AMD, which announced its intention to develop ARM-based servers yesterday, STMicroelectronics, Samsung, Calxeda and Broadcom.
Greater power efficiency is urgently needed in today's IT landscape, due to the increasing importance of mobile battery-driven devices connected to cloud-based services powered by datacentres full of servers, according to Ian Drew, ARM vice president of marketing and business development.
"Bring your own device is driving the need for higher performance combined with low power consumption to last a whole working day. But this mobile world needs to be managed at the back end, and we can't have CO2 emissions mushrooming as data processing needs grow," he said.
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