ARM has disclosed a new processor design to target the growing mid-range device market, offering increased performance over earlier products, including the Cortex-A12, which the firm launched last year.
The Cortex-A17 has been announced as part of a suite of products with higher performance and greater energy efficiency, according to ARM. This includes the already launched Mali-T720 GPU and Mali-V500 video processor designs, targeting devices due to come to market in 2015 and beyond.
ARM said the Cortex-A17 processor offers a 60 percent performance improvement over earlier Cortex-A9 processors. It joins the Cortex-A12, released last year, which also targets mid-range tablets and smartphones, but offers a step up in performance.
Like the Cortex-A12, the new design is scalable up to four cores based on the ARMv7-A architecture, and is expected to clock at frequencies beyond 2GHz when manufactured using 28nm fabrication processes.
"We expect to see a rich set of innovation in the mid-range mobile phone segment, which is forecast to become a half a billion unit market annually from 2015 and the Cortex-A17 processor will be a key component in that growth," said Ian Ferguson, ARM vice president of segment marketing.
The Cortex-A17 also features ARM's CoreLink CCI-400 Cache Coherent Interconnect, which provides full cache coherency between two clusters of multi-core CPUs, enabling a chip to scale in performance by adding a cluster of ARM's Cortex-A7 cores, for example.
ARM said that the combination of the Cortex-A17 processor and its Mali-T720 GPU gives an enriched offering, not just for mid-range mobile devices, but also other consumer applications such as smart TVs and set-top media devices.
As with other ARM processors, the Cortex-A17 is delivered as a design that can be implemented in various ways by the firm's silicon vendor licencees. ARM said it will make available a POP IP implementation optimised for 28nm process technology to speed time to silicon.
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