ARM debuts Cortex-A50 chip lineup

ARM debuted its Cortex-A50 processor series at an event this morning in San Francisco. 

The new chip lineup is based on the the chip designer’s ARMv8 architecture, which emphasizes optimized performance coupled with low power sipping.

“The series initially includes the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors and introduces a new, energy-efficient 64-bit processing technology, as well as extending existing 32-bit processing,” explained ARM exec Simon Segars. “The scalability of the processor series enables ARM partners to create system-on-chips (SoCs) that address diverse markets, from smartphones through to high-performance servers.”

According to Segars, the A50 lineup delivers up to three times the performance of today’s superphones – while extending the current superphone experience to entry-level handsets. Both processors are fully compatible with the extensive ARM 32-bit ecosystem and integral to the rapidly evolving ARM 64-bit ecosystem.

”As smartphones and tablets have become our primary compute devices, mobile performance and capabilities have evolved to drive the computing landscape. In the past five years, the ARM ecosystem has driven a 15x increase in the performance of smartphones, enabling a transformation in how people use their devices,” said Segars.

”The capabilities of the Cortex-A50 processor series allow it to seamlessly transition from a 32-bit to a 64-bit execution state, enabling today’s existing  applications, and provides scalability to 64-bit for mobile computing client evolution and future superphone trends.”

ARM describes the Cortex-A57 as its most advanced high-performance applications processor, while the Cortex-A53 weighs in as the most power-efficient ARM application processor – and smallest 64-bit chip. 

Both pieces of silicon are capable of operating independently and can be combined into an ARM big.LITTLE processor configuration, effectively meshing high performance with power efficiency. 

Both of the above-mentioned chips have already been licensed to a number of industry heavyweights, including AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics.