ARM has announced its new mid-range mobile processor known as the Cortex-A17. The new processor a successor to very popular high performance Cortex-A9 which was used in some flagships like Samsung Galaxy S3. ARM is offering a 60% performance boost over its predecessor and it even supports the ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture which will provide high performance using two/four Cortex-A17 CPU cores. On the other hand, it can save energy by using two/four Cortex-A7 CPU cores. This means that it can be configured in an octa-core arrangement for an SoC design.
The Cortex-A17 is based on ARM v7-A architecture and manufactured using 28nm fabrications process. The processor is also fully integrated with low-latency L2 cache controller and accelerator interface for providing target specific uses. The high-throughput AMBA4 ACE Coherent Bus Interface will enable the processor in providing peak boost for a single task. The processor can be configured as follows
- 2+ GHz quad-core Cortex-A17 with quad-core Cortex-A7
- 2+ GHz dual-core Cortex-A17 with quad-core Cortex-A7
- 1.5GHz–2GHz dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
- 1.5GHz–2GHz dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and dual-core Cortex-A7 processor
- 1.0–2.0 GHz quad-core Cortex-A17
In the emerging market, the ability to display graphics play most vital role. To provide the latest technology, ARM has implemented the processor with its own Mali-720 GPU which can even be configurable with Mali-DP500 or Mali-V500 VPU. It will also be backward compatible with ARM Mali-450 GPU. The manufacturers will also be able to use GPUs from other vendors such as MediaTek which has used PowerVR 6 series GPUs in its upcoming ARM Cortex A17 based SoC.
The processor is targeted towards various markets apart from mobiles and tablets such as smart TVs, set-top-boxes and automotive infotainment devices. According to ARM, if everything goes fine SoCs based on this CPU will be in the market before the end of 2015.