It is going to be an important step for tech market. ARM has launched 64-bit Cortex-A50 server processors for smartphones, servers
ARM has been creating a silent revolution in technology for years now. If you have a mobile phone, it likely runs on a chip with an ARM based design. Over the years the company has shrunk mobile processors, brought (almost) desktop processing power and speeds that deliver lag free performance to mobiles. All of this while consistently reducing power draw, making mobiles last longer without charging.
Last year ARM talked up a concept called big.LITTLE. The idea was that in order to decrease power consumption, two chips could be linked together, one with a significantly less power draw and processing power, and another with more processing power at the cost of higher power draw. So that when you were doing less intensive tasks the smaller chip would be used, saving power, and the larger chip could kick in when you needed more muscle.
Now is now bringing that idea to fruition. It has just launched its Cortex A50 series processors. These are 64-bit processors which can do heavy computing, but at a considerably less power consumption.
The series is launching with two processors, the A53 and the A57. Cortex A53 takes the crown for the world’s smallest 64-bit processor, while the A57 is ARM most advanced, high performance chip.
ARM intends the two processors not only to answer to the needs of the smartphones but also of servers, of everything in between. ARM intends its newly announced A53 chip – which it says can be made at much lesser costs – to find its way into entry level phones, giving them the super-fast experience of their much costlier siblings. Meanwhile high-end smartphones will get a power boost of “up to three times the performance of today’s superphones” when the A57 gets beneath their hoods. Of course, power consumption will remain the same.
These two chips can run independently. But – and this is where big.LITTLE comes in – they can also be combined to give a device that is low on power consumption, but high on power. This, according to ARM – will pave the way for more power efficient data centres and server farms.
“ARM partners can scale SoC platforms from single- and multi-core big.LITTLE mobile solutions to massively parallel enterprise solutions for optimal flexibility and energy-efficiency,” the press release said. Effectively you can mix and match ARM chips with abandon to create something that is both power efficient and power-full.
ARM also announced that half a dozen companies will be partnering with it to produce the chips. These include AMD, Samsung, and ST-Microelectronics.
The chips are expected to start finding their way into mobiles sometime in 2014.