Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ARM Announces Quad-Core Cortex-A15 Chips

ARM today has made the announcement many have been waiting for, the availability of their quad-core A15 CPUs based on the 28nm die process. The Cortex-A15 hard macro processors are floating-point monsters, running at 2GHz and cranking out 20,000 DMIPS (Dhrystone Million Instructions Per Second) while sipping electricity at the same rate as the dual-core Cortex-A9s. A large part of that efficiency gain comes from the die shrink between the Cortex-A9 and the Cortex-A15; the A9 was built on a 40nm process, the same as every other mobile CPU sold last year, from the iPhone 4S to the Droid Incredible 2. The shift to a 28nm process in the A15 takes advantage of one of the few “free lunch” aspects of physics – shrinking the transistors means less electricity is lost as heat, so your clock cycles get faster and more efficient, which is win-win for end users.

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