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ARM announces 28nm quad-core Cortex-A15 for notebooks

by Alistair Lowe on 19 April 2012, 09:52

Tags: ARM, TSMC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabfhz

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If you're asking yourself "Hey, aren't quad-core Cortex-A15s already in the pipeline with various ARM clients?" you'd be right. Today ARM has announced what's known as a 'hard macro' design of the Cortex-A15 MP4, to be clocked at 2.0GHz with performance exceeding 20,000DMIPS.

What makes this chip stand out from the rest is that, as a hard macro, the design has already been set-in-stone, enhanced, tested and approved for TSMC's 28nm HPM fabrication process. The idea behind hard macros is to reduce time-to-market and increase yields for firms that don't require heavy customisation of their design and are happy to use TSMC as their chip supplier. The Cortex-A15 MP4 hard macro is designed to deliver strong performance suitable for entry-level notebooks, whilst consuming only a few watts.

ARM Cortex-A15 MP4

Generating a very rough comparison against another RISC architecture, at 20,000DMIPS the raw performance of the Cortex-A15 MP4 in fact exceeds the performance of the 3.2GHz PowerPC triple-core Xenon found powering Microsoft's Xbox 360 and so, it's easy to see how, with new found support from Windows 8, the ARM architecture could make an appealing choice in the entry-level notebook market.

ARM's announcement was also, in part, to promote some of its chip designing tools that were used to generate the hard macro, such as ARM's Artisan libraries and its new Power Optimization Pack.



HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Ah, but will people want a windows rt laptop?
Only time will tell
There is certainly a market for it. The biggest gripe most laptop users have is battery life.

Now, if only they can make all screens work like the kindle screen….
far exceeds the power of the xbox 360

holy sh1t - I hadn't realised that arm chips had advanced quite that much.
that really puts it into perspective!

It's not x86 of course though (then again is the powerpc?)
Noli
far exceeds the power of the xbox 360

holy sh1t - I hadn't realised that arm chips had advanced quite that much.
that really puts it into perspective!

It's not x86 of course though (then again is the powerpc?)

PowerPC is also RISC-based architecture like ARM which is why I drew the very rough comparison.
Noli
far exceeds the power of the xbox 360

holy sh1t - I hadn't realised that arm chips had advanced quite that much.
that really puts it into perspective!

It's not x86 of course though (then again is the powerpc?)

You've got to remember the Xbox is ~7 years old now so its really quite slow compared to a modern i7 but yes they have come on a long way but yes give them a few more years and I'm sure they'll begin to match an i5/7 (of course PC's will be on the i777!)…