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ARM enters 64-bit race, introduces new Cortex-A50 series

ARM announces new 64-bit-capable Cortex-A50 series, AMD, Broadcom and Samsung are all first in line
By Anthony Garreffa from Oct 31, 2012 @ 7:33 CDT

ARM have announced two new Cortex-A50 series chips that will bring forth 64-bit compatibilities to ARM SoCs. ARM have a bunch of licensees of the new chips including AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics.


ARM's press release points to two specific chips, the Cortex-A57, which is a high-performance solution that would most likely see the light of day in servers, and the second is the Cortex-A53 which has the same capabilities of the A57, but is much more power-efficient. Better yet, the two chips can be combined into the single package if needed with the A53 cores taking care of low-impact workloads and stay on while the system sits in the idle, while the A57 cranks up only when the workload requires it.

This type of processor layout is called "big.LITTLE", according to ARM, who already offer licensees the ability to pair up a Cortex-A15 CPU with a Cortex-A17 chip to receive similar results. ARM says that the new processors should scale well enough so that they get baked into smartphones, tablets, laptops and servers. Being 64-bit capable is another huge feature, but they'll also fully support 32-bit programs and operating systems, too.


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