Oct 30 AT 3:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

ARM announces new 64-bit processors that will power your mobile devices in 2014


Two years ago ARM announced their Cortex-A15 CPU architecture, and now we are finally seeing  it appear in devices like the new Samsung Nexus 10. This week ARM announced their new Cortex-A50 processor series, which includes ARMs first low-power 64-bit implementations of the ARMv8 architecture. This latest generation of chips will not appear in mobile devices until 2014, but it’s always fun to look into the future and see what’s coming.

“Consumers expect a personalized mobile experience, integrating their daily lives, with seamless connectivity providing access to vast amounts of information. The ARM ecosystem will continue its rate of unprecedented innovation to enable diverse platforms. This will deliver an era of transformational computing, from mobile through to the infrastructure and servers that support consumers’ connected, mobile lifestyles. This will create massive opportunities for market expansion and a revolution in user experiences,” said Simon Segars, executive vice president, processor and physical IP divisions, ARM.

A family portrait of Cortex-A57, CoreLink CCN-504, and ColeLink DMC520.

The new family of Cortex-A50 processors includes the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 that are meant to be paired together in a big.LITTLE configuration. This is similar to what we have seen from NVIDIA and their Tegra 3 processor, both of which featured a unique 4-PLUS-1 architecture.

ARM describes the Cortex-A57 as the big brother and the Cortex-A53 as the little brother.  The older brother says, “In big.LITTLE configurations I like to take it easy when I’m not needed and can be found napping most of the time in mobile applications, but when my teammate needs a hand I can be called upon immediately to complete the big performance threads in record time. When the job is done I go back to sleep. My little brother and I work perfectly together transferring tasks without any intervention in user space.”

Why 64-bit?

One major advantage of moving to a 64-bit environment is the ability to support more than 4GB of physical memory. Most Android devices only have 2GB of RAM right now, but this will continue to grow with higher resolution displays and more demanding apps.

ARM describes their new Cortex-A50 family as the most advanced, high-performance application processor ever. The enhanced processing power will allow full HD video processing, enable a full laptop experience with wireless accessories, replace your game console and deliver all the compute capability a typical consumer needs.

Who will be first with A50?

Most of the big ARM licensees are moving to custom CPU architectures, so it’s tough to say who will be first with a mobile chip based on A50. Both Apple and Qualcomm already design their own CPU cores, and NVIDIA and Samsung are also moving in that direction. Texas Instruments has been a big supporter of the reference ARM designs, but even their OMAP division is facing uncertainty.

Two years is a long time in the mobile industry, so it’s really tough to predict what will happen. Intel still claims their x86 process technology is 2 years ahead of the rest of the industry, so it will be interesting  to see what happens in 2014.

Via: ARM Press

Source: ARM Cortex-A50 series

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Google will be the first :D

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      You mean after they buy the OMAP division from TI hah?

  • kylez64

    I can’t wait to see all the awesome software/hardware this proc will bring Oh the possibilities!!!

  • Robert Wideman

    And NO….most Android devices do NOT have 2gb ram. Only about 5 devices have that at the moment and maybe 2 of them are actually available in the US. Even the latest devices in the Nexus 4 series half of them only have 2gb ram.

    • Dags -

      What? There’s only the 8GB and 16GB model in the “Nexus 4 series” and both of them have 2GB of RAM.

  • Varemenos

    If the only issue was the 4GBs of RAM they could simply make a pae kernel (like the linux distros have)

  • Nathan D.

    I just drooled all over myself as I read this article. I need a new shirt right now.

    • stenzor

      That must be some radioactive drool

  • Ichigo

    It just keep getting better AND BETTER!!!!!!!

  • SaraX

    No, this is not similar to Tegra 4+1 config. All the 5 (4+1) cores in Tegra 3 are Cortex A9 cores and the fifth companion core is just heavily under-clocked and also under-volted.The Big – Little config is for upcoming cortex A15 based processors , with a companion cortex A7 core which is specifically designed for low power consumption and is used when the phone is idle. Should be interesting to note that not all A15 based processors will have the big little configuration. The Exynos 5250 doesn’t while the Tegra 4 and future Exynos processors might have it

  • nino64


  • Dorkstar

    There is so much new technology planned for next year and 2014. The mobile devices we know today will be utter garbage in 5 years, but then again, if we look back 5 years, those phones are now garbage. Guess i’ll just wait until 2014 to see what this will do.