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ARM Introduces Industry's Fastest Processor For Low-Power Mobile And Consumer Applications

ARM announced its new Cortex-A8 processor for consumer and low-power mobile devices. Launched at the second annual ARM Developers' Conference, in Santa Clara, California, the ARM Cortex-A8 processor delivers up to 2,000 DMIPS for demanding consumer products running multi-channel video, audio, and gaming applications. The ARM Cortex-A8 processor uses less than 300 mW in 65nm technology. The Cortex-A8 processor features new ARM Artisan libraries supporting Intelligent Energy Manager (IEM) technology and implementing advanced leakage control. The processor is supported by a wide range of ARM technologies including RealView DEVELOPER software development tools; RealView ARCHITECT ESL tools and models; CoreSight debug and trace technology; and software library support through the OpenMAX multimedia processing standard.

ARM has already secured five licensees for the Cortex-A8 processor, including Freescale, Matsushita, Samsung and Texas Instruments, and future support from major EDA and Operating System vendors.

The Cortex-A8 processor is the first applications processor based on the next-generation ARMv7 architecture, and features Thumb-2 technology for greater performance, energy efficiency, and code density. It includes the first implementation of the NEON signal processing extensions to accelerate media codecs such as H.264 and MP3. The Cortex-A8 solution also includes Jazelle-RCT Java acceleration technology to optimize Just In Time (JIT) and Dynamic Adaptive Compilation (DAC), and reduces memory footprint by up to three times. Additionally, the new processor features TrustZone technology for secure transactions and Digital Rights Management (DRM), and IEM capability for low power.

The Cortex-A8 processor features an advanced superscalar pipeline which can execute multiple instructions at the same time and deliver more than 2.0 DMIPS per MHz. The processor integrates a size configurable level 2 cache which works in conjunction with 16K or 32K level 1 caches. The Cortex-A8 processor uses advanced branch prediction techniques and has dedicated NEON integer and floating-point pipelines for media and signal processing. The Cortex-A8 processor will run at more than 600 MHz in low-power 65nm processes with the core using less than 4 mm2 of silicon (excluding NEON, Trace technology and L2 cache). Consumer designs will run the Cortex-A8 processor at up to 1 GHz in 90nm and 65nm processes.

The ARM Cortex-A8 processor is available for licensing now, along with the majority of the supporting technology. First availability for the Advantage-CE library in leading 65nm technologies will be 1Q06.

Source: ARM

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