Just shortly after Advanced Micro Devices dropped the bomb and said it would make ARM processors, ARM Holdings is announcing the first two cores built on the ARMv8 technology.
ARMv8, as we said on multiple occasions, is the first ARM architecture with support for the 64-bit instruction set.
In other words, it will be free of the 32-bit limitation that prevented ARM processors from spreading to PCs and servers until now.
Granted, ARM intends to equip smartphones and media tablets with its new chips as well, but the point stands.
The names of the new cores are ARM Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53. Both of them are compatible with Mali graphics, making them suited for GPU compute applications on top of everything else.
Cortex-A53 is the most efficient ARM chip ever made, according to the company. It provides a performance comparable to that of the best phone ARM cores of today, but at a quarter of the power consumption.
The Cortex-A57 is the most advanced and powerful CPU core that ARM ever created, with thrice the performance of the best mobile SoCs of today, but the same power consumption.
ARM's new products can be used in devices individually or as part of multi-core big.Little system-on-chip designs (SoC).
In addition to AMD, licenses have been bought by Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics.
Shipments won't begin until 2014 though, just like previous reports
said. This will give consumer electronics designers and system builders enough time to invent products, while software makers will get the chance to produce 64-bit ARM open source operating systems, applications and third-party applications. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company
will handle manufacturing.
At this time, it is not easy to foresee how much of the PC and server market ARM will take away from Intel. While the latter is acting completely at ease
, there are plenty of people who believe x86 units will lose a lot of ground to their new rivals. If nothing else, a new CPU architecture will encourage more PC sales and, by extension, memory shipments, maybe enough to undo some of the damage on the DRAM market.