Better, Smarter, Cheaper Smart Phones with ARM

Ryan Whitwam

Chip designer ARM has announced a new version of its popular Cortex microprocessor . The new chip, called the Cortex-A5, will have the performance if the fastest current generation ARM11 cores, as well as reduced power consumption. ARM will be making the chip available for licensing later this year.

ARM designs microprocessors, then licenses the designs to manufacturing. Most cell phones currently use ARM chips, but ARM isn’t content with owning just that market. They hope the new chip will find its way into other products, possibly in direct competition with Intel. The Cortex-A5 is fast enough to run a laptop or netbook, though Windows does not currently run on ARM chips.

Cortex-A5 chips are expected to run at clock speeds in the gigahertz range, and draw only 80 milliwatts of power. This should provide better performance and power efficiency than upcoming Intel chips. The first products with the new design should begin showing up sometime in 2011.

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