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ARM's new Cortex processors will be specially tailored to Android handsets

Cortex-a7One of the main advantages that the iPhone has enjoyed over the years is software and processors which are designed specifically to work together. This meant that even if the iPhone didn't have the technically fastest processor, its performance might be better because of optimization. 

Now, thanks to the people behind ARM, the microprocessor technology that powers a plethora of mobile devices, Android will be able to get some optimization of its own. This optimization will come in the form of the Cortex A7, ARM's newest smartphone processor architecture.

According to the company, processors with the A7 architecture will be twice as powerful as the current A8 processors, while the dual-core edition will have lower power consumption and a lower cost than past chips. Supposedly, this will allow manufacturers to bring dual-core power and long battery life to cheaper feature phones by 2013. (This is assuming that future feature phones will be the Android handsets of today.) 

Low end handsets are all well and good, but what about future high-end phones? Where are those quad-core processors? Don't worry, ARM also has those covered. For high performance devices, two A7 cores can be paired with two A15 cores, creating a powerful quad-core processor.

Because the A15 cores are just higher powered versions of the A7s, the CPU will actually be able to switch loads between the cores depending on what needs to happen, which should vastly improve battery life. For example, when just taking calls and checking e-mails the two low-power A7s would be used, but when playing 3D games, the A15s kick in for a little extra oomph.

Sadly, these processors are not slated to roll out in devices until around 2013. Still, all these improvements sound great, and I know that I will be looking for Cortex A7 devices as soon as they come out.

[Ars Technica]
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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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One thought on “ARM's new Cortex processors will be specially tailored to Android handsets

  • Avatar of Corinn

    The Cortex A7 and A15 are very much not the same or even similar! The A7 is an in-order, short pipeline processor with reduced floating point capabilities. The A15 is an out-of-order high performance ARM core.

    They were designed to work well together, but they’re not similar in architecture.

    Reply

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