Computex 2013: ARM announces faster Cortex-A12 processor for mid-range smartphones and tablets

By Anu Passary , Jun 03, 2013 08:37 AM EDT

Britain-based chip maker ARM announced its Cortex-A12 processor at the ongoing Computex 2013, which will look to fill the gap between its A15 and A9 processors. ARM now finally has a processor in its kitty that can address the needs of the mid-range tablet and smartphone segments.

ARM also launched Mali-V500 which is "a multicore video solution, scaling from a single core capable of 1080p/60 encode and decode to multiple cores supporting ultra-high definition 4K at a blistering 120 frames per second."

The Cortex-A12, on the other hand, is an "optimized IP solution designed to power the 580 million mid-range mobile devices expected over the next two years." The new processor that will be both power efficient, as well as faster than the Cortex-A9.

"Mobile users expect a range of devices at different price points and for a mid-range mobile experience to include some high end mobile features. With a billion smartphones predicted to ship in 2013 and tablets projected to out-ship notebook PCs, device-makers can now provide quality, high-performance mobile products with the features that matter the most, at a range of price points," noted Ian Drew, chief marketing officer and EVP, ARM.

The company boasts that the Cortex-A12 processor will also take ARM's big.LITTLE process to a new level. This will be aided by lower power consumption, smaller die size and more power. Per the company, the new processor is nearly 40 percent faster than the Cortex-A9 and it consumes the same amount of power. Moreover, Cortex-A12 "introduces features found in premium smartphones and tablets to mid-range devices, including virtualization."

Currently, ARM uses its Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A7 processors in its big.LITTLE projects and the technology is employed in top-of-the-line devices like Samsung's latest Galaxy S4. The new Cortex-A12 processor apparently "builds on best-in-class efficiency as a standalone solution and additionally supports the innovative big.LITTLE processing technology with the Cortex-A7 processor."

With the launch of Cortex-A12, in the near future ARM could deploy the A12 in place of the A15 to make devices more cost effective.

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