ARM announces Cortex-A17 design for mid-range smartphones
Trying to keep up-to-date with the latest advancements in mobile processing can seem like a daunting task at times: you’ve got a lot of inscrutable acronyms and initialisms to remember, and just when you think you’re on top of them all, some new ones arrive. Think you know your A7 from your A9 from your A15? Today we’ve got one more to throw in the mix, as ARM reveals its latest processor design, the Cortex-A17.
While the A15 was targeted at high-end uses, the A17 is much more mid-range-focused. Up to four A17s can be tied together, and the die supports big.LITTLE features for building multi-core SoCs (alongside the A7). Compared to the aging A9, ARM says that the A17 should offer up to 60% greater performance. For graphics, the chip offers a Mali-T720 GPU.
Of course, just announcing a new core design is far removed from actually getting anything based on the A17 into phones and tablets. First, an SoC manufacturer has to incorporate the A17 die into one of its designs. Only after that chip’s available can OEMs start building products based around them, which all means that we could still be a year or so away from this guy turning up in any commercial hardware – indeed, ARM mentions the A17 finding a home in mobile devices “in 2015 and beyond.”