For a while now, we’ve been hearing about new designs from chip manufacturers looking to ARM’s Cortex A15 as an upgrade from the A9 that’s already used in many of our phones. So far, we’ve heard about plans from companies like Texas Instruments and Samsung, looking to fabricate dual-core A15 components. Considering the speed and power benefits A15 cores are supposed to have over A9s, even just a dual-core A15 sounds fantastic. That’s just the start of things for the A15, though, and today ARM announced its first implementation of the A15 in a quad-core layout.
This quad-core A15 is a so-called “hard macro”, a fully laid-out design ready for manufacturers to add as-is to their chips. Based on a 28-nanometer process instead of the A9’s 40nm, the A15 is supposed to easily outperform the A9 when similarly clocked. Considering that this quad-core design is intended for use at 2GHz, the future chips which feature it could mark a significant departure from the quad-core A9 chips (like the Tegra 3) which we know today.
For the moment, we don’t know which manufacturers might be expressing interest in quad-core A15 designs, but we imagine that quite a few will start fabricating such components for use in flagship models within the next year or so.