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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 18, 2014

ARM Will Soon Offer Updated 32-bit Core

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Next month ARM (News - Alert) will release an updated 32-bit core – the Cortex A17 32 – and a display controller – the Mali-DP500 DPU (Display Processing Unit).

They will be seen in chips during 2014 and in midrange smartphones during 2015, according to news reports. Companies such as Mediatek, Realtek, and Via are likely to use the A17. The A17 is 20 percent more energy efficient than the A9, and shows off 60 percent improved performance over the Cortex-A9 processor.

In addition, the DP500 is based on tech ARM acquired from Cadence Design Systems (News - Alert).  That included the Panta line of high-res display processor and scaling co-processor IP cores. Legit Reviews adds that “a number of Hollywood film studios and content owners are looking to stream premium content to the phone as soon as it comes out to movie theaters.  Basically this is a secure video path all the way to the screen to prevent the data from being copied. ARM says that the DP500 supports both 1080P and Ultra HD 4K content.”

Also, the DP500 is likely to be used for midrange phones in 2015, according to EE Times.

“In short what the A17 and Mali-DP500 announcement does is flesh out the mid-range ARM core lineup for 2015,” SemiAccurate explained in a report.  The Cortex A17 is also targeted at tablets, and can be used for smart TVs, Over-the-Top devices and infotainment devices found in cars, according to ARM.

The need for the new tech is there in the marketplace. Legit Reviews reported that 344 million smartphones, 105 million tablets and 141 million smart TVs will be using mid-range processors in 2015, ARM has predicted.

Expect to see the technology sooner rather than later, as well. James Bruce, who is in charge of mobile marketing at ARM, told TechRadar Pro, silicon partners and OEMs “were cutting time to market in order to get products out as quickly as possible.” 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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