ARM: Cortex-A15 Will Be Able to Compete Against x86, but Not Everywhere

ARM Considers Cortex-A15 an x86 Rival, Does Not Expect It to Compete Across-the-Board

by Anton Shilov
04/19/2011 | 02:50 PM

A high-ranking executive with ARM Holdings said in an interview that while the company’s latest Cortex-A15 central processor technology can rival the x86 micro-architecture in terms of capabilities and performance, he admitted that the chips based on the A15 will hardly be able to truly beat the x86-based offerings.

 

"With our upcoming Cortex-A15 processor, we are definitely moving closer to the day when your smartphone or tablet can act as a primary computing device. You can simply hook the smartphone or tablet up to an external monitor to watch a movie and presentation, while linking a mouse and keyboard via Bluetooth to work on an Office doc,” said James Bruce, a mobile marketing spokesperson at ARM, in an interview with TG Daily web-site.

For ARM, it is crucial to support minimum power consumption of its processors, but it is also important to radically boost performance to compete with x86-based offerings from Advanced Micro Devices and Intel successfully, especially in the server segment. Mr. Bruce reportedly acknowledged that it will take time for ARM to scale up performance of its cores to rival head-to-head against x86-based offerings.

"The processor boasts a multi-core design, making it easy to scale from 2 to 4, or even 8 cores. There are clearly different solutions for various markets, and you will see the A15 deployed in a number of platforms, including smartphones, tablets, portable computing devices, printers and even servers,” added Mr. Bruce.

Some of the offerings based on the latest Cortex-A15 "Eagle" micro-architecture by ARM is Nvidia’s future generations Tegra system-on-chip, including code-named Kal-El SoC as well as project Denver, which is officially positioned to serve everything from smartphones to personal computers.