ARM Introduces First ARMv8 Cores: Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 Make Debut

ARM Unveils Industry’s Most Power-Efficient Server-Class 64-Bit Processing Cores

by Anton Shilov
10/30/2012 | 02:01 PM

ARM on Tuesday introduced two new processing cores compatible with ARMv8 architecture, which will power high-performance smartphones, media tablets, notebooks as well as ultra low-power cloud servers. ARM Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 cores can operate independently or be combined into an ARM big.Little processor configuration, combining very high performance with power efficiency. The first ARMv8 commercial products are due in 2014.


ARM Cortex-A50 processor series is fully compatible with ARMv8 architecture introduced this year and currently includes Cortex-A57 and A53 cores. The family features AMBA system coherency to extend to many-core coherence with ARM CoreLink cache coherent fabric components, including the CCI-400 and CCN-504. The new cores are also compatible with ARM Mali graphics processor family for GPU compute applications as well as ARM’s cryptographic acceleration. ARMv8 architecture will be fully compatible with  programs designed for ARMv7, which will simplify transition to 64-bit computing in the ARM world.


ARM Cortex-A57 processor core is the most advanced, highest single-thread performance ARM application processor that delivers the three times higher performance than today’s leading-edge mobile SoC with the same power consumption. The Cortex-A57 also sports extended reliability and scalability features for high-performance enterprise applications.

ARM Cortex-A53 processor core is the most efficient ARM application processor ever, delivering today’s superphone performance while using a quarter of the power, thus enabling low-cost advanced smartphones of tomorrow. The core also incorporates reliability features that enable scalable dataplane applications to maximize performance per mm2 and performance per mW. The Cortex-A53 is optimized for throughput processing for modest per thread compute applications.

The Cortex-A53 processor combined with the Cortex-A57 and big.Little processing technology will enable platforms with extreme performance range while radically reducing the energy consumption.

ARM partners can scale system-on-chip platforms from single- and multi-core big.Little mobile solutions to massively parallel enterprise solutions for optimal flexibility and energy-efficiency. The Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors will target multi-GHz performance on advanced CMOS and 10nm-class FinFET processes technologies, which is supported by early availability of ARM Artisan physical IP and ARM POP IP for core-hardening acceleration.

Announced licensees of the new processor series include AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics. The ARM partnership is expected to ship Cortex-A50 series-based chips in 2014.

ARM and members of the ARM Connected Community are also collaborating to develop a robust 64-bit software ecosystem. The ARM Compiler and ARM Fast Models have supported the ARMv8 architecture since it was announced in October 2011, and are used extensively by public launch licensees of the Cortex-A50 processor series. This functionality is now complemented with support for bare metal and Linux debug in the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5). In addition, open source operating systems, applications and third-party tools are already in development. This is a natural extension to the broad ecosystem already in place that supports existing ARMv7 architecture-based devices.