ARM announces 64-bit Cortex-A50 mobile processors coming in 2014

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
ARM on Tuesday unveiled new its next-generation of high-performance, power sipping 64-bit chips ? CPUs that could power future devices from companies like Apple as soon as 2014.

ARM's new Cortex-A50 processor series is based on the ARMv8 architecture. The series will initially include the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors with new energy-efficient 64-bit processing technology.

ARM said its new system-on-chips will be available for use in products ranging from smartphones to servers. The new chips will be 64-bit-capable, but will also support 32-bit software.

ARM said the addition of 64-bit execution to its A50 chip line will "enable new opportunities in networking, server, and high-performance computing." The new chips are expected to boost smartphone and tablet speeds while also reducing power consumption.

The Cortex-A57 will be the most advanced high-performance applications processor, while the Cortex-A53 has the distinction of being the world's smallest 64-bit processor, and ARM's most power-efficient application processor.

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"Consumers expect a personalized mobile experience, integrating their daily lives, with seamless connectivity providing access to vast amounts of information," said Simon Segars, executive vice president, processor and physical IP divisions, ARM. :The ARM ecosystem will continue its rate of unprecedented innovation to enable diverse platforms.

"This will deliver an era of transformational computing, from mobile through to the infrastructure and servers that support consumers? connected, mobile lifestyles. This will create massive opportunities for market expansion and a revolution in user experiences."

Currently, Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV are all powered by custom chips based on ARM's reference designs. Apple's work in this area has grown over the years, as the new A6 chip in the iPhone 5 represents Apple's first custom-designed CPU core.

The A6 chip is based on Apple's won ARMv7-based processor design, and is not based on ARM's Cortex-A9 or Cortex-A15 designs. The chip features a gigabyte of RAM with two CPU and three GPU cores, and Apple's first-ever control of the design allowed the company to customize the performance as they chose.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Time for that ARM desktop, perhaps.
  • Reply 2 of 42
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    Could Apple cut it's CPU costs on laptops with advanced ARM chips?
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Glad to see Intel being challenged. Why couldn't AMD do something like this?
  • Reply 4 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post



    Time for that ARM desktop, perhaps.


    I don't know about desktops but I can definitely see it coming on laptops.  Or another way you can look at it is that Pro machines (Mac Pro, 27" iMac, MB Pro) may remain X86-based and consumer line (iOS devices, MB Air, 21" iMac) could go ARM-based.

  • Reply 5 of 42
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    How many CPU cores does it have? Or is that just up to the licensee to decide?

  • Reply 6 of 42
    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?
  • Reply 7 of 42
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member
    realwarder wrote: »
    Time for that ARM desktop, perhaps.

    Perhaps, but I'm wondering if I can hold off on an iPad upgrade until Apple moves to the 64 bit platform. These chips would make for one very interesting iPad.

    The other interesting location for these chips would be laptops. Here the low power benefits would outshine anything on the market. That is if performance is good enough. This is a nice announcement but the reality is not much was said about that performance.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    snovasnova Posts: 1,281member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Glad to see Intel being challenged. Why couldn't AMD do something like this?


    They are.. there was a press release from them yesterday about getting into 64bit ARM.  Or were you just being sarcastic? 

  • Reply 9 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by snova View Post


    They are.. there was a press release from them yesterday about getting into 64bit ARM.  Or were you just being sarcastic? 



    AMD's efforts were geared towards server hardware, not consumer electronics though.

  • Reply 10 of 42
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,350member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by realwarder View Post



    Time for that ARM desktop, perhaps.


    At least it's another good bargaining point to get preferred pricing from Intel!

  • Reply 11 of 42
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member
    Glad to see Intel being challenged. Why couldn't AMD do something like this?

    AMD has done a really excellent job with their ATOM competitor with their little APU. BRAZOS and frankly ATOM are not taking the markets by storm though, the problem being performance sucks when judged against processors that cost a few dollars more.

    This is where these ARM chips will be most interesting, do they have enough performance at a low enough power point, to make a difference in the laptop/desktop market. It is really hard to say. One big problem with AMD and Intels solutions is that they paid far to much respect to backwards compatibility which means the chips they sell come with a bunch of hardware that isn't needed anymore. ARMs big advantage here is that they design a new architecture keeping it minimalist.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,506member
    I don't disagree one bit with the idea that a Mac needs to run old apps. So don't call it a Mac!!!

    Seriously, if Apple goes with ARM based "computers" the worst thing they could do is to market them as Macs. Instead market them as a new generation of hardware. If they where smart about this, this new generation of hardware would be able to run both Mac and iOS software. At least initially. The big problem with emulation on an ARM based machine is that I86 is and will be a real pain to emulate. PPC was a very clean architecture to emulate in comparison.

    The other option Apple has is dynamic compilation of LLVM bit code. This would be very interesting indeed. In this case Apple would have developers ship their apps as bit code that gets dynamically compiled for the architecture it runs on. This way ARM based Macs could still deliver reasonable performance with old code bases. This is an interesting possibility but I'm not sure Apple is ready nor are developers ready.

    In any event backwards compatibility is only an issue if the device is marketed as a Mac. IPad has clearly demonstrated that there is a huge market for computers that are not backward compatible. As long as people know and understand what they are getting backwards compatibility is of limited value.
    jwsmiths wrote: »
    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?
  • Reply 13 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jwsmiths View Post



    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. 


     


    Frame of Reference Error:  Your laptop runs iOS  as the primary OS and iOS apps, and has virtual Mac inside of it.  


     


     


    Quote:


    Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?



     


    NeXTSTEP/OS X on Intel has had a 20 year run.  Maybe it's time to take the Classic Apple new product meme and destroy an old product;-)


     


    I would think Rosetta would be in the cloud anyway.  The reference architecture will be a 'virtual macintosh' in the cloud (iCloud as your /Users drive, Mac AppStore Match for '/Applications') and a Grand Central driven Multi-Tier Application model with an iOS device as your 'desktop.'  Oh, and any local mac servers would be bonjour ready to be part of your Compute engine.


     


    Eventually, Rosetta/GrandCentral does compute cycles on the CPU/GPUs locally, but in the interim it would drive out to the cloud for the 'smart stuff.' but the WindowServer would be iOS based.


     


    I see a 'dockable' 17" tablet as the MacPad, which drive through a lightning (and thunderbolt;-) interface.   Power users would have a Mac Pro on the back end.


     


    Think about an 64bit ARM iPhone with a bluetooth keyboard and a  driving a display via 'AirPlay' to a MacPro connected 31" retina display monitor;-)


     


    Yeah, It's a great thought....


     


    Sir Jonny Ive, Call me, My current gig is finishing up... I hear you may need to offload some of  your work;-)

  • Reply 14 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jwsmiths View Post



    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?


     


    it's pretty much just a recompile to get those apps to work

  • Reply 15 of 42
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,036member


    And Apple will have their own SoC version of it that will kick serious ass.

  • Reply 16 of 42


    Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

    Could Apple cut it's CPU costs on laptops with advanced ARM chips?


     


    And its marketshare.

  • Reply 17 of 42
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    If Apple keeps up their current pace, I guess we'll be seeing this in the iPad 7 or iPad 8.image


     


    iPad 3, iPad 4 = 2012


    iPad 5, IPad 6 = 2013


    iPad 7, iPad 8 = 2014

  • Reply 18 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    I don't disagree one bit with the idea that a Mac needs to run old apps. So don't call it a Mac!!!



    Seriously, if Apple goes with ARM based "computers" the worst thing they could do is to market them as Macs. Instead market them as a new generation of hardware. If they where smart about this, this new generation of hardware would be able to run both Mac and iOS software. At least initially. The big problem with emulation on an ARM based machine is that I86 is and will be a real pain to emulate. PPC was a very clean architecture to emulate in comparison.



    The other option Apple has is dynamic compilation of LLVM bit code. This would be very interesting indeed. In this case Apple would have developers ship their apps as bit code that gets dynamically compiled for the architecture it runs on. This way ARM based Macs could still deliver reasonable performance with old code bases. This is an interesting possibility but I'm not sure Apple is ready nor are developers ready.



    In any event backwards compatibility is only an issue if the device is marketed as a Mac. IPad has clearly demonstrated that there is a huge market for computers that are not backward compatible. As long as people know and understand what they are getting backwards compatibility is of limited value.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jwsmiths View Post



    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?




     


    As I understand it, the Intel x86 CISC code is translated by a proprietary execution time process into RISC code, which is then executed. I would seem that the resulting RISC code could readily be emulated (or executed directly) on an ARM chip. This would appear to put Intel in a position to take advantage of ARM Architecture if it suited them -- possibly for a large customer such as Apple.


     


    However, there is a strong likelihood that Intel will never do this.


     


    I do like the idea of a "new" separate non-Mac product line is somewhere between a Mac and an iPad -- that runs legacy Mac and iPad software (Laughs to self -- 2.5 year old legacy iPad apps).  Google seems to think there is a market for a ChromeBook with only web apps -- IMO, there would be a bigger market for devices like this.


     


    I also like the idea of putting off compilation and linking of code as long as possible -- ideally to when it is being installed on a device.


     


     


    The "new" product line would open up many opportunities to tailor both the hardware and the software to the jobs at hand -- a custom user appliance...


     


    For example, I want to run FCP X on a large touch tablet (like a drafting table) and have the ability to tilt it up as an easel for pressure sensitive pen/brush painting.  This appliance likely would do these jobs acceptably -- without need for an external kb or mouse (Onscreen kb when necessary).


     


    A programmer might have a similar setup with the tablet in vertical position for storyboarding, but writing code with an external kb and mouse.


     


    Either of these use cases could be taken mobile with a smaller tablet or laptop, then ultimately presented to a large screen through something Mirrored AirPlay.

  • Reply 19 of 42
    jony0jony0 Posts: 264member


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jwsmiths View Post



    The problem with making ARM based "Macintoshes" is that unless it can utilize a translation technology like "Rosetta" people won't be able to run their old software and the user experience won't be pleasant. Maybe I could see an ARM based MacBook Air (maybe even with touch screen to bridge the iPad experience) but an ARM based iMac that couldn't run Office, most games, Aperture, Photoshop, etc. would not likely make many customers happy. Maybe a laptop and a Mac mini-like HTPC that was ARM based would be a good way to start?


     


    it's pretty much just a recompile to get those apps to work



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    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }


    That's what I thought. iOS is essentially based on OS X which is based on NeXTSTEP which was developed on Motorola 68030/40 in the 80s, then ported to Intel in the 90s, then to PPC for OS X in the late 90s-2000s, then back to Intel ( actually they always had an Intel version apparently ). Isn't it processor independent to some degree at some basic level ?


     


    What are the odds Samsung would be fabricating those chips ? imageimage



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     


    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     

  • Reply 20 of 42

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


     


    As I understand it, the Intel x86 CISC code is translated by a proprietary execution time process into RISC code, which is then executed. I would seem that the resulting RISC code could readily be emulated (or executed directly) on an ARM chip. This would appear to put Intel in a position to take advantage of ARM Architecture if it suited them -- possibly for a large customer such as Apple.


     


    However, there is a strong likelihood that Intel will never do this.


     


    I do like the idea of a "new" separate non-Mac product line is somewhere between a Mac and an iPad -- that runs legacy Mac and iPad software (Laughs to self -- 2.5 year old legacy iPad apps).  Google seems to think there is a market for a ChromeBook with only web apps -- IMO, there would be a bigger market for devices like this.


     


    I also like the idea of putting off compilation and linking of code as long as possible -- ideally to when it is being installed on a device.


     


     


    The "new" product line would open up many opportunities to tailor both the hardware and the software to the jobs at hand -- a custom user appliance...


     


    For example, I want to run FCP X on a large touch tablet (like a drafting table) and have the ability to tilt it up as an easel for pressure sensitive pen/brush painting.  This appliance likely would do these jobs acceptably -- without need for an external kb or mouse (Onscreen kb when necessary).


     


    A programmer might have a similar setup with the tablet in vertical position for storyboarding, but writing code with an external kb and mouse.


     


    Either of these use cases could be taken mobile with a smaller tablet or laptop, then ultimately presented to a large screen through something Mirrored AirPlay.



    So what you want is an iPad Pro?

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