BIRDIES CHIRPING IN the warm Cambridge sunshine just told SemiAccurate that ARM is about to launch the new Cortex A5 core. The smallest member of the A series will likely debut at ARM’s Techcon3 next week.
Not much to say about the new A5. It is smaller, cheaper and likely not as fast as the A8 and A9 series. Unlike the M line, the A5 will support Thumb, Thumb2 and ARM ISAs, meaning full compatibility with the big boys.
If the cost estimates floating around are right, then this core should enable future low priced smartphones that give up few features to their upmarket brethren. While this has been the ARM plan all along, the previous products didn’t quite deliver all the necessary checkboxes to see the plan through.
With the A5 core, I think ARM has a good chance at taking smartphones into the ‘giveaway’ category. At that point, maybe the creaking AT&T network will grind to a halt, but you will be able to play a much better class of games on the phones. ARM should make a lot of money licensing this core. It probably will hit a market sweet spot.S|A