ARM have today announced a new SoC based on Cortex-A12 architecture that will launch around the middle of next year. Cortex-A12, while quite powerful by any standards, isn’t up there with high-end Cortex-A15 found in the likes of Samsung’s Exynos 5 and NVIDIA’s Tegra 4. What this new SoC does bring to the table is a very low-cost, powerful and energy efficient CPU and GPU combination that can be put into cheap devices that can be sold into emerging markets.
The SoC consists of a quad-core (well, 5, it’s BIG.little) Cortex-A12 CPU, a Mali-T622 GPU as well as the new Mali-V500 chip which can encode 1080p at 60fps on a single core, and playback 4K video at 120fos if you ever play video back to a 4K television.
Getting into benchmarks, the Cortex-A12 CPU is 30% smaller than Cortex-A9 chips and is 40% faster. The use of BIG.little can theoretically boost energy efficiency by 100% — a very impressive stat on paper.
We can’t wait to see low-cost devices launch with these SoCs on board. The devices are likely to launch in Africa and Asia, though it’s even more likely to see devices launch worldwide with these power efficient chips inside.