updated 10:25 am EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
ARM Cortex-A15 brings 2.5GHz multi-core to phones
ARM today gave a name and details to its future Eagle mobile architecture. The Cortex-A15 can scale up to 1.5GHz in a dual-core format and can even work in quad-core versions up to 2.5GHz, although this is more likely to reach larger or server-like devices. It's built for future 32 nanometer manufacturing and should shrink down to a smaller and more efficient 28nm over time.
The architecture itself builds on top of the already dual-core A9. It still supports more advanced out-of-order code execution, but builds on this with theoretical support for up to 1TB of memory, chip components to maintain coherence, software error recovery and hardware virtualization of another OS.
ARM is already licensing the A15 design today, but the dependence on 32nm or smaller designs may preclude actual shipping hardware arriving before 2013. Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments have all lined up as early customers and are likely to have products for smartphones, tablets and other devices in a similar timeframe. Apple is also likely to customize the A15 for future versions of the iPad, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV.