updated 03:05 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
ARM shows world's most efficient microprocessor
Computer chipmaker ARM on Tuesday claimed that its new Cortex-M0+ processor is the world's most energy-efficient microprocessor. The 32-bit chip is said to consume just nine microamps for every 1MHz on its 90-nanometer, low-power architecture. This is about a third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor on the market, ARM said, while also outperforming them.
The chip is meant for use in intelligent sensors and smart control systems in home appliances, medical monitoring devices, metering, and lighting, along with power and motor control devices.
They're not suitable for use in smartphones, but ARM suggested that an M0+ could be used in a companion device. Chips should allow for battery-operated sensors that are on a user's body and wirelessly transmit energy to health-monitoring equipment, for example, when used in conjunction with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
The new Cortex can be made with clock speeds up to 250MHz on the 90nm process, but it's more likely speeds will top out at 60MHz, considering its uses. It's also compatible with current Cortex-M0 processor tools and operating systems as well as the compact Thumb/Thumb-2 instruction set.
The chip has already been licensed by Freescale and NXP Semiconductor.