Many designers complain about the stronghold that ARM seems to have over the handset industry (just like they complain about Intel and Microsoft owning the PC market). But the fact remains that the designers at ARM continue to pump out high-quality products.
ARM's latest core, the Cortex-A8, was announced at the company's developer conference, being held this week in Santa Clara, Calif. ARM claims the core can deliver up to 2000 DMIPS while consuming less than 300 mW. The only catch there is that to achieve these specs, you have to manufacture the core in a 65-nm process. That limits the manufacturing to a handful of processor vendors. At the introduction, partnerships were announced with Freescale, Matsushita, Samsung, and Texas Instruments, all more-than-capable manufacturing houses.
The Cortex-A8 is based on the next-generation ARMv7 architecture, and features Thumb-2 technology. It also incorporates the first implementation of the company's Neon signal-processing extensions to accelerate media codecs, such as H.264 and MP3.
Note that it takes a relatively long time before these cores actually appear in products (handsets will be the primary target), so don't expect to see any shipping products within the next year or so.