I wonder how important multiple cores per design are going to be for ARM as revenue generators. Perhaps they will try and grab more license $ with multiple different cores for each point on the power/processing curve. One would think a single core with 8/4/2 instantiations might be a better approach, but probably less license $...
My understanding is that for identical cores On a chip ARM does offer a slight discount...this would drive down the royalty rate per core if ARM was not able to drive up the base rate!
ARM can try and do that by arguing that newer cores have increased functionality, performance. licensees can resist by saying that too higher royalty rate will make them look elsewhere!
Yes it is quite true why a designer will host two different chips and going on switching applications between both of them, instead multiple cores will be better option, the power concern can be handled by turning on and off the cores dynamically.
The A7 seems to be an interesting addition to the family. I wonder if the title of the article should have been ARM-reveals-little pinky instead of little dog. After all, it is part of the ARM and not the canine family. I look forward to seeing the A7s in silicon for the performance and power savings.
Very interesting. Both cores identical in their architecture support but tuned to different power bands. This couldn't have been possible without some good high speed coherent paths between the cores and the memory. It will be upto the kernel layers to do efficient switching between cores in reponse to application load, hmm.. calls for some clever programming.
Add in a graphics co-processor and you have little, big, bigger. It's an interesting approach and does make sense. With the graphics co-processor architecture, high-power functions are offloaded from the main processor. With this approach, low-power functions are off loaded from the main processor.
For power efficiency, ARM do the best. It is its key competition. In China, more and more companies start to use ARM architecture IC with embedded Linux to develop products. The ARM core IC has the most large share market in China. It is also my first choice to make the new project.
Not saying how important of the numbers of multi-core technology, ARM still has long way to go to deploy superior multi-core solution, like efficiency of ACP to improve I/O performance and Virtualization ...etc. Compare to ARM, MIPs IP price is far cheaper but eCosystem and power efficiency are also weak.
I've seem lots of me-too product with ARM solution in the market for specific regions, especially, China, Taiwan and Indian deploy similar Network and Media SoC in the market. That says, ARM is the winner of IP biz and leave the product competition to the chip design house.
Tools vendors will have their hands full with all the derivative cores. MIPS did this a while back with incompatible cores. As it is, every six months there is another ARM core, with their CMIS standards etc. If one A15 and one A7 core is run in the above diagram, the cache split will be interesting, and what about tracing this lot? How does the core decide what load to run? Surely the developer has to specify this. The comparisons of different cores at 45 and 28nm is misleading. Will be interesting to see how this takes off against NVidia, iMX6000 and other multi-core vendors with identical cores.
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