To have a look at their website it appears that they still thinking larger lithography by using clock gating. I do not see power gating mentioned which seems to say that they have not gotten to the current technology in their IP.
As anyone who evaluates CPU core technology or chip/SoCs knows it will be difficult for anyone to build the ecosystem needed to challenge ARM (well unless they are Intel). So, I look forward to seeing Andes replace the 8bit systems which can reduce much of strain on those low end chips I cannot be certain that it will replace ARM in the nearer term (unless ARM chooses to ignore the challenge or EOL some current products).
I learned of a new core today with this article and was surprised! I thought I knew most of the players but I have to confess to not even knowing anything about Andes until reading about it here. It is nice to be surprised (once in awhile anyway). Thanks for bringing me up to speed!
Looks great! It's a good thing to heat up the competition. ARM makes good cores but too many engineers (or their managers) put too much emphasis on "wanting an ARM core". Truth is that with different peripheral sets between ARM chips and compilers taking care of differences between cores, there really isn't much difference between porting code from one ARM chip to another and porting code from an ARM chip to another core, at least for RTOS and bare metal systems that these smaller cores tend to be used for.