Although the future of ARM processors lies in 64-bit chips and namely in the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processor cores the current 32-bit ARM Cortex generation is far from being retired. ARM has proven this claim once again by releasing a new Cortex-A17 microarchitecture that will soon power the next generation of smartphones, tablets, TV sets and various other devices.
Cortex-A17 promises up to 60 per cent better performance when compared to the current crop of Cortex-A9 processors. In addition both generations can be paired in big.LITTLE combinations that allow from 2 to 8 cores on a single die. Along with Cortex-A17 ARM has announced the Mali-T720 graphics core, which is the first solution on the Midgard architecture. The Mali-T720 is simpler when compared to Mali-T600 chips but ARM claims that the performance level has not dropped.
The first products based on ARM Cortex-A17 are to appear next year.