ARM has announced yet another Cortex core and like the Cortex A12 it is designed with mid-range devices in mind.
The Cortex A12 offers a ~40 percent performance boost over the Cortex A9, while the Cortex A17 should end up somewhat faster. ARM says it is 60 percent faster and more efficient than the old Cortex A9, the first ARM core that was used in consumer oriented multi-core chips.
With the new A17, ARM’s 32-bit lineup should look something like this: Cortex A7 parts for low end devices, Cortex A12 and Cortex A17 for mid range gear and the big Cortex A15 for high end devices.
In the past it took chipmakers on the order of a couple of quarters to roll out SoC designs with new ARM cores, but interestingly that doesn’t appear to be the case with the A17. The first designs have already been announced, but ARM expects A17-based devices to ship next year. The Cortex A17 IP will be made available to ARM partners this quarter.
ARM says the new chips will run at 1.5GHz or more. It can be used in big.LITTLE configurations, just like the A7, A12 and A15. In terms of performance it should end up slower than the A15, but then again the A15 proved rather problematic and at 28nm it is not exactly a good fit for most smartphones.