ARM Launches Cortex-A50 Series, the World’s Most Energy-Efficient 64-bit Processors

October 30, 2012

New 64-bit processors set to drive the next era in mobile and enterprise, extending ARM leadership in performance and low power  

CAMBRIDGE, UK and ARM TechCon, Santa Clara - October 30th 2012 - ARM announced the new ARM® Cortex™-A50 processor series based upon the ARMv8 architecture, extending ARM’s leadership in performance and low power. The series initially includes the Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors and introduces a new, energy-efficient 64-bit processing technology, as well as extending existing 32-bit processing. The scalability of the processor series enables ARM partners to create system-on-chips (SoCs) that address diverse markets, from smartphones through to high-performance servers.

The processors launched today will continue the evolution of the mobile computing experience by delivering up to three times the performance of today’s superphones and extending today’s superphone experience to entry-level smartphones. With a comprehensive set of ARM and ARM partner development tools and simulation models already available to enable faster and easier software development, both processors are fully compatible with the extensive ARM 32-bit ecosystem and integral to the rapidly evolving ARM 64-bit ecosystem.

The Cortex-A57 is ARM’s most advanced high-performance applications processor, while the Cortex-A53 is the most power-efficient ARM application processor. The Cortex-A53 is also the world’s smallest 64-bit processor.  They can operate independently or be combined into an ARM big.LITTLE™ processor configuration, combining high performance with power efficiency. Both are supported by the ARM CoreLink™ 400 and new CoreLink 500 series system IP fabric solutions.

ARM partners can scale SoC platforms from single- and multi-core big.LITTLE mobile solutions to massively parallel enterprise solutions for optimal flexibility and energy-efficiency. The Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors will target multi-GHz performance on advanced CMOS and FinFET processes technologies, which is supported by early availability of ARM Artisan® Physical IP and ARM POP™ IP for core-hardening acceleration.

Announced licensees of the new processor series include AMD, Broadcom, Calxeda, HiSilicon, Samsung and STMicroelectronics. Supporting materials and quotes from ARM partners can be found to the right and at

“Consumers expect a personalized mobile experience, integrating their daily lives, with seamless connectivity providing access to vast amounts of information. The ARM ecosystem will continue its rate of unprecedented innovation to enable diverse platforms. This will deliver an era of transformational computing, from mobile through to the infrastructure and servers that support consumers’ connected, mobile lifestyles. This will create massive opportunities for market expansion and a revolution in user experiences,” said Simon Segars, executive vice president, processor and physical IP divisions, ARM.  

As smartphones and tablets have become our primary compute devices, mobile performance and capabilities have evolved to drive the computing landscape. In the past five years, the ARM ecosystem has driven a 15x increase in the performance of smartphones, enabling a transformation in how people use their devices. The capabilities of the Cortex-A50 processor series allow it to seamlessly transition from a 32-bit to a 64-bit execution state, enabling today’s existing  applications, and provides scalability to 64-bit for mobile computing client evolution and future superphone trends.

Data Explosion
The evolution of mobile computing is redefining the infrastructure that drives cloud services and network connectivity. The explosive growth of smart mobile devices, combined with richness of services available to end users, is causing an increase in content generation and consumption. With data consumption predicted to reach 120 Exabytes by 2020 (eight times more than todayi), the seamless mobile lifestyle will create a significant strain on network and data centre infrastructure if companies continue to deploy incumbent technologies. The Cortex-A50 processor series is designed with this new era of ‘transformational computing’ in mind, as well as providing an energy-efficient solution to future infrastructure needs.  The enhanced 32-bit execution capability will benefit existing 32-bit cloud server applications, while 64-bit execution extends the applicability of ARM technology-based solutions to enable new opportunities in networking, server and high-performance computing.

ARM Cortex-A50 processor series:

  • Currently includes the Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors
  • Optional cryptographic acceleration that can speed up authentication software up to x10
  • Interoperability with ARM Mali™ graphics processor family for GPU compute applications
  • Features AMBA® system coherency to extend to many-core coherence with ARM CoreLink cache coherent fabric components, including the CCI-400 and CCN-504  

ARM Cortex-A57 processor:

  • The most advanced, highest single-thread performance ARM application processor
  • Delivers the enhanced performance required for smartphones as they continue to transition from content-consumption devices to content-creation devices,  with up to three times that of today’s superphones in the same power budget
  • Provides computer performance comparable to a legacy PC,  while operating in a mobile power budget, enabling cost and power efficiency benefits for both enterprise users and consumers
  •  Extended reliability and scalability features for high-performance enterprise applications  

ARM Cortex-A53 processor:

  • The most efficient ARM application processor ever, delivering today’s superphone experience while using a quarter of the power
  • Incorporates reliability features that enable scalable dataplane applications to maximize performance per mm2 and performance per mW
  • Optimized for throughput processing for modest per thread compute applications
  • The Cortex-A53 processor combined with the Cortex-A57 and big.LITTLE processing technology will enable platforms with extreme performance range while radically reducing the energy consumption  

ARM and members of the ARM Connected Community® are collaborating to develop a robust 64-bit software ecosystem. The ARM Compiler and ARM Fast Models have supported the ARMv8 architecture since it was announced in October 2011, and are used extensively by public launch licensees of the Cortex-A50 processor series. This functionality is now complemented with support for bare metal and Linux debug in the ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™). In addition, open source operating systems, applications and third-party tools are already in development. This is a natural extension to the broad ecosystem already in place that supports existing ARMv7 architecture-based devices.  

Availability: The ARM partnership is expected to ship Cortex-A50 series-based chips in 2014. ARMv8 open source operating system, toolchains and foundation models are now available at ARMv8-architecture

Images can be downloaded at this page:

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that is at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM’s comprehensive product offering includes RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, video engines, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and the company’s broad partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. Find out more about ARM by following these links:

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ARM, Artisan and AMBA are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex, CoreLink, big.LITTLE, Mali and POP are trademarks of ARM Limited. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. “ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM Inc.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Limited.; ARM Taiwan Limited; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Germany GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; ARM Norway, AS and ARM Sweden AB  


Contact Details:
Andy Phillips
+44 (0) 1223 400930 or +44 7771975925  

i one exabyte is the equivalent of a billion gigabytes and an average smartphone data plan has one gigabyte of data per month allowed

* UMTS Forum, Mobile traffic forecasts 2010-2020 report - link

Partner Press Quotes: ARM Cortex-A50 Series Launch


“ARM’s Cortex-A50 series processors combined with AMD’s unique low-power dense compute fabric, will bring new levels of choice and energy efficiency to the data center compute landscape and ignite a new 64-bit server ecosystem,” said Dr. Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager, Global Business Units, AMD. “AMD believes our strategic partnership with ARM, in concert with our OEM and critical ecosystem partners, will together help usher in the next era of enterprise computing.”


“Broadcom is committed to engineering advanced, highly integrated, and complete mobile platforms that will power next-generation mobile devices,” said Martyn Humphries, Broadcom VP and GM, Mobile Application Processors Group. “Future consumer demands will require mobile devices to provide a level of functionality and performance not seen to date. The Cortex-A50 series processors combined with Broadcom’s technology will enable these advanced devices and greatly enhance the end user experience.”


"We are seeing broad market interest in turning to a low power alternative server infrastructure today with 32-bit ARM processor-based solutions, and of course 64-bit ARM technology will widen that appeal," said Barry Evans, Co-founder and CEO, Calxeda."There's a reason Calxeda has been named one of the most disruptive technologies in the industry: customers are facing a looming power crisis, and this technology represents their best hope to nail it. We are truly witnessing the dawn of a new epoch in computing architecture."


“HiSilicon aim is to effectively contribute to the substainable development of the economiy, society, and environment while enriching life through communication. To achieve this we are delivering network, wireless and digital media solutions that support the demand for both energy-efficiency and high-performance,” said George Yiu, General Manager of Turing Processor BU, HiSilicon. “Working with ARM as a lead partner for the new Cortex-A57 processor will support HiSilicon as we continue to gain momentum in these important markets. In particular, the ability for us to cross boundaries seamlessly between the 32-bit and 64-bit ecosystems will be invaluable as we continue to work with software development community.”


"Data usage is dramatically increasing as the mobile internet becomes more accessible for customers, consumption of HD content and multimedia services increase and new connected experiences emerge," said Yves Maitre, Senior Vice President Mobile Multimedia and Devices, Orange. “To make the most of the advances in high-speed mobile networks, operators and device manufacturers need to have high-performance, energy-efficient processing power, such as the Cortex-A50 series, to continue the growth in the connected device market and create new experiences."


“Samsung is very pleased to be partnering with ARM as they introduce the Cortex-A50 processor series which promises to redefine the power/performance equation in computing,” said John Kalkman, vice president, Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. “By combining the innovative technology leadership from both Samsung and ARM, customers will have the ability to incorporate the most advanced application processors for future computing platforms.”


"The market’s need for a variety of interoperable mobile devices with always-on and ubiquitous connectivity, together with the growing data traffic generated by those devices accessing expanding cloud services are driving a computing revolution,” said Gian Luca Bertino, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Digital Convergence Group, STMicroelectronics. “The Cortex-A50 family’s performance, including its ability to execute 64-bit instructions and its scalability, presents ST with new opportunities to continue developing a wide range of innovative solutions, including our next generation Unified Processing Platform for Digital Convergence applications, and the dedicated products for networking and datacenter infrastructure applications that enable our customers to address the complex challenges presented by the ever-increasing quantities of data.”

About Arm

Arm technology is building the future of computing. Our energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have enabled advanced computing in more than 250 billion chips and our technologies securely power products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. Together with 1,000+ technology partners, we are enabling artificial intelligence to work everywhere, and in cybersecurity, we are delivering the foundation for trust in the digital world – from chip to cloud. The future is being built on Arm.

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