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Why ARM® is the Industry Standard in Mobile Processors

July 31, 2012

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We’re proud of our lineup of Exynos microprocessors, but where does the core architecture of our SoC series come from?

The answer: ARM®

ARM®’s tagline is “The Architecture for the Digital World,” and they are the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) company. Founded in 1990, ARM® has shipped over 30 billion chips to date, and their technology can be found in 95% of smartphones. These facts alone support the idea of ARM® being the industry standard in mobile processors, and this article will give a more in-depth look into why ARM® has become so successful.

Common Architecture

ARM® is known for using the same underlying architecture in each processor they build. For example, the Samsung Exynos lineup is built with ARM®’s Cortex™-A processor series, ranging from the Cortex-A8 processor (Exynos 3 Single) to the world’s first Cortex-A15 processer-based SoC(Exynos 5 Dual). Building these SoC’s on a common platform gives them full application compatibility, and makes them ideal for open platform design where congruity and portability of software between designs is important.

The architecture is also created to be used in apps that have high-compute requirements and deliver interactive media and realistic graphics experiences. As these programs become more advanced, the Cortex-A processor series (and the rest of the ARM® line) continues to provide peak performance points and scalability while delivering desired power efficiency.

Ideal for Mobile

Another reason ARM® is the industry standard in mobile processors is because they’re built in a way that’s ideal for your mobile devices. One clear feature that sets ARM® apart from certain companies is that they have native support for Adobe Flash 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, and beyond, allowing you to actually use and view Flash videos and websites on the go.

ARM® also uses a high performance NEON™ engine for a wide support of media codec standards, ranging from MPEG-4 to H.264 and beyond. These engines provide video stabilization and allow you to edit and enhance captured videos from your mobile device. They also support 2D and 3D graphics, as well as voice recognition technology and high-megapixel photo processing.

Besides allowing Adobe Flash and pushing fast and quality graphics, the ARM® architecture is designed for low power use that enables all-day browsing and connecting. With the ARM® architecture in your mobile device, you can be confident that your battery life will last through hours of web browsing and video capturing so you won’t miss anything during your everyday adventures.

High Performance with Multicore Technology

The ARM® architecture and the Cortex-A processor series around which Samsung Exynos is built are known as the industry standard for providing high performance technology without sacrificing power. The ARM® website gives the following examples for each core of the Exynos series:

• Cortex-A15 processor (used with the Exynos 5 Dual): highest performance solutions for next-generation mobile and demanding wireless infrastructure applications

• Cortex-A9 processor (used with the Exynos 4 Quad, Exynos 4 Dual 32nm, and Exynos 4 Dual 45nm): Delivering exceptional capabilities for less power than consumed by high performance computer platforms

• Cortex-A8 processor (used with the Exynos 3 Single): single-core solutions that provide cost-effective high performance

Multicore technology utilization is another factor as to why ARM® is viewed as the industry standard in mobile processors. They’re built ranging from single to quad-core models for high performance applications, and they are designed to support symmetric and asymmetric OS implementations. As technology continues to evolve, the use of multiple cores in processors becomes more important to keep up to speed with new programs and applications, and ARM® does this while still providing long battery life.

Learn more about ARM® architecture and keep up with the latest advancements in mobile processor design on the official ARM® website.

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