Skip to comments.The ARM Diaries, Part 2: Understanding the Cortex A12
Posted on 07/17/2013 8:38:42 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
A couple of weeks ago I began this series on ARM with a discussion of the companys unique business model. In covering semiconductor companies weve come across many that are fabless, but its very rare that you come across a successful semiconductor company that doesnt even sell a chip. ARMs business entirely revolves around licensing IP for its instruction set as well as its own CPU (and now GPU and video) cores.
Before we get into discussions of specific cores, its important to talk about ARMs portfolio as a whole. In the PC space were used to focusing on Intels latest and greatest microarchitectures, which are then scaled in various ways to hit lower price targets. We might see different core counts, cache sizes, frequencies and maybe even some unfortunate instruction set tweaking but for the most part Intel will deliver a single microarchitecture to cover the vast majority of the market. These days, this microarchitecture is simply known as Core.
Back in 2008, Intel introduced a second microarchitecture under the Atom brand to target lower cost (and lower power) markets. The combination of Atom and Core spans the overwhelming majority of the client computing market for Intel. The prices of these CPUs range from the low double digits with Atom to many hundreds of dollars for the highest end Core processors (the most expensive desktop Haswell is $350, however mobile now extends up to $1100). There are other designs that target servers (which are then repurposed for ultra high-end desktops), but those are beyond the scope of this discussion for now.
(Excerpt) Read more at anandtech.com ...