ARM Cortex-A15

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ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore
Arm 5250 full 1.jpg
Produced In production late 2011,[1] to market late 2012[2]
Designed by ARM
Max. CPU clock rate 1.0 GHz  to 2.5 GHz 
Min. feature size 32 nm/28 nm initially[3] to 22 nm roadmap[3]
Instruction set ARMv7
Cores 1–4 per cluster, 1–2 clusters per physical chip[4]
L1 cache 64 KB (32 KB I-cache, 32 KB D-cache) per core
L2 cache Up to 4 MB[5] per cluster
L3 cache none

The ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore is a multicore ARM architecture processor providing an out-of-order superscalar pipeline ARM v7 instruction set running at up to 2.5 GHz.[6]

Overview[edit]

ARM has claimed that the Cortex A15 core is 40 percent more powerful than the Cortex-A9 core with the same number of cores at the same speed.[7] The first A15 designs came out in the autumn of 2011, but products based on the chip did not reach the market until 2012.[1]

Key features of the Cortex-A15 core are:

  • 40-bit Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE) addressing up to 1 TB of RAM.[8][9] As per the x86 Physical Address Extension, still only 32-bit address space is available per process.[10]
  • 15 stage integer/17–25 stage floating point pipeline, with out-of-order speculative issue 3-way superscalar execution pipeline[11]
  • 4 cores per cluster, up to 2 clusters per chip with CoreLink 400 (CCI-400, an AMBA-4 coherent interconnect) and 4 clusters per chip with CCN-504.[12] ARM provides specifications but the licencees individually design ARM chips, and AMBA-4 scales beyond 2 clusters. The theoretical limit is 16 clusters, 4 bits are used to code the CLUSTERID number in the CP15 register (bits 8 to 11).[13]
  • DSP and NEON SIMD extensions onboard (per core)
  • VFPv4 Floating Point Unit onboard (per core)
  • Hardware virtualization support
  • Thumb-2 instruction set encoding reduces the size of programs with little impact on performance.
  • TrustZone security extensions
  • Jazelle RCT for JIT compilation
  • Program Trace Macrocell and CoreSight Design Kit for unobtrusive tracing of instruction execution
  • 32 KB data + 32 KB instruction L1 cache per core
  • Integrated low-latency level-2 cache controller, up to 4 MB per cluster

Chips[edit]

First implementation came from Samsung in 2012 with the Exynos 5 Dual, which shipped in October 2012 with the Samsung Chromebook Series 3 (ARM version), followed in November by the Google Nexus 10.

Implementations of other manufacturers are expected to hit market in 2013.

Press announcements of forthcoming implementations:

Other licensees, such as LG,[21][22] are expected to produce an A15 based design at some point.

Systems on a chip[edit]

Model Number Semiconductor technology CPU GPU Memory interface Wireless radio technologies Availability Utilizing devices
HiSilicon K3V3 28 nm HPL big.LITTLE architecture using
1.8 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A15
+ dual-core ARM Cortex-A7
Mali-T658 H2 2013
Nvidia Tegra 4 T40 28 nm HPL 1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15[23] + 1 low power core Nvidia GeForce @ 72 core, 672 MHz, 96.8 GFLOPS = 48 PS + 24 VU × 0.672 × 2 (96.8 GFLOPS)[24](support DirectX 11+, OpenGL 4.X, and PhysX) 32-bit dual-channel DDR3L or LPDDR3 up to 933 MHz (1866 MHz data rate)[23] Category 3 (100 Mbit/s) LTE Q2 2013 Nvidia Shield

Tegra Note 7

Nvidia Tegra 4 AP40 28 nm HPL 1.2-1.8 GHz quad-core + low power core Nvidia GPU 60 [23] cores (support DirectX 11+, OpenGL 4.X, and PhysX) 32-bit dual-channel 800 MHz LPDDR3 Category 3 (100 Mbit/s) LTE Q3 2013
Samsung Exynos 5 Dual 32 nm HKMG 1.7 GHz dual-core ARM Mali-T604 (quad-core) 32-bit dual-channel 800 MHz LPDDR3/DDR3 or 533 MHz LPDDR2 Q3 2012 Arndale Board, Chromebook, Nexus 10
Exynos 5 Octa[25][26][27]
(Internally Exynos 5410)
28 nm HKMG 1.6–1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 PowerVR SGX544MP3 @ 533 MHz 32-bit dual-channel 800 MHz LPDDR3 Q2 2013 Samsung Galaxy S4,

ODROID-XU Board

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa[28]
(Internally Exynos 5420)
28 nm HKMG 1.8-1.9 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 (ARM big.LITTLE) ARM Mali-T628 MP6 @ 600 MHz; 115.2 GFLOPS = 16FP x 2 Vec4 x 6 x 0.600 (115.2 GFLOPS)(?) 32-bit Dual-channel 933 MHz LPDDR3e (14.9 GB/sec) Q3 2013 Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Texas Instruments OMAP5430 28 nm 2.0 GHz dual-core PowerVR SGX544MP2 @ 532 MHz + dedicated 2D graphics accelerator 32-bit dual-channel 532 MHz LPDDR2 Q2 2013
Texas Instruments OMAP5432 28 nm 2.0 GHz dual-core PowerVR SGX544MP2 @ 532 MHz + dedicated 2D graphics accelerator 32-bit dual-channel 532 MHz DDR3 Q2 2013

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b TI Reveals OMAP 5: The First ARM Cortex A15 SoC
  2. ^ ARM Expects First Cortex-A15 Devices in Late 2012
  3. ^ a b ARM Unveils Cortex-A15 MPCore Processor to Dramatically Accelerate Capabilities of Mobile, Consumer and Infrastructure Applicationsin the Supporting Technology section
  4. ^ CoreLink Network Interconnect for AMBA AXI
  5. ^ Cortex-A15 Processor — Product description
  6. ^ ARM Cortex-A15 - ARM Processor
  7. ^ Exclusive : ARM Cortex-A15 "40 Per Cent" Faster Than Cortex-A9
  8. ^ ARM7 40-bit, virtualization
  9. ^ ARM e-mail to LINUX: Add support for the Large Physical Address Extensions
  10. ^ "Calxeda plots server dominance with ARM SoCs."
  11. ^ Exploring the Design of the Cortex-A15 Processor Travis Lanier
  12. ^ "ARM A15 web page, Specification tab"
  13. ^ "Cortex-A15 MPCore Technical Reference Manual"
  14. ^ Broadcom announces plans for ARM's Cortex-A15 SoC | thinq
  15. ^ Huawei Announces HiSilicon K3V3 Chipset For Smartphones on Tom's Hardware
  16. ^ NVIDIA Announces "Project Denver" to Build Custom CPU Cores Based on ARM Architecture, Targeting Personal Computers to Supercomputers - NVIDIA Newsroom
  17. ^ Samsung Announces Industry First ARM Cortex-A15 Processor Samples for Tablet Computers
  18. ^ Changing the game: ST-Ericsson Unveils NovaThor™ Family of Smartphone Platforms Combining its Most Advanced Application Processors with the Latest Generation of Modems
  19. ^ Desire Athow (14 March 2011). "Exclusive : ARM Cortex-A15 "40 Per Cent" Faster Than Cortex-A9". Retrieved 2011-01-22. 
  20. ^ OMAP™ Applications Processors - OMAP™ 5 Platform
  21. ^ LG Electronics Licenses ARM Processor Technology to Drive - ARM
  22. ^ Why LG Getting ARM Cortex A15 License Is A Big Deal | ITProPortal.com
  23. ^ a b c http://www.nvidia.com/object/tegra-4-processor.html
  24. ^ http://www.359gsm.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=127&t=13134&p=26833#p26833
  25. ^ Press Release
  26. ^ 2013 CES Keynote
  27. ^ Samsung Exynos 5 Octa Specs & Details
  28. ^ [1]

External links[edit]