ARM has released the Cortex-A15 MP4, a quad-core 28nm processor that manufacturers will be able to use in notebooks and enterprise devices without having to heavily customise it.
The company usually lets chip manufacturers customise its designs, but the Cortex-A15 MP4, the availability of which was announced on Tuesday, is an example of a 'hard macro' — a pre-optimised variant that should make it possible to develop products more quickly.
"For SoC [system-on-a-chip] designers looking to make a trade-off between the flexibility offered by the traditional… SoC development strategy and a rapid time to market, with ensured, benchmarked power, performance and area, an ARM hard macro implementation is an ideal, cost-effective solution," ARM processor marketing chief Jim Nicholas said in a statement.
ARM's chip architecture is found in the vast majority of mobile phones and tablets, although the advent later this year of Windows 8 for ARM will also make it more viable as a notebook platform.
The Cortex-A15 MPCore design, on which the MP4 is based, is also more server-friendly than ARM's entrenched Cortex-A9 technology, with features such as low-power sleep mode and support for error detection, data recovery and hardware virtualisation.
The MP4 runs at 2GHz and, according to ARM, "delivers performance in excess of 20,000DMIPS, while maintaining the power efficiency of the Cortex-A9 hard macro".
"The low leakage implementation… delivers an extremely competitive balance of performance and power and is ideal for a wide array of high-performance computing applications such as notebooks through to power-efficient, extreme performance-orientated network and enterprise devices," ARM said in its statement.