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ARM 2012 Roadmap Reveals "Gods and Giants" Theme

ARM revealed its 2012 roadmap in a 4Q11 financial results meeting with analysts.

 that ARM has revealed its roadmap of cores for 2012 which features a "gods and giants" theme. The roadmap, presented to analysts at ARM's 4Q11 financial results meeting, includes high performance processors, a low-power microcontroller, and two graphics cores codenamed Skrymir (a giant in Norse mythology) and Tyr (the Norse god of single combat).

According to the report, the two graphics cores were paired together in a slide set, indicating that ARM may deliver these cores in a big-little processing approach. On the processor front, a slide set displayed the A15 and A7 together in a big-little pairing. As previously reported, the A7 will handle the light computational load applications while the A15 aspect is turned off. As the load increases, the processing eventually moves over to the A15 and the A7 core is switched off.

"Warren East, CEO of ARM, described the Skrymir and Tyr cores as being about high performance and energy efficiency, but said further details would be released later in 2012," EETimes reports. "The cores are intended to cover a range of applications from phones though mobile computing to consumer electronics and ARM has signed lead partners for the development of the cores."

Eventually East admitted that ARM plans to take the big-little approach with its graphics cores, too.

ARM's next-generation high-end processing cores have also received the "gods and giants" treatment, labeled as Atlas and Apollo. These will implement the ARMv8-A architecture which supports 64-bit computing, and may even be manufactured using 20-nm processing technology. East said they are designed to address applications from servers down to smartphones, and that lead partners have already signed up for this Greek duo.

"We expect Atlas, Apollo to come into volume in 2014 and at that time it will be a 20-nm world out there," he told analysts.

The fifth chip in ARM's 2012 roadmap isn't named after gods or giants. Instead, it will serve as the company's "Flycatcher" and will be part of ARM's Cortex-R series. It will also be the smallest and lowest power ARM processor core available.

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