New low-cost handsets from manufacturers including LG Electronics and Samsung will be capable of offering consumers high performance and long battery life by using a new ARM processor chip.
UK-based ARM has unveiled its Cortex-A7 processor, which it claims will enable a rich user experience in the sub-$100 (£63) entry-level smartphone segment and help connect the next billion people in developing markets.
The firm promises that the Cortex-A7 will deliver the low-cost models in the 2013-2014 timeframe with an equivalent level of processing performance to today’s $500 (£315) high-end smartphones.
ARM has agreed deals with 18 manufacturers, including ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments, Samsung and LG to provide the chip in low-cost handsets without higher-performance and extended battery life.
The A7 will work in a similar way to the Cortex-A8 processor that is at the heart of many of today’s most popular smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy series, but will deliver five times the energy efficiency and is one-fifth the size of the Cortex-A8 processor, while providing significantly greater performance.
ARM says its intention is to redefine usage in the developing world by helping connect the next billion people to internet content and services over mobile devices.
‘As smartphones and tablets continue to evolve into users’ primary compute device, consumers are demanding performance as well as the always on, always connected service they expect. The challenge for our industry and the ARM ecosystem is how to deliver on this,’ said Mike Inglis, ARM's executive VP, processor division.
‘The introduction of Cortex-A7 addresses this challenge and extends ARM’s technology leadership by setting a new standard for energy efficient processors and redefining the traditional power and performance relationship.’
Bo-ik Sohn, VP and head of LG Electronics SIC Center, added: ‘The Cortex-A7 processor’s will help address the high performance and low-power requirements of OEMs to deliver the optimum user experience for next generation mobile phones and mobile computing devices.’