This week, ARM launched yet another processor architecture, taking advantage of its presence at a large conference in the area, techcon3. The new Cortex-A5 was developed to dramatically accelerate the performance of low-cost mobile devices, with twice the energy efficiency of the previous architecture and carrying all the high-level technological baggage already found in devices such as the iPhone 3GS and the new iPod touch .
This allowed its manufacturer to include some interesting extra features, such as NEON instruction vectors to improve hardware performance when dealing with multimedia and other tasks. This allows processors based on this design to accelerate to the Flash Player content in the future, especially when version 10.1 comes out of the oven.
But the best part of this architecture is that it not only allows the construction of low voltage processors with just one core, but manufacturers can also add extra cores, creating processors quad-core for devices that we might one day carry in our pockets. Be something excellent for handhelds low cost and, because it is compatible with the same application compilers as Apple's mobile platform, can be used on iPhones and iPods touch one day.
This initiative can bring challenges, especially for developers, as these cores will be of no use if you cannot take advantage of them with code lines. The standard answer for the industry in this case is the famous threads, but nothing would be as efficient as relying on special APIs and technologies on large mobile platforms (something like Snow Leopard's Grand Central Dispatch), capable of reducing the work with code needed to optimize the performance of an application running on multiple cores.