ARM -- the company powering today's finest handsets -- has introduced a new CPU aimed at smartphones, tablets and other low powered computing devices. Codenamed Eagle, the chip will launch as the Cortex A15 in 2012 with a few iterations, offering up to five times the performance of existing smartphone processors. Parts will be made with as little as one processing core, but most will have two or four cores. They'll use 32nm and 28nm fabrication tech, eventually transitioning to 20nm.


Quad-core versions are destined for entertainment systems, wireless infrastructure, as well as home and web servers (up to 2.5GHz). To make the A15 more appealing for server use, its addressing range has been bumped to 1TB from the A9's 4GB. Single and dual-core chips will be used in smartphones and other mobile devices, including netbooks and smartbooks, putting ARM in direct competition with Intel and AMD. All variants will be fully compatible with previous Cortex A-series applications.