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ARM Cortex A57 is a Dud


Active member
Fudzilla article

-Bad timing (unlike A15 which arrived just as 28nm became affordable)
-Bad design (8 power hogging cores in all)
-Requires FinFETs; doesn't work well on planar nodes (>=20nm)
-14/16nm node is too expensive for midrange A57-based phones; 28nm (and 22nm?) is going to be used through 2016

We're seeing the vacuum created by ARM's dud creating an opportunity for Nvidia's Tegra K1-Denver and Intel's Atom Z35xx. These are good performing 64bit compatible parts which can be built on >20nm nodes, making them suitable for midrange and low end phones. They were previously fringe parts due to the great selection of cores ARM offered for 32bit on 28nm; Intel and Nvidia were frozen out due to timing more than anything. Vendors are attempting to use 8-core A53 and other desperate measures but it won't work (Standalone A53 is not a powerful processor at all, but it is at least 64bit).

Bottom line: The smartphone market is shifting toward lower cost. A57 arrived as this occured, and is out of step with this shift; A57 parts are just too expensive. It is being replaced by an improved A72 in a year. The maximum performance/price is found in the midrange 64bit 28nm or 22nm parts from Nvidia or Intel, which creates quite an opportunity for them if they don't screw it up.
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