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Fujitsu licenses ARM Cortex A15 and Cortex A7 for Big Little configurations

Says consumer and industrial devices will see chips
Tue Jul 02 2013, 15:50
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JAPANESE CHIP DESIGNER Fujitsu has signed a licensing deal with ARM to use its ARM Cortex A7, Cortex A15 and Mali T624 GPU in the firm's Big Little configurations.

Fujitsu's chips are typically put to use in less than glamorous circumstances, with the company doing a bustling trade in industrial devices and microcontrollers. Now the firm has signed a deal with ARM to use its latest Cortex A15 and Cortex A7 processor designs along with its high-end Mali T624 GPU in both industrial and consumer devices.

ARM's Big Little architecture allows firms to pair different processor cores on a single piece of silicon to schedule jobs between high performance cores and low power, slower cores. Typically firms such as Samsung and now Fujitsu opt for Cortex A15 based cores as the bigger cores and Cortex A7 cores to handle simpler tasks, with Fujitsu choosing a dual Cortex A15 and dual Cortex A7 setup.

Fujitsu will also use a quad-core version of ARM's Mali T624 GPU to offload tasks onto the GPU where possible. ARM's Mali T624 GPU supports OpenCL for GPU compute and can, depending on the workload, offer power savings over doing the work on the CPU.

Mitsugu Naito, EVP of Fujitsu's Advanced Products Business Unit said, "Being able to bring a flexible, high-performance solution to address the dynamic market associated with visual computing is vital for Fujitsu Semiconductor.

"The energy-efficient pairing of ARM Cortex CPUs in a Big Little configuration with the market-leading performance and GPU Compute functionality offered by the Mali T624 GPU opens up a wide range of opportunities for the features offered to end consumers and industrial applications."

Fujitsu said it will put its quad-core ARM chips in both industrial and consumer devices, though the ARM Cortex A15 is not meant for smartphones, meaning that it will likely end up in televisions or tablets. The Japanese chip designer didn't say when it will have silicon out the door. µ


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