Freescale Semiconductor will launch its first 64-bit ARM-based product in the second half of the year according to a briefing TechRadar Pro had with Tareq Bustami, VP and GM product management, Digital Networking for the company.

He informed us that both Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 products will be available in eight-core and 12-core configurations, which will be the highest core count available when it launches.

The chips will be positioned in three tiers (T1, T2 and T4) and will co-exist with the PowerPC architecture as part of the QorIQ communications product line.

MIPS on its way out

It is likely that Freescale will also bring 64-bit goodness to its i.MX application processor family although a timeframe has yet to be determine.

Referring to MIPS, the beleaguered chip designer which was acquired by Imagination Technologies a while back, he also boldly stated that it "is on its way out". Note that Freescale doesn't use MIPS in its products but is one of the licensees of Imagination IP porfolio.

Tareq stressed the importance of software for Freescale as a way for the company to strengthen its IP. He claims that the software team at Freescale is "bigger than Cavium [a rival] or hardware [at Freescale]".