ARM's Cortex-A32 set to usher in a new generation of Raspberry Pi-alikes

Raspberry Pi 2

ARM has revealed a new design for an ultra-compact processor core which is aimed at wearables, the Internet of Things, and the likes of tiny computers which have become very popular in recent times.

There are a lot of Raspberry Pi-alikes around these days, and the new Cortex-A32 could well usher in more efficient and perhaps even smaller boards for enthusiasts who love to tinker – and who knows, we might even see this in the CPU driving a future Raspberry Pi model (maybe the sequel to the seriously compact Pi Zero, perhaps?).

The Cortex-A32 is a 32-bit processor built on the ARMv8-A architecture, and the company claims that it's 25% more efficient than the Cortex-A7, the firm's current leader in terms of the embedded 32-bit core.

Incredibly frugal

In its smallest configuration, this thing sips a tiny amount of power – with a 100MHz single-core version using less than 4mW, and size-wise it takes up less than 0.25 mm2 of silicon. ARM further notes that Cortex-A32 is highly scalable and can be used in single-core or up to quad-core configurations.

Essentially, the Cortex-A32 is a more compact spin on the Cortex-A35 without the 64-bit support.

James McNiven, general manager, CPU group at ARM, commented: "The Cortex-A32 processor, enabled with secure ARM TrustZone technology, builds on the trail blazed by the Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A7 processors in embedded applications such as single-board computing, IoT edge nodes and wearables.

"It brings greater performance, efficiency and other benefits of the ARMv8-A architecture for ARM's silicon partners to innovate on for richer, more secure embedded systems."

Via: Ars Technica

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).