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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