Renesas Mobile is readying two big-little ARM Cortex processors for introduction at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain next week.
It is planning to demonstrate the MP6530 2.2 big-little quad-core communication processor with integrated GSM-through-LTE modem. Renesas also has a 4.4 big-little applications processor with four Cortex-A15 and four Cortex-A7 processor cores but no modem on-board.
The big-little architectural approach offered by ARM Ltd. to its licenses is designed to optimize energy efficiency. It does this by allowing application software to switch between cores optimized for low power and high performance for an overall energy saving in typical use where equipment spends much of its time in standby mode.
The quad-core MP6530 processor incorporates an integrated modem and is intended for use in mid- to high-end smartphones priced between $200 and $400 and which feature multiple cameras and multiple displays. Memory access is by means of a dual-channel LPDDR3-standard interface with a bandwidth of 800-Mbytes per second per channel.
The architecture will be most useful in multidisplay applications where LTE is used to download material such as a video which is then displayed on television at high-definition, typically over an HDMI cable. For graphics Renesas has selected the PowerVR SGX544 GPU core from Imagination Technologies.
The MP6530 is implemented in 28nm planar bulk CMOS and has a target performance of a maximum clock frequency for the Cortex-A15 cores of 2GHz and for the Cortex-A7 cores of 1-GHz. Renesas estimates that this is about three times the computing and graphics performance of its present MP5232.
The communications processor is also designed to support cameras of up 20-megapixels resolution and burst shoot photograph at up to 30 frames per second in addition to support for simultaneous 1080p30 video encoding and decoding.