ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore

ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore
ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore
Produced in production late 2011,[1] to market late 2012[2]
Designed by ARM
Max. CPU clock rate 1000 MHz  to 2500 MHz 
Min. feature size 32 nm/28 nm initially[3] to 20 nm roadmap[3]
Instruction set ARMv7
Cores 1-4 per cluster, 1-2 clusters per physical chip[4]
L1 cache 64 kB (32 kB I-Cache, 32 kB D-Cache) per core
L2 cache up to 4 MB[5] per cluster
L3 cache none

The ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore is a multicore ARM architecture processor providing an out-of-order superscalar pipeline ARM v7 instruction set running at up to 2.5 GHz.[6] ARM has confirmed that the Cortex A15 core is 40 percent faster than the Cortex-A9 core, all things equal.[7] The first A15 designs taped out in the fall of 2011, but products based on the chip are not expected in the market until 2012.[1]



Key features of the Cortex-A15 core are:

  • 40-bit Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE) addressing up to 1 TB of RAM.[8][9]
  • 15 stage integer / 17-25 stage floating point pipeline, with out-of-order speculative issue 3-way superscalar execution pipeline.[10]
  • 4 cores per cluster, up to 2 clusters per chip with CoreLink 400 (an AMBA-4 coherent interconnect). ARM provides specifications but the foundries individually design ARM chips, and AMBA-4 scales beyond 2 clusters.
  • DSP and NEON SIMD extensions onboard (per core).
  • VFPv4 Floating Point Unit onboard (per core).
  • Hardware virtualization support.
  • Thumb-2 instruction set encoding reduces the size of programs with little impact on performance.
  • TrustZone security extensions.
  • Jazelle DBX support for Java execution.
  • Jazelle RCT for JIT compilation.
  • Program Trace Macrocell and CoreSight Design Kit for unobtrusive tracing of instruction execution.
  • 32kB data + 32kB instruction L1 cache per core.
  • Integrated low-latency level-2 cache controller, up to 4 MB per cluster.


Implementations are only expected to sample in 2011, and none are expected to market before 2012 or 2013.

Press announcements of forthcoming implementations:

  • Broadcom SoC[11]
  • Texas Instruments OMAP 5 SoCs[12]
  • ST-Ericsson Nova A9600[13]
  • Nvidia a future Tegra chip[14]

Other licensees expected to produce an A15 design at some point are LG[15][16] and Samsung.[17] Although Apple is a major ARM licensee with already substantial developed ARM-based product lines (the iPad, iPhone, and iPods), no announcements have yet been made about a continuation in the form of a future cortex A15-based Apple design. It should be noted that Apple never makes any announcements[verification needed] regarding its future products or roadmaps.

See also


External links

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