ARM Unveils New Quad-core Cortex-R8 CPU for Next-Gen Storage
Brit processor and software design firm ARM has announced a quad-core Cortex-R8 CPU to cope with demanding real-time applications.
ARM’s Cortex-R profile of real-time processors is well established in the storage world, where systems usually require response-times in the microsecond range. The company says currently all major hard-drive and SSD manufacturers use controllers based on its Cortex R processors, making it an industry leader in a relatively less crowded segment.
The latest 32-bit ARMv7-R Cortex-R8 features four cores, versus the limited dual-core configuration of the 2011’s R7, delivering double the theoretical processing power over its predecesssor. The cores are designed to give enough power to SSDs that they could carry out more IO operations a second, while performing at lower latencies.
The cores can also be run asymetrically and also have the ability to be turned off for power savings and increased battery life. Further, the quad-core configuration on a 28nm or 16nm FinFET process could reach up to 15000 Dhrystone MIPS at 1.5GHz frequency, ARM claims.
Other features are similar to the R7, including an 11-stage OoO (Out-of-Order) execution pipeline, clock speed of up to 1.5GHz on a 28nm HPM process, and up to 2MB of tightly coupled memory per core.
As for the applications, the R8 will mainly be used in disk servo motor control, and flash controllers, with 5G modems using the CPU blueprints only a couple of years away.