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With ARM's Cortex-A17 processor, midrange smartphones and tablets will be much faster

Brad Molen
02.11.14
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We already have a hard time finding fault with processing power in the mid-range smartphones and tablets currently on the market, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be even snappier. That's the goal of ARM, which has announced the latest Cortex processors, known as Cortex-A17, to address not only mobile devices in the midrange market, but Smart TVs and Over-the-Top devices as well. The 28nm A17 comes with big.LITTLE (the architecture used in Samsung's latest octa-core Exynos chips) support, and promises a 60 percent boost in performance over Cortex-A9. It's also paired with a Mali-T720 GPU, which offers OpenGL ES 3.0 support and plenty of optimizations for low-end Android devices. While ARM doesn't specify an actual timeframe for release, it says that we should expect a huge push for the A17 in 2015; in a separate release, MediaTek also tells us that its newest octa-core processor comes with Cortex-A17 tech inside and will be available in the second half of this year.

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