We're pretty stoked at the promise of dual-core ARM Cortex A9 mobile devices based on the Nvidia Tegra 2 and eventually the Samsung Orion – both should feature performance that'll make today's fastest smartphones seem a little slow.
ARM today announced the Cortex A15 MPCore processor that promises to deliver a 5x performance improvement over today's advanced smartphone processors, within a comparable energy footprint. The Cortex-A15 processor has the projected headroom to run at up to 2.5GHz and is targeted at manufacture in 32nm, 28nm, with a roadmap extending to 20nm.
The Cortex-A15 extends the capabilities of the ARM Cortex-A Series by adding hardware support for OS virtualization, soft-error recovery, larger memory addressability and system coherency. The A15 also features full application compatibility with all of the other current Cortex-A processors, which means "Android™, Adobe® Flash® Player, Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), JavaFX, Linux, Microsoft® Windows® Embedded Compact 7, Symbian® and Ubuntu, along with more than 700 ARM Connected Community members" are supported in the design.
The only bad part of this announcement is that we probably won't be seeing products based on this chip ship until late 2012 or early 2013.
That sort of far-off time frame should give the Cortex A9 time to stretch its legs and gain as much popularity as the Cortex A8 has in smartphones.