Cortex-A15

The Cortex-A15 is a high-performance processor that implements the Armv7-A architecture.

Overview

The Cortex-A15 has enjoyed proven success, with shipments in excess of 50 million units across a variety of smartphones and infrastructure applications. The processor cluster has one to four cores. Each core has its own L1 instruction and data caches, together with a single shared L2 unified cache.


Key benefits

  • Established Armv7-A  processor with NEON-VFP configurability.

  • Reliable 32-bit infrastructure computing with 1TB addressing.

  • Support for multi-tenant software virtualization.

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The Cortex-A15 can also be implemented in an Arm big.LITTLE configuration.


Highlights

Architecture Armv7-A
Multicore 1-4x Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP) within a single processor cluster, and multiple coherent SMP processor clusters through AMBA 4 ACE technology. Compatible with CCI-400 for up to two clusters, CCI-504 for up to four clusters, and a large level 3 cache for optimal performance.
ISA Support
 
  • Armv7-A
  • Thumb-2
  • TrustZone security technology
  • NEON Advanced SIMD
  • DSP & SIMD extensions
  • VFPv4 Floating point
  • Hardware virtualization support
  • Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE)
  • Integer Divide
  • Fused MAC
  • Hypervisor debug instructions
Memory Management Unit (MMU)
Armv7 Memory Management Unit
Debug & Trace
CoreSight

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Applications

The Cortex-A15 high-performance processor is designed for a wide-range of 32-bit applications which require the high performance with the advantages of Arm's power-efficient architecture. Key target markets include:

High-end digital home entertainment

Wired and wireless networking

Cost sensitive smartphones

Industrial factory automation

Embedded storage controller

Mobile Computing


Key features

Out-of-Order Pipeline

Arm’s highest performance 32-bit triple-issue out-of-order pipeline which removes code dependencies to achieve high peak and sustained instruction throughputs.


Virtualization Support

Arm’s first Armv7-A core with the Cortex-A7 big.LITTLE companion to provide hardware virtualization support enabling sharing of hardware resources across multiple virtualized compute domains.


Cost-Effective / High-Performance

50% performance improvement over the Cortex-A9, 20% lower than Cortex-A57, with an option to significantly reduce area with the removal of the Neon/VFP SIMD unit.


Infrastructure Features

Support for networking and storage application with full ECC cache and 40-bit addressing up to 1TB.


Characteristics

The Cortex-A15 features a highly out-of-order processing engine with a 15 stage pipeline. This enables it to meet the requirements of modern day mobile computing where it must meet two opposite targets; high responsiveness or frame rate for gaming and web surfing, alongside maximizing the battery life to deliver an untethered user experience.

In a single-core configuration, the Cortex-A15 processor can achieve greater performance than the Cortex-A9 processor in key functions. This makes the processor ideal for devices which have rich functionality or need to execute functions at high speeds.

In order for devices to meet both targets simultaneously, Arm has invented big.LITTLE technology. By offering a ‘right core for the right task’ solution, devices can benefit from impressive power savings. Arm’s big.LITTLE technology assigns background and light tasks to the “LITTLE” core and the primary larger tasks to the “big” core. Not only does this allow the larger core to operate more efficiently as it is not trying to continuously context switch to cover the light threads, the consumer benefits from greatly increased battery life alongside top-end performance that can be greater than an individual Cortex-A15 core.

The Cortex-A15 processor can be implemented in a single or multicore configuration and can be paired with the Cortex-A7 to enable big.LITTLE configurations. This means that the processor provides a range of solutions for different use cases.


Related IP

The Cortex-A15 processor can be incorporated into an SoC using a broad range of Arm technology including Graphics IP, System IP, and Physical IP. The Cortex-A15 processor is fully supported by Arm development tools. Related IP includes:

 

Graphic IP
Other IP
Tools

Mali-450 GPU

Mali Display Processors

Mali-V500 Video-Processor

CoreLink Cache Coherent Interconnect Family

Memory Controllers

CoreLink System Controllers

Interrupt Controllers

CoreSight SoC-400

POP IP

DS-5 Development Studio

Fixed Virtual Platforms

Development Boards

Arm Compiler

Fast Models

 

Support

Arm training courses and on-site system-design advisory services enable licensees to efficiently integrate the Cortex-A15 processor into their design to realize maximum system performance with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

Arm training courses Arm Design Reviews

  • Cortex-A15 Technical Reference Manual

    For system designers, system integrators and programmers who are designing a SoC, the Technical Reference Manual is the go-to resource.

    Technical Reference Manual
  • Cortex-A Series Programmer's Guide for Armv7-A

    Common to all Cortex-A series processors, this programmer's guide is useful for assembly and C language application development for Armv7-A.

    Get the Guide
  • Development Tools for Cortex-A

    Arm and our partners provide specialist code generation, debug and analysis tools for software development on Cortex-A series processors, such as DS-5 Development Studio.

    Development Tools

  • Arm Design Reviews

    Arm's on-site design review service gives licensees confidence that their Cortex-A15 CPU is implemented efficiently, to provide maximum system performance, with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

    Explore Arm Design Reviews
  • Questions? Request more information

    Learn more about Cortex-A15, Arm's high-performance processor that implements the Armv7-A architecture. Contact us to speak with our technical team.


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