Q&A: When will we see mini PCs with ARM A12 chips?

cortexa12Q. When will we see mini PCs with ARM A12 chips?

A. That’s a good question but one I can’t answer, other than to say I wouldn’t expect we’ll see any mini PCs with Cortex A12 processors before next year at the earliest. ARM only announced the CPU design a couple of months ago so it’ll be whether the likes of Rockchip, MediaTek and Allwinner decide to purchase licenses for it. It’s unlikely to come cheap either so that may limit it to TV box type options in the first instance with their higher sell prices.

Personally, I’d like to see mini PCs deliver full 1080p screen settings rather than running at a lower 720p resolution. Technically, Cortex A12 isn’t needed for this – quad-core Cortex A9 SoCs like Rockchip’s RK3188 can do it now but produce a bit of heat doing it.

News of MediaTek’s up-coming eight-core Cortex A9-powered MT6592 processor may also change things – if this technology becomes cheap enough for Rockchip and others, we may see eight-core A9 CPUs before we see an A12. Pure speculation of course, but it’s a more of a case of what exists now compared to what will exist in six months’ time.

Got your own thoughts? Share them in the comments below.

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