ARM has officially added two new members to its Cortex R family, the R7 and the R5; the R5 has actually already been released and the R7 should be available later this quarter.
Both models are pegged to replace the R4 and will be used in a number of applications like 3G and 4G (LTE not WiMax) mobile baseband, mass storage, automotive and industrial markets.
Both Richard York and Andrew Frame, respectively director of product marketing and CPU product manager at ARM, were keen to stress the fact that the Cortex R is not meant to compete with the Cortex A (or the Cortex M).
Indeed, they are different beasts and serve as a "pre-processor", feeding the application processor with the raw data.
All baseband processors on the market have ARM-stamp on them and there are already four tier-one licensees for the R5 and the R7 although ARM would only name one, Renesas.
ARM confirmed to us that the the integration of the Cortex R and the Cortex A, at least on a single packaging (not on a single die) will occur more frequently as the entry price point for smartphones decreases.
Richard York added that there will be more products announced at MWC 2011 in two weeks time.