bigwophh writes "ARM launched its new Cortex-A5 processor (codenamed Sparrow) this week, and while it's not targeted at the top end of the mobile market, it is a significant launch nonetheless. The Cortex-A5, which will likely battle future iterations of Intel's Atom for market share, is an important step forward for ARM for several reasons. First, it's significantly more efficient to build than the company's older ARM1176JZ(F)-S, while simultaneously outperforming the ARM926EJ-S. The Cortex-A5, however, is more than just a faster ARM processor. Architecturally, it's identical to the more advanced Cortex-A9, and it supports the same features as that part as well. This flexibility is designed to give product developers and manufacturers access to a fully backwards-compatible processor with better thermal and performance characteristics than the previous generation."