Raspberry Pi Zero ARM
ARM hopes to bank on the growing trend for single-board computers like the Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi

ARM has released a new processor for use in wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Raspberry pi-like single-board computing devices. The Cortex-A32 is aimed at 32-bit embedded applications that require low power consumption and succeeds the chipmaker's Cortex-A9 and A7 processors.

The Cortex-A32 is the smallest processing core from ARM to date: the company says it takes up less that 0.25mm2 of silicon in its simplest arrangement and is also hugely power efficient, with the 100MHz single-core version consuming less than four milliwatts – or one thousandth of a watt – of power. This makes the processor 25% more power efficient than its current leading 32-bit core, the Cortex-A7.

The Cortex-A32 can be configured into single or multi-core arrangements, which ARM says makes it an ideal choice for powering anything from wearables to IoT gateways, as well as for the growing line-up of Raspberry Pi-like devices favoured by budding programmers. The A32 is built on the chipmaker's ARMv8-A architecture, which offers a greater level of encryption and protection for embedded devices.

James McNiven, general manager of CPU group, said: "The Cortex-A32 processor, enabled with secure ARM TrustZone technology, builds on the trail blazed by the Cortex-A5 and Cortex-A7 processors in embedded applications such as single-board computing, IoT edge nodes and wearables.

"It brings greater performance, efficiency and other benefits of the ARMv8-A architecture for ARM's silicon partners to innovate on for richer, more secure embedded systems."