Another year, another new ARM silicon design. At its annual TechDay event, the British semiconductor company announced the design blueprints of the new Cortex-A77 CPU core and the Mali-G77 GPU family.
Right off the bat, ARM claims the A77 design boasts a significant 20% performance improvement in instructions per clock (IPC) over the older A76 design. The chip-designer also said the new design has “laptop -class performance.” Considering Qualcomm’s newest 8cx processor — which it showed beating an Intel i5 in benchmarks at Computex — uses the Kryo 495 based on the Cortex-A76 design, A77 could be the way to go for future ultrabooks.
ARM boasts the A77 has 5G support, as well as better machine learning capabilities.
Per industry norms, each generation of ARM processor is typically manufactured on a new nod, which makes them more power efficient.
ARM introduced a new Mali-G77 GPU alongside the Cortex A77 as well, boasting a 40 percent performance uplift over the G76 design. The G77 GPU should improve mobile games and battery life thanks to its increased efficiency. It’s also worth noting that the G77 family is based on the brand-new ‘Valhall’ architecture. It replaces the familiar ‘Bifrost’ architecture that formed the foundation of many ARM Mali GPUs starting with the G71.
The two new products are available for companies, like Qualcomm, Samsung, and MediaTek to license for their respective ARM processors.
In many cases, certain licensees may improve upon the designs by adding extras. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, for example, uses a tweaked Cortex-A76 CPU core design for its bigger cores. Same goes for Samsung. It’s latest Exynos 9820 processor uses a customized older Cortex-A75 design called Mongoose 4.
One company that will not have access to the new Cortex and Mali designs, unfortunately, is Huawei. The Chinese telecom company lost its access to future ARM licenses after ARM cut ties with Huawei following the U.S. ban.