Flagship chipsets such as Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 980 both have ARM’s Cortex-A76 CPU at the heart. Switching from 10nm to 7nm node has greatly helped ARM offer a substantial 30 percent increase in performance, while offering 40 percent energy efficiency over the Cortex-A75 CPU. Now, at Computex 2019 trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, ARM has announced its latest CPU design which will be powering the flagship smartphones in 2020.
The Cortex A77 CPU is based on the same microarchitecture as the Cortex A76 CPU. This will probably be the last 7nm design from ARM before the company switches to 5nm node, which we are expecting to hear in 2020. Now, despite being built on the same 7nm node as the predecessor, the new Cortex A77 CPU manages to deliver 20 percent performance jump. It is impressive considering the fact that it shares the same architecture as the A76 cores.
The new Cortex A77 core is compatible with existing designs, meaning vendors like HiSilicon and Qualcomm can easily slot in A77 core in the same space as the A76 cores, without much of a hassle. More importantly, Cortex-A77 cores work with Cortex A55 cores – meaning vendors can have bigLITTLE architecture for power and efficiency cores.
Watch: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 First Look
ARM also announced Mali-G77 GPU based on new Valhall architecture which promises to offer up to 40 percent performance improvements. At the same time, it is also 30 percent energy efficient. The GPU also adds 60 percent faster machine-learning performance “which significantly boosts inference and neural net (NN) performance for advanced on-device intelligence.”
Smartphones, tablets and laptops powered by Cortex A77 cores can be expected sometime next year. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 SoC which is expected to launch later this year, is more likely to come with Cortex A77 CPU. Successors to Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7 and LG G8 to name a few, are expected to come with the new CPU. However, with Huawei barred from business with ARM, it remains to be which CPU the company uses for its next flagship chipset.