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ARM unveils Cortex-A76 CPU, says its 35% faster than predecessor

04 June 2018
ARM unveils Cortex-A76 CPU, says its 35% faster than predecessor

The Cortex-A76 CPU core is meant to bring "laptop-class performance" with speeds of around 3GHz, thanks in part to a 7nm fabrication - it is a 35 percent overall performance gain from the 10nm Cortex-A75 and doubles the horsepower of the 16nm Cortex-A73. They're also being built with laptops in mind, particularly the always-connected, Windows 10-powered notebooks that promise LTE connectivity and all-day battery life.

Based on the DynamIQ technology, the new Cortex-A76 CPU is promoted as a "laptop-class" CPU by ARM. This is because the power draw of the other GPU components remains mostly constant when scaling up the number of execution lanes. The A76's brand-new architecture brings decisive improvements to power and efficiency. Over the last several years Arm's event has come as clockwork in the May timeframe and has every time unveiled the newest flagship CPU and GPU IPs. The company also says the latest offering brings two times the performance for laptops compared to the Cortex-A73.

That's not all, ARM is also boasting a 40 percent improvement in power efficiency, towards which the smaller target process node helps, but there are microarchitecture changes here as well which add to the efficiency. And since AI is trendy, the new CPU has almost 4x improvement in speed when it comes to machine learning. According to the company, it delivers laptop-class performance while maintaining the power efficiency of a smartphone. In terms of numbers, Arm is promising a 35 percent improvement over the Cortex-A75, which is substantial as a year-over-year improvement.

The first 5G phones are expected to start arriving next year, and when they do, chip maker ARM wants to be ready.ARM's Rene Haas talks about the company's new processors.

ARM won't stop at 3GHz, as the Cortex A76 in laptop form factor can reach 3.3GHz with 64KB L1 cache, 512KB L2 and 4MB L3 cache. The new GPU will be combined with the Mali-V76 VPU and last year's mali-D71 DPU. The new G76 GPU is based on the same Bifrost architecture as the older G72 but offers a significant 1.5x performance boost. Technical details about the new CPU can be read here.

That's where ARM has been making investments, which are on display in these new processors. The Mali-V76 supports 8K decode up to 60fps or four 4K streams at 60fps, which lets users stream four movies, record video while video conferencing, or watch four games in 4K, the company claims. It can also support 16 1080p streams, enabling the creation of 4x4 video walls, which are popular in the Chinese market.