At the ongoing Computex 2016 trade show in Taipei, ARM, the company that designs the processor architecture for mobile chipsets, has announced a new Cortex-A73 chipset which it expects to power high-end smartphones next year. With support for mobile VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), the Cortex-A73 CPU and Mali-G71 GPU are designed to enhance power efficiency while ensuring optimal performance. Let’s take a look the improvements that Cortex-A73 brings compared to its predecessor, the Cortex-A72 CPU. Also Read - MediaTek teases another premium chipset manufactured on the 6nm Process
“In 2017, we will see devices with the Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71 processors that stand out thanks to their impressive and sustained performance, and even more stunning visuals. This technology can make engaging with 4K video, virtual reality and augmented reality an everyday experience on a mobile device,” ARM’s executive vice president and president, Pete Hutton, said. Also Read - Apple to unveil first in-house processor for Macs in November: Report
Cortex-A73 CPU: Codenamed Artemis, the new 64-bit ARMv8 Cortex-A73 processor is built on 10nm FinFET fabrication process. With peak clock speed of up to 2.8GHz, the new CPU offers 30 percent increased performance and power efficiency compared to Cortex-A72 processor. Built on ARM big.LITTLE technology, the Cortex-A73 also claims to deliver smooth user experiences across all form factors – be it smartphones, tablets or 2-in-1s. Also Read - Nvidia acquires ARM Holdings division $40 billion deal
Along with smartphones, the latest CPU also offers increased throughput and performance density that is essential for consumer electronics applications such as industrial gateways, large-screen compute devices, smart TVs and vehicle infotainment as well.
ARM also offered some insights by comparing the Cortex-A73 CPU with previous generation ones. The Cortex-A57 released in 2015 was built on 20nm fabrication process, with peak clock speed of 1.9GHz, whereas the Cortex-A72 CPU announced earlier this year, is built on 16nm fabrication process with peak clock speed of 2.5GHz. In comparison, the Cortex-A72 CPU offers 2.1x and 1.3x performance improvements compared to Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A72, respectively.
So far, the Cortex-A73 CPU is licensed by 10 partners, which includes the likes of Samsung, MediaTek, HiSilicon and Marvell among others. The SoC is likely to debut in Google Daydream-compatible devices by this year-end or early next year.
Mali-G71 GPU: The Mali-line of GPUs are widely used in more than 750 million devices that were shipped in 2015, ARM says. Today, everyone is talking about VR and the Mali-G71 GPU is built to offer the best possible mobile VR experience.
The new Mali-G71 features third-generation architecture called Bifrost, which is optimized for Vulkan and other APIs. The GPU offers up to 40 percent more performance per square milimeter, which provides up to 50 percent higher graphics performance and up to 20 percent better power efficiency over its predecessor.
With shader cores scaled up to 32 (twice to that on the previous generation GPU), the performance of Mali-G71 can match discrete GPUs that power the mid-range laptops, such as Nvidia’s GTX 940M, ARM says. Designed for virtual reality, the GPU supports graphic pipeline latency of 4ms, refresh rate of 120Hz and resolution up to 4K. The new GPU also supports ‘multiview’ API extension.