ARM Cortex-A78C announced

ARM has just revealed a new CPU design called Cortex A78C meant specifically for “next-gen on-the-go devices”, such as always-on laptops. This is based on the Cortex A78 launched back in May 2020.

ARM-based chips are generally used in smartphones and tablets. The upcoming Snapdragon 875 and Exynos 1080 silicon are said to be fabbed on the Cortex-A78 architecture. You’ll also find ARM inside several Chromebooks and pretty soon within the Apple MacBooks too. So with the introduction of A78C on laptops, ARM designs would be pretty much everywhere.

Let’s now unearth the details shared by the company and see what the new framework brings onboard. Shall we?

ARM Cortex-A78C Specs

Cortex-A78C features up to 8 big CPU core clusters unlike the 4+4 structure in the standard A78 design. This “homogeneous multi big core computing” should scale better (as compared to A78) in multi-threaded performance scenarios like modern gaming. The built-in Mali GPU should also favor this.

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The use of a larger 8MB L3 cache and Mali GPU should also favor this. The former should offer performance gains in demanding workloads involving big datasets.

The emphasis on performance might come at the cost of efficiency. However, since ARM CPUs are typically good on battery life, the trade-off shouldn’t be that big a deal for laptop manufacturers. But, it’s too early to tell.

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Lastly, ARM highlights how the Cortex-A78C CPU has integrated new security features for the device and data. This includes things like Pointer Authentication Code (PAC), which brags to be adept at significantly reduce exploits and prevent attackers from taking control of the software control flow. It also assures data safety even when installing third-party apps.

We will see how all these claims hold up when the design makes its way to actual laptops on the store shelves.

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