ARM Introduces New CPU and GPU Designs, Transforming Performance and Efficiency in Mobile Chipsets

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ARM, a leading semiconductor company, has unveiled its latest designs that aim to revolutionize CPU and GPU configurations in mobile chipsets. The traditional big.LITTLE CPU approach, with more little cores than big cores, is being challenged with ARM’s innovative designs.

The newly revealed CPU lineup includes the high-power Cortex-X4, middle-tier Cortex-A720, and small-sized Cortex-A520. These cores will work in synergy to strike the perfect balance between performance and energy efficiency. ARM has also introduced the DSU-120, which drives the DynamIQ Shared Unit system, enabling collaboration between different CPU cores.

Current high-end chipsets commonly adopt a 1+3+4 or 1+4+3 configuration. While the DSU-120 supports up to 14-core CPUs, it is anticipated that smartphones will primarily utilize 8-core configurations. However, the standard configuration is likely to shift towards a 1+5+2 arrangement.

The Cortex-X4 is optimized for heavy single-threaded tasks, promising a 15% performance boost over the X3 while maintaining power parity. For equivalent performance, the X4 boasts an impressive 40% reduction in power consumption. With clock speeds expected to reach 3.4GHz, the Cortex-X4 stands as ARM’s fastest CPU core to date.

Designed for efficiency, the Cortex-A720 outperforms its predecessor, the A715, by 20%. Equipped with five A720 cores, it will handle multi-threaded workloads efficiently.

On the other hand, the Cortex-A520 is an in-order core designed to minimize silicon space by allowing two cores to share execution units. It prioritizes power efficiency and offers a 22% improvement over the A510. High-end chipsets will likely allocate A520 cores for background tasks.

A forthcoming chipset featuring the X4, A720, and A520 cores in a 1+5+2 configuration is projected to deliver a substantial 27% increase in multi-threaded performance compared to the current 1+3+4 X3, A716, and A510 configuration when running at similar frequencies and cache capacities.

Notably, these new cores exclusively support the ARMv9 instruction set, rendering the legacy 32-bit ARM instruction set obsolete. However, companies requiring 32-bit support can utilize the Cortex-A710 core.

In addition to the CPU designs, ARM unveiled its second-generation Immortalis GPU, the G720, catering to flagship devices. The Mali-G720 and Mali-G620 GPUs were also introduced for high-end and mid-range chips, featuring ARM’s new architecture, known as “5th Gen.”

One of the notable improvements in the 5th Gen architecture is the Deferred Vertex Shading pipeline, reducing memory load by up to 41% in various applications such as Genshin Impact and Fortnite. This enhancement not only lowers power consumption and heat generation but also improves performance. On average, the 5th Gen architecture offers 15% higher peak performance and 15% better performance per watt.

The Immortalis-G720 GPU introduces enhanced support for ray tracing and collaboration with Tencent Games and MediaTek to develop Smart Global Illumination (SmartGI) as an industry standard.

The Immortalis-G720 GPU can feature up to 10 cores, while the Mali-G720 and Mali-G620 can be configured with 6 to 9 cores and up to 5 cores, respectively, based on chipset designers’ preferences.

ARM’s new CPU and GPU designs are expected to debut later this year and in early 2024. Interestingly, the press release includes statements from TSMC, Samsung, and Intel Foundry Services, with the latter highlighting the potential for innovative mobile SoC designs by combining Intel’s 18A technology with ARM’s powerful Cortex-X4 CPU core. The involvement of a third player in the foundry space can drive innovation and potentially lead to more affordable solutions.

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Aryan VyasAryan Vyas
Aryan is the youngest tech enthusiast at Smartprix, with a deep passion for technology, automobiles, cricket, and Bollywood. He is a meticulous researcher and writer who write on a wide range of tech topics, including smartphones, laptops, wearables, and smart home device.

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