ARM announces the Cortex-A78C, a new variant of a next-gen high-end core
ARM's new Cortex-A78C core is based on its previously launched A78. However, the company insists that it has diversified the audience for its series (which also consists of the A78E) with this core. It has apparently been optimized for "high performance, heavily threaded workloads".
Like the A78, this new C variant is compatible with the Mali-G78 GPU. However, it is geared toward different formations in a single DynamiQ arrangement (by which ARM cores are combined with others to form a processor). The A78 can conform to big.LITTLE architectures (or 1+3+4 arrangements, as is likely to be the case in 2021).
However, up to 8 of its C siblings can be used to create an all-big chipset: no A55s or X1s required. This intriguing concept could (according to ARM) handle the next-gen demands of what it calls "digital immersion". These applications range from productivity-focused tasks to virtual- or augmented-reality (AR or VR) gaming.
The Cortex-A78C core also supports ARM's latest security-focused features. They include Pointer Authentication (PAC), which is rated to reduce exploits of the return-orientated programming (ROP) and jump-orientated programming (JOP) by over 60% and 40% respectively. However, and possibly most importantly, it has an L3 cache of 8MB.
Therefore, ARM is adamant that CPUs based this new Cortex-A78C core would be ideal for prosumer- to enterprise-grade portable devices - even laptops, perhaps - or gaming headsets, whereas the A78 is best for smarphone SoCs. However, it does sound like they might also be attractive to OEMs in the mobile gaming space as well. Time will tell where these fresh new CPU cores will end up.