ARM unveils new Cortex-A72 processor cores and Mali-T880 graphics
This week ARM has officially announced a new processor core called Cortex-A72. The British company promises that the new ARMv8 (64-bit capable) based design will deliver "up to 3.5x" performance of the now-obsolete Cortex-A15 introduced in September 2010 while the energy consumption will be reduced by 75% in similar workloads. Just like the current Cortex-A57, the new cores will be manufactured by TSMC on the same 16 nm FinFET+ process and can be paired with the low-energy Cortex-A53 cores in a big.LITTLE configuration. According to ARM, the first devices with processors including Cortex-A72 cores can be expected in early 2016.
Along with Cortex-A72 the company also introduced an updated interconnect interface and a new GPU. The new CCI-500 (Cache Coherent Interconnect) link replaces its predecessor CCI-400 and promises twice the bandwidth, increasing the memory performance by up to 30%, which will improve the handling of 4K content. The new Mali-T880 GPU will also assist with this, providing (again, according to ARM) up to 1.8x performance of Mali-T760 (for example, in Samsung's Exynos 5433). It's designed to work with the Mali-DP550 display processor and the Mali-V550 video processor, connected via a third-party LPDDR3/4 memory system.
ARM has confirmed that the new design will be licensed to Huawei's subsidiary HiSilicon, MediaTek and Rockchip, but we expect Samsung and Qualcomm to follow suit shortly.