New ARM Cortex-A78 and Cortex-X1 cores announced, will power 2021 flagships
UK-based ARM has officially launched its new Cortex-A78 architecture, which will form the basis of flagship chip designs from the likes of Samsung and MediaTek among others in 2021. This year, however, the Cortex-A78 will also be joined by an additional special high-performance custom variant from its own in-house Cortex-X Custom Program. The new Cortex-X1 chip takes a similar approach to custom ARM-based chips from Apple and Qualcomm in that it seeks to optimize the architecture further for high-performance.
The Cortex-A78, codenamed Hercules, is the latest iteration of its Austin-family CPU architecture that was first introduced in the Cortex-A76 three years ago. It is designed for high-end performance at optimal efficiency and should deliver 20 percent greater sustained performance than the Cortex-A77. The performance and efficiency gains will come from a combination of architectural refinements along with the inherent benefits of shifting to the latest 5nm fabrication nodes.
The new Cortex-X1 is a direct response to the further customized and optimized chips that you find in Apple’s A-series designs and chips like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8xx series. The Cortex-X Custom Program team that actually works with Apple and Qualcomm on their customized designs is responsible for this new high-end design. It is good for a boost to 30 percent in performance over the previous generation and could find its way into Samsung’s Exynos chip line. Its existence could explain why Samsung decided to abandon its own customized high-performance Mongoose cores.
2021 is shaping up nicely from a mobile CPU performance front. Read more about how ARM is also amping things up in the mobile GPU space here.