ARM’s Next-Gen Chip Designs to Boost Performance Efficiency & Feature in Android Phones by 2021

ARM revealed a series of new generation chip designs for the upcoming year that will reduce power consumption, and deliver stronger CPU, graphics, and AI performance. 

The designs include the Cortex-A78 CPU, Ethos-N78 NPU, Mali-G78 and Mali-G68 GPUs, and finally a brand new Cortex-X1.

New ARM CPU Cores: Cortex-A78 and Cortex-X1

Deemed as the most efficient and powerful Cortex-A Series CPU ever designed by the company, ARM claims that 5nm A78 will give 20% better-sustained performance when compared to its predecessor, the A77.

The A78 is more compact and takes 15% less die space in an 8-core configuration (in a 4x A78 and 4x A55 configuration). This means that there will be more room for bigger NPUs, GPUs, and DSPs. Similarly, even smaller and potentially affordable chipsets can be employed.

The new chips will also boost the peak single core performance by up to 30% – provided it‘s used in combination with ARM’s new custom program, Cortex-X1. Currently, not much information is available about the X1 core other than the fact it’s a result of a partnership between one or more companies.

New ARM NPU: Ethos-N78

ARM promised that in comparison to the previous-gen Ethos-N77 NPU, the Ethos-N78 will boost peak performance by 100%, performance efficiency by 25%, and bandwidth efficiency by 40%.

Also, chipset licensees needing specialized workflows can avail of over 90 different configurations of the N78 as well.

New ARM GPUs: Mali-G78 AND Mali-G68

The Mali-G78 will reportedly use less power than the preceding G77 GPU and offer up to 25% performance boost in specific workloads. Even GPU-based machine learning tasks will have a 15% faster average rate, while the “real life“ game performance will be 17% better.

Despite rumors of Google developing its own Borr architecture, this GPU will still be based on the Valhall version.

ARM also introduced the Mali-G68, a sub-premium tier GPU, that will have all the features of the G78 – with a few tweaks. It‘ll only support 6-core designs, but will have lower energy consumption and take less space on-die.

Now that we discussed the latest revelations of ARM, we would like to point out that you won’t necessarily see these chips directly. Instead, they will power your Android mobile phones from different flagships.

If rumors are to be believed, you might find them in upcoming SoCs from companies like Samsung, MediaTek, Huawei, QUALCOMM, and Google. Looks like the end of 2020 or early 2021 might bring us some fresh SoC announcements.

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