Arm Announces ‘Laptop Performance’ Cortex A76

Arm has announced the Cortex A76 microarchitecture. It should offer 35 percent better performance than its predecessor and at the same time be 40 percent more efficient. Arm focuses emphatically on use for laptops.

According to Arm, the downside of the rapid development of the smartphone is that laptops have become less impressive, partly because you can’t work on them for a day without running into battery problems. The Cortex A76 should change this with its performance and efficiency.

The single threaded integer scores have increased by 25 percent compared to the Cortex-A75 and the floating point scores by 35 percent. Compared to a laptop with a Cortex-A73 chip, such as the Snapdragon 835 of the current Windows on ARM laptops, the performance has even doubled. But Geekbench and JavaScript performance have also improved, by 28 and 35 percent respectively. Incidentally, Arm compares a Cortex A76 produced at 7nm with an A75 produced at 10nm and an A73 produced at 16nm.

The A76 supports the DynamIQ big.Little technology announced last year to create clusters of up to eight Cortex cores, which do not have to be of the same generation. For example, for a midrange smartphone processor, a single Cortex-A76 with seven energy-efficient A55 cores can be chosen. Arm will offer designs of combinations of the A76 and A55 for TSMC’s 16nm so that manufacturers can make cheaper chips on this proven development process. In addition, there will be a design for TSMC’s 7nm, for faster and more efficient processors with clock speeds above 3GHz.

The improvements have been made to the vector execution arrows, among other things. On the A75, one of the two vector pipelines was 128-bit wide and the other 64-bit. With the A76 they are both 128bit. Furthermore, Arm mentions decoupling the branch prediction and the instruction fetch and the optimized full cache hierarchy, with a new generation of prefetcher.

Arm simultaneously announces the Mali-G76. This one is again based on the Bifrost architecture. Compared to the Mali-G72, the maximum performance is 25 percent higher, partly because there are now eight instead of four execution lanes per engine. There are still three engines per core, but the number of cores has been reduced from 32 to 20, bringing the total to 384 cores. The video processor has also been updated, this Mali-V76 now supports processing of 8k video at 60fps or four 4k streams simultaneously at 60fps.

Arm is making its portfolio available to partners, who can use it to create chips that will come to smartphones, laptops and other devices next year.