With the opening of Computex 2019, ARM officially announced the new generation of mobile CPU architecture Cortex-A77 and the new generation of mobile GPU Mali-G77 GPU. They will become the mainstream of the new generation of flagship smartphones CPU and GPU from the second half of 2019 to 2020.
Last year’s A76 was a very successful core architecture introduced by ARM. The combination of the new architecture and the 7nm TSMC process brought great performance and efficiency leap. The Kirin 980 and the Snapdragon 855 are good examples using the Cortex-A77 CPU architecture.
Despite the excellent performance of the A76, ARM’s real competitor is the CPU design team from Apple. From the CPU alone, at present, A11 and A12 still have obvious performance and efficiency lead.
It is understood that the Cortex-A77 codenamed “Deimos”, is the successor of the A76. The new core is largely consistent with previous generations, maintaining excellent energy efficiency and a small core area in the A76 architecture. At the same time, performance is further improved.
The A77 architecture still uses the ARMv8.2 CPU core and is designed to be paired with the Cortex-A55 small core. In addition, compared to the A76, the basic configuration of the A77 has not changed. You can still see 64KB L1 instructions and L1 cache, and 256 or 512KB L2 cache.
ARM said that A77 and A76 maintain the same 3.0GHz peak frequency target. But manufacturers are not expected to reach such high frequencies in the new generation of Soc.
From the performance comparison, in the SPEC int2006 test, the A77 performance is 20% higher than the A76 at the same frequency 3.0GHz. In addition, there is a nearly 20% improvement in Geekbench 4, and the memory bandwidth has increased by more than 15 %. A77’s floating point performance has a 30-35% improvement and surpasses that of Apple A11.
ARM also announced a new machine learning ML processor that is included with ARM’s Project Trillium machine learning computing platform along with the NN software framework. According to ARM, the overall ML performance of the past two generations of A7x processing (Cortex-A77, Cortex-A76) has increased by 35 times.
Overall, the A77 and A76 performance gap will not be as large as the one between A76 and A75. It is still a continuation of high-performance, energy-efficient products (can be seen as a modified version of the A76). The SoCs with the A77 architecture will compete with Apple’s A13 and Samsung’s next-generation M5 core. It is expected that the products will be available on the flagship smartphones, ARM notebooks and other devices in 2020.