ARM announces new Cortex-A72 processor, Mali-T880 GPU
When it comes to the silicon powering mobile devices, lately we’ve been thinking about things in terms of SoCs – complete packages like the Snapdragon 810 that’s found itself at the heart of some heated rumors, or the Exynos chip Samsung’s expected to go with instead of any Qualcomm option at all in the Galaxy S6. But as we poke deeper into these chips we can start talking about things in terms of their individual components – the CPU cores, GPU, and support hardware that build up these packages. Today, ARM revealed a couple of these next-gen components that will go into future SoCs, pulling the curtain back on the Cortex-A72 and Mali-T880.
The A72 is the next step forward from the A57 you’ll find in current-gen SoCs like the Samsung Exynos 7 Octa powering the Galaxy Note 4. It’s another 64-bit core, though one capable of operating at higher clock frequencies and with much higher efficiency than the A57 – to the tune of pulling just one-quarter the power.
On the GPU front, the Mali-T880 boasts performance figures that ARM says are about 1.8 times what you’ll see from the Mali-T760 we have now (again, like in the Exynos 7 Octa), while using only 60 percent of the power as that old GPU. Paired with the Mali-V550 video processor, it will be able to handle 4K-resolution output at refresh rates as high as 120Hz.
So, who’s going to be making SoCs around this tech? ARM mentions a few familiar names like HiSilicon, MediaTek, and Rockchip. Don’t count on seeing any actual chips until sometime next year, but it’s something to look forward to all the same.