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ARM announces first 7nm processor core, Cortex-A76

By Jules Wang May 31, 2018, 3:00 pm

SoftBank-owned processor design firm ARM has announced its latest generation of CPU and GPUs for the 5G generation with increased capacity for AI and machine learning.

The Cortex-A76 CPU core is intended to bring “laptop-class performance” with speeds of around 3GHz, thanks in part to a 7nm fabrication — it is a 35 percent overall performance gain from the 10nm Cortex-A75 and doubles the horsepower of the 16nm Cortex-A73.

The core uses a new microarchitecture, but component makers will be able to use existing software for programming. In any case, this should allow for 40 percent better battery efficiency.


Joining up with mobile and laptop processors, the Mali-G76 GPU will be driving the action on multimedia and gaming with a 50 percent bump in general performance from the G72. There are more executing engines in each shader core and dual texture mappers as well as increased private L2 cache to deliver a richer mobile gaming experience.

It also has 2.7 times the machine learning capacity with four times the performance as artificial intelligence is relied on for things such as particle effects. All of this comes with a 30 percent power efficiency increase.

Finally, the Mali-V76 will be the first to prioritize video streaming at 8K and 60 frames per second. It’ll handle twice the decode throughput of the 4K-capable V61, but use 40 percent less space when decoding 4K at 120fps while providing for a 25 percent jump in signal against noise.

The processor is intended to be a versatile playback tool for VR applications to even video walls— a 4×4 array of full HD displays or a 2×2 array of 4K displays.

ARM chips made up 39 percent of market share last year with 21.3 billion units shipped. The company says that it is committed to the laptop space, which has shown some promise, but it will also defer to Microsoft for specific metrics.

The products are currently available to semiconductors companies and integrations are expected to be commercialized in 2019.


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