Chip designer ARM has just revealed its next-gen architecture for the processors that will be powering phones, tablets, and other devices in 2016.

ARM Cortex-A72 chips will be up to 3.5 times as fast as a 2014-era chip based on ARM Cortex-A15 architecture, while using up to 75 percent less energy.

arm cortex-a72

ARM doesn’t make processors itself. Instead the company licenses its designs to chip makers, and ARM says a number of companies including Rockchip, MediaTek, and Hisilicon have already announced plans to license Cortex-A72 designs.

ARM Cortex-A72 chips will be 64-bit processors that can run at clock speeds of up to 2.5 GHz. They can also be paired with lower-power ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores in a big.LITTLE arrangement. This lets a phone or tablet use the lower-power CPU cores to save energy some of the time, while firing up the higher-performance CPU cores when you need the extra power.

Along with the new CPU architecture, ARM is introducing the Mali-T880 graphics processor, which the company says offers 1.8 times the performance of an existing Mali-T760 GPU while consuming 40 percent less energy.

arm mali-t880

The new chips have hardware-support for HEVC/H.265 video and will be able to play and capture 4K video at 120 frames per second.


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7 replies on “ARM Cortex-A72 chips coming in 2016”

  1. So Maya had shown up eh…well i wonder when artemis will shown up…probably in this year’s MWC i guess…and…only…2.5 ghz only? Aw cmon its 16nm its suppose to run at 3 to 3.5 ghz right…

    1. I think that the 2.5Ghz was meant for the mobile phone TDP (read in an other A72 article).

      It is possible that this architecture could go higher if the TDP (cooling capability) allows it. A properly designed mini-PC enclosure can provide much bigger cooling capability even without fans (although that would also be an option)

  2. so where does this leave the A57? i assumedthe A57 was the 64bit equivalent of the A15, but if this is that, does that make A57 the 64bit equivalent of A9?

    1. I think this is ARM trying not to cut into their own profits, let’s say you’re about to buy the 2014 model of a car, but you hear the 2015 model has much comfier seats, you’d probably not buy the 2014 and wait. So, compare the A72s to the A15s which makes the numbers sound better and doesn’t make current flagship phones look bad.

      1. But most consumers couldn’t care less what processor is in their phones. Once the manufacturers are on board, whether or not a new architecture is just around the corner doesn’t matter.

      2. It does make the A57 look bad since anyone can calculate the relative speed difference between that and the A72.

        I believe, ARM was forced to make a big jump in IPC, so the introduction of the A72 was inevitable. Without this, the give-away-for-free tactics of Intel could result in a major foothold in mobile, which ARM doesn’t want for obvious reasons.

        By showing a strong, high-performance contender, ARM gives some assurance to the OEMs that they don’t need to switch to Intel to be able to build high-performance computing devices in the mobile segment.

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