ARMs new High-end CPU, The Cortex A72
ARM has announced a new high-performance CPU: Cortex A72. To put it in simple terms , the Cortex A72 is a smaller, efficient, and a smaller version of the Cortex A57. The first shipment of the 16nm FinFET mobile SoCs will more than likely ship in 2016. Mike Filippo, ARM’s chief architect for the Coretx A72 “Our focus on A72 was to achieve next-gen performance and pull a ton of power out of the design. We did that is spades.” The Cortex A72 is a beast of a chip! Depending on the on the workload, The Cortex A72 is claiming around 20 to 60 percent increase in instructions per clock over the Cortex A57.
While the reduced latency on functional blocks would supposedly make for higher frequencies harder to hit, the reduced area and power consumption mean that the Cortex A72 (2.7 GHz) can actually clock in around 10 percent higher than the Cortex A57 (2.5 GHz). Power efficiency wise the Cortex A72 is around 18 to 30 percent better than the A57.
Arm Cortex A72 Rundown
3.5x performance in Cortex A15 in smartphone
Maximize sustained device performance
75% less energy for same workloads enabling slimmer and cooler devices
Compelling scalable solutions
Smartphones to large-screen compute solutions
16nm FF POP enables high frequency designs
Designed with the system in mind
CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect
Mali-T880 GPU, V550Video, DP550 Display
MMU-400, NIC-400, ELA-500
The Cortex A72 is primarily targeted at 14 and 16nm next-gen processing, Arm touched upon the performance side of the Cortex A72 at 28nm. Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 618, and 620 and also the Mediatek MT8173 are bringing the 28nm Cortex A72 to the market this year.
On the naming side of the equation, moving from the ‘A57 to A72 rather than A59 or something similar, ARM explained it like this “it is a marketing decision as we wanted to give better differentiation between its higher performance cores from the mid-tier and low=power cores.” There seemed to be some confusion between the more power efficient A53 and some powerful A57, where users would assume that are similar thus moving its new big core into the A7x series.
After those astounding performance stats what does those figure really mean? If the Cortex A72 really is that fast how does it stand against the Broadwell? According to ARM very well indeed! The Broadwell still out performs the Cortex A72 when there is plenty of power on hand. But when you constrain the power and thermal envelope, like in the Core M, the Cortex A72 comes close to catching up. WOW you would think that this has the same processing power as a Broadwell and a Core M! Well these stats are coming from Arm themselves. We’ll hold off on further analysis until the CPU comes out, but with the 16nm Cortex A72 processing power I could see it in server applications, some are comparing it to Xeon processors. I cant wait until this hits the market, The power and low power consumption are going to be phenomenal! We should be seeing this hit the new devices later this year and early next year, and if it true on the hype that is circulating, I most definitely will be keeping an eye on this.