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Arm's Cortex-A76 Could Be The First True Challenger To x86 Chips On Laptops

(Image credit: Arm)

Arm announced its second-generation DynamIQ “big core,” the Cortex-A76, as well as a new Mali-G76 GPU and the Mali-V76 VPU with support for 8K UHD resolution.

Cortex-A76 Brings “Laptop Performance”

According to Arm, its CPUs have seen consistent 20%+ performance gains every year without compromising battery life, in contrast to x86 laptop CPUs, which have seen single-digit percentage improvements every year. The company concludes that this level of progress is one of the main reasons why Microsoft has taken an interest in porting Windows 10 to Arm chips. Arm also noted that Windows 10 laptops running its chips can last over 20 hours on a full charge.

The new Cortex-A76 promises an even larger 35% increase in performance compared to last year’s Cortex-A75. On laptops it promises an even larger increase in performance, at least in a synthetic Aarch64 SpecInt2K6 benchmark. Presumably further optimization in firmware and software (Windows 10) also played a large role here.


If the Cortex-A76’s 2x increase in overall performance over Cortex-A73 is real, then Cortex-A76 laptops may be the first true contenders to both Intel and AMD in the laptop market. The CPU could be ideal for Chromebooks and Always-On Connected Windows 10 laptops with long battery life.


The new CPU core IP is also 40% more efficient compared to the previous generation, assuming the performance level remains the same. On the 7nm process, which Arm’s customers are targeting, the CPU promises clock speeds over 3GHz.

Due to its support for INT8 operations and other improvements, Cortex-A76 will also be able to deliver 4x inference performance. That means machine learning (ML) models will run four times as fast as on previous Arm CPUs, but it doesn’t mean it’s a replacement for Arm’s Machine Learning Processor (MLP), which promises much higher inference performance.

Additionally, Cortex-A76 brings an optimized memory system that will be isolated from the main operating system via TrustZone technology.

Mali-G76 GPU And Mali-V76 VPU

Arm also announced new GPU and VPU designs. The new Mali-G76 GPU comes with three execution engines per shader core, dual texture mapper, configurable 2-4 slices of L2 cache, and support for up to 20 “cores” in devices. The new GPU promises promises 30% increased efficiency compared to Arm’s last-generation Mali GPU, which should lead to a 1.5x increase in mobile gaming performance. 


The Mali-V76 VPU doubles the decode performance over Arm’s previous VPU IP, enabling support for decoding 8K videos at 60 fps or four 4K videos at 60 fps. It can also support 16 1080p streams, enabling the creation of 4x4 video walls, which are popular in the Chinese market. Given the VPU’s high performance, Arm says it’s also ready for higher-resolution VR and AR applications.

  • fpga123
    The article doesn't even substantiate any comparative benchmark results. Click-baiting has become the norm, it seems.
    Reply
  • Sleepy_Hollowed
    That's significant, since on GeekBench, the iPhone 8 is severely close to an Alienware with a desktop 6700 non K CPU, which is insane, considering that Apple's throttles quite a bit.

    I can only imagine this new ARM CPU with active cooling on a laptop.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    Benchmarking on mobile platforms, especially iOS, is so faked it's pointless. Compare with ported games like PUBG and you'll see that the synthetic benchmark numbers has nothing to do with reality. That game struggles to maintain 30 FPS on any ARM ecosystem even though it's running at ultra low settings with upscaled graphics.
    Reply
  • therealduckofdeath
    Fix your website, Tom's! (...for the billionth time!)
    All the broken links caused by your forced redirections to the buggy .co.uk domain are annoying as hell. Stop deleting all complaints about this and just fix your site, please?Also, fix your broken cookie disclaimer. That bug you're having on that part could actually cost you fines in the EU as I'm pretty sure it's not compliant.
    Mobile platform functionality is also pretty terrible, which goes under the first complaint.
    Reply
  • computerguy72
    Heh Sleepy_Hollowed - "severely close" to an older 6700? wtf... It's not a good realworld test and even using geekbench it's laughably slower.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21016970 said:
    The article doesn't even substantiate any comparative benchmark results. Click-baiting has become the norm, it seems.
    Get a clue. For someone complaining about click-baiting, your media literacy seems shockingly poor.

    They're reporting on ARM's announcement of their new IP. If there's any silicon implementing this design, it's probably only test chips in ARM's labs. Certainly no products yet contain it. Probably not until at least Q4 2018 or early 2019.

    As you may know, ARM doesn't sell chips. They sell designs. Their customers license these designs for use in their own chips. Most of those customers then sell the chips to yet another set of companies, which are the device makers. This is why ARM needs to publicize its new designs well in advance of actual products, and why there's such a lag between the two.

    Of course, there are slight variations on this model, such as Apple and Samsung (which license ARM IP and then use it in their own devices), but the main point is that ARM doesn't sell chips. So, there's nothing for independent journalists to test, and there won't be for a while.
    Reply
  • JonDol
    Even if the performances they are boasting are not faked this time, the adoption of the ARM Windozes will be slooooow and power users may even ignore them just as they did with the Chrome books and eePCs.... Just imagine the time it takes for all the tools whether free or commercial, we use on a daily basis to be available for ARM. I for one, use a few dozens daily. That performance boost alone is simply not enough to convice users to adopt it.
    Reply
  • AgentLozen
    Bit_User said:
    Get a clue.

    I've been checking Craigslist everyday for the past month but I've come up empty handed. Can anyone recommend a good clue?
    Reply
  • bit_user
    21018130 said:
    Bit_User said:
    Get a clue.

    I've been checking Craigslist everyday for the past month but I've come up empty handed. Can anyone recommend a good clue?
    Edited. See above.

    BTW, I think you're clueful enough.
    Reply
  • redgarl
    The day it will run Crysis, then we can talk I guess...
    Reply