ARM Cortex A76 Will Challenge Mobile x86
Samuel Wan / 3 weeks ago
ARM Cortex A76 Aimed Squarely At Laptops
Ever since ARM took over the smartphone and tablet markets, more serious aspirations have been cast on their CPUs. With every new ARM CPU release, the designs continue to gain more performance. At the top end, ARM CPUs have been touted as a replacement for x86 in mobile low-end laptops. Despite these improvements, there has not been much movement on this end. However, the newly announced ARM Cortex A76 may change all that.
The new Cortex A76 is ARM’s answer to laptop-grade performance. ARM is claiming a massive 35% increase in performance. This comes due to a combination of architectural improvements and process node changes. However, the majority of the improvements are from the new design. Despite the improvements, Cortex A76 sticks to the core traits of ARM CPUs, with high efficiency. Compared to Cortex A75 on 10nm, the new 7nm chip is 40% more efficient.
Cortex A76 Widest ARM Cortex CPU Yet
ARM plans to have the same performance as competitors with half the power and size. In order to do that, the design is getting wider and more efficient. This follows an increasing trend for CPUs to focus on becoming more powerful and efficient rather than just higher clock speeds. In terms of IPC, this means ARM will be following the trend set by Samsung with their Exynos M3 and Apple’s custom cores. For low power scenarios, the A76 will pair up with the A55 in DyanmIQ clusters.
It will be interesting to see if A76 will give the final push to ARM laptops. With the popularity of Chromebooks Windows on ARM, the ecosystem is getting there. However, ARM still faces a number of challenges. For one, Intel and Samsung are pouring ever more resources into the mobile CPUs. Some Intel laptop CPUs are even pushing desktop-class performance. Furthermore, the increasing complexity of CPUs raises the possibility of more major bugs like Spectre and Meltdown. One thing is for sure, ARM CPUs are edging into x86 territory faster than ever.