Your next Samsung Galaxy or Apple iPhone for 2017 is in for a treat, with faster and more efficient chips under the hood. Advanced RISC Machines (ARM), the company that develops the technology powering most smartphones, has announced the next generation of CPU cores and GPU. The new Cortex A73 cores are about 30 percent more powerful than the current A72 cores. Mali-G71 GPU is 50 percent more powerful than the current generation GPU found in 2016 smartphones.
The Cortex A73 delivers more processing power, while being more efficient and smaller. The core is 30 percent faster. It manages to deliver this while sipping 20 percent less power, and a longer sustained use period. As for form factor, the core is 25 percent smaller. These are impressive improvements. We however cannot bank on these figures as the licensees choose how to implement the technology.
The Mali-G71 GPU is a high end graphics chip. The chip delivers up to 50 percent improvement over the current generation. Mali-G71 is based on the third generation architecture, Bitfrost. Being the latest architecture, this makes the chip the best so far. The graphics chip should see applications anywhere from smartphones, tablets and virtual reality headsets. ARM says the Mali-G71 can match discrete laptop GPUs, making use of scaling up to 32 shader cores.
Combined, they make up better SoCs. Virtual Reality on mobile phones has been a focus of these improvements. A lower latency at 4ms, support for 4K resolution at 120Hz are all necessary for Mobile Virtual reality. With the mobile market saturating, manufactures are looking up to Virtual Reality.
The cores are not all for mobile though, thanks to the Internet of Things. Less than half of ARM’s chips are are used on smartphones. The rest are used on TVs, cars, you name it. This gives ARM a reason to continue innovation in the face of dwindling demand for mobile phones.