Arm Cortex A78 And Cortex X1 Comparison
More than 2 years after the release of the Cortex-A77 architecture for the 7nm process, ARM now officially launched a new generation of CPU architecture – Arm Cortex A78 suitable for the 5nm process, with a 20% performance increase and 50% power reduction. Arm also unveiled the new Cortex X1 CPU cores that will be carried by mobile devices in 2021.
The Cortex A78 is an iteration of the Cortex-A series, and the Cortex X1 is a new high-performance CPU.
According to the introduction, both Arm’s Cortex A78 and Cortex X1 are based on the previous generation Cortex A77, but the two Arm processors have different design goals, with the Cortex-A78 focusing on delivering higher performance per watt while being smaller, while the Cortex-X1 pursues maximum performance.
According to the official description, the Cortex A78 reaches the main frequency of 3GHz, the performance per core per watt is 20% better than the previous generation, and at the same performance, the Cortex-A78 power consumption is 50% lower than the previous generation. In addition, the A78 is also 5% smaller, saving 15% of the area for quad-core clusters, which frees up more space for additional GPUs, NPU, and other components.
The Cortex-X1 is the first commercial product of Arm’s “CXC Project”. In terms of performance, the Cortex X1 will be 30 percent better than the Cortex A77 and 23 percent better at integer computing compared to the Cortex-A78, and the Cortex-X1 also has twice the machine learning capabilities of the Cortex-A78.
At the product level, the smartphone’s SoC seems unlikely to use a quad-Cortex X1 cluster, and a single Cortex-X1 with three Cortex A78 would be a good choice. Such a configuration takes up only 15% more space than a quad-core Cortex A76 cluster but offers higher single-core performance.
The Cortex X1 has a much larger core than the A77 and A78, the L2 cache has a maximum capacity of 1MB and twice the bandwidth to maximize performance, while the shared L3 cache can go up to 8MB, twice as much as previous generations.
The Cortex-A78’s performance boost comes primarily from improvements to the 5nm processor, Arm’s most conservative generation of improvements. It is expected that future SoCs will opt for the 1-core X1, 3-core A78, and 4-core A55 pairings for better performance and energy efficiency. Future Windows on Arm products are likely to feature multi-core Cortex-X1 SoCs, which will provide a significant performance boost.
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