ARM announces Cortex-A73, Mali-G71
May 31, 2016 // 10:51 a.m.
Cambridge-based chipmaker ARM has announced the design it hopes will find its way into the premium mobile and embedded products of 2017: the 10nm Cortex-A73 with Mali-G71 GPU, both of which are claimed to be optimised for virtual and augmented reality.
Designed as a replacement for the existing 16nm Cortex-A72, ARM's new Cortex-A73 IP is based on a 10nm FinFET process node. The shrink, ARM claims, brings with it a number of improvements over its larger predecessor: the part measures just 0.65mm² per core, making it the smallest top-end ARMv8-A instruction set architecture core the company has ever produced; the cores themselves are claimed to offer 'up to' 30 percent higher performance; and the chip as a whole boasts 'up to' 30 percent higher power efficiency for improved battery life.
The Cortex-A73 is designed to be paired with the new Mali-G71 integrated graphics processor. Compared to ARM's current-generation Mali-T880, the Mali-G71 packs in double the shader cores, a 20 percent improvement in power efficiency, and a 50 percent performance boost - enough, ARM claims, to bring it neck-and-neck with mid-range discrete laptop GPUS, though it has yet to provide benchmark results to validate this claim.
Various ARM licensees have come forward to confirm that they are planning products around the new IP, either pairing the CPU cores with their own GPUs as per Samsung or bundling both together, with the first consumer products based around the parts expected to appear on the market in 2017.