Samsung and ARM partner up for 7nm 3GHz Cortex-A76 processors

05 July 2018
The Cortex-A76 is described as a "laptop-class" core. The 7nm LPP process will be followed by an even more efficient 5nm LPE process.

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Can't wait, we need laptop level performance on phones, amazing!

  • Kangal

The last Oracle, 05 Jul 2018The problem with the A76 (A72, A73, A75 etc) cores, is that... moreNope.
ARM is focused on doing both, and it works because they have THREE (actually four) headquarters where they do the designing. There's the Austin, USA Office where they focus on High-Performance (eg A72). There's the Cambridge, UK Office where they generally focus on Low-Thermals (eg A55). And the Sophia, France Office where they focus on Optimisations of Current Designs (eg A73). The forth smaller centre is in Trondheim, Norway where ARM develops their own GPU solutions (eg Bifrost Mali-G76).

Besides you cannot directly compare an "in-order" cpu to a "out-of-order" cpu. The Cortex A35, A53, and A55 are in-order designs, so they are much simpler built and have higher efficiency. Their downfall is that they can't process complex mathematics (basically ALL software) at all, or at a decent speed. The "out-of-order" cpus are the likes of Cortex A57, A72, A73, A75, and now A76. These can solve complex processes, and can intelligently "guess" answers and organise processes into a hierarchy and skip them. Basically, they are larger, fatter, faster, better in every way except in-terms of energy needed and heat generated.

So you can't compare an overclocked A55, say at 2GHz...to a 2GHz A73 that's underclocked. There are rare cases where the A55 will match the A73, and do so with less silicon, energy, and heat (that's great). But in many instances, the A73 is going to finish the task much more accurately and much faster.

Now you would be tempted to ask; how about a 2.2GHz A55 vs a 1.8GHz A73. Again, same result... but don't forget that the results are highly dependant on the process, thread, and task that you are asking. So while on a theoretical emulator/benchmark the A55 might get closer to defeating the A73... in practical real-world applications it is not going to be much useful.

So what is the best course of action?
Well, use the right tool for the right job, is what they say. You need to have an idea of the performance requirements and budget your device needs.

For most (65%) tasks people do on an Android device a Cortex A55 can do it rather well. So a high-quality Low-Drain CPU is very very useful. However, other (35%) tasks require something that's better. Now, ordering the Low-Drain CPU's from best to worst you get: A55, A53, A35. And ordering the the High-Performance CPU's from best to worst you get: A76, A75, A72, A73, A57. Also important is the core count. A device with x2 A53's and x4 A73's is going to be worse (hotter, less efficient) in real-world than a device with x4 A55's and x2 A75's.

So if you had a device with x4 A55 2.0GHz cpus mated to a x4 A73's 2.5GHz... in real-world it is actually going to be better than a device with x4 A53 1.8GHz cpus mated to a x4 A75 2.7GHz. However, its more ideal to take the "best of the best" DESIGNS hence an A55 and an A76 together, and its more ideal to take the best WAFER hence the expensive Samsung 7nm wafer... to derive to a SoC with x4 A55 @2.0GHz + x4 A76 @3.0GHz.

Yet, you're gonna pay for that dearly. In terms of price-to-performance, its cheaper to license ARM's older designs and use the cheap TSMC 16nm wafer. So you would end up with x4 A53 @1.8GHz + x2 A72 @2.5GHz. And overall, in real-world applications the performance should be around 20% worse... but the chip will cost you only 50% of the cost. That's the route the chip manufacturers in China take such as Allwinner, AMLogic, RockChip, MediaTek, etc etc etc.

However, there is now a much better way thanks to ARM and their new DynamIQ architecture. Instead you can now get using Samsung 10nm wafer x7 A55 @2GHz + x1 A76@3GHz... which should net you around 30% less performance but the chip will only cost you 40% of the cost. It will suck very bad at SYNTHETIC benchmarks, but it will make a killing in PRACTICAL tasks for real-world scenarios. Therefore a SoC like this is terrible in terms of marketing and selling devices, but objectively speaking, it is actually the best. So far only Xiaomi is investigating to build such a SoC, but we shall see in the next 6-18 months if any of the OEMs are ballsy enough to build a SoC like this (terrible marketing, great real-world performance). I have my doubts because I know most OEMs opted for the Snapdragon 625-632 instead of the Snapdragon 650 or 636, and most OEMs opted for the Snapdragon 710 instead of the Snapdragon 820 (which is older, but still better).

Anonymous, 06 Jul 2018Bring on pocketable laptops Lol. You just made my day!

  • Anonymous

lacp, 05 Jul 2018Laptop class or desktop class? I think the Exynos 9815 has ... moreIt definitely burns laptop levels of joules

  • Anonymous

Shanti Dope, 05 Jul 2018Here we go again Limiting everything that we can do Aren'... moreWell, actually it is not about fear of going beyond the limits. It's about emphasizing lack of optimization.

When we say beyond X is not necessary, we mean that we should optimize existing software instead of sky-rocketing the hardware. Otherwise, with a bunch of poorly coded software, sky is the limit.

In comparison to the phones with 6+ GBs of RAM, the latest iPhone, iPhone X only has 3GBs of RAM and it manages to offer a smooth experience to the end user.

  • Anonymous

Bring on pocketable laptops

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018Wrong. We have 3ghz cpus in desktops and laptops since 10 y... morewhat in the world? I can't do multi-tasking properly while gaming, with chrome tabs open watching tutorial on youtube and some website with steam and a few other apps running in the background with just a mere 3GHz. I bet you're the same guy that say i3 is more than enough.

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018Wrong. We have 3ghz cpus in desktops and laptops since 10 y... moreI am sorry, but my 4.3Ghz 8 core cpu is daily run at 80%-100% usage locking up 6-7 cores at full tilt. Plus the work I put my machine too puts it out of commission for about an hour. Higher clock and a few more cores or improved multi-threading would let me actually actively use my computer while its under a work load.

The problem with the A76 (A72, A73, A75 etc) cores, is that while they reach great clock speeds on paper, they generate way too much heat and are energy inefficient, apart from being mostly sustainable only for short bursts, especially on devices like smartphones, in real usage. They should concentrate on A55 (all the A50 series numbers), since those core speeds can be sustained for much longer, and are sufficient for most tasks, especially for the longer multi-core tasts. Most of the issues with the Snapdragon 9810 seem to be with energy efficiency and some with heat, mostly caused by these over higher cores (part from some instruction issues).

If they can have Extremely Efficient 3+Ghz cores, then great. Otherwise they should concentrate in the lower clock cores, because they are both great at energy efficiency as well as heat management. And for most tasks, they are more than sufficient.

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018There is no need for 3ghz soc. 2ghz is more than enough. Th... moreIf they can cram in power of over 5k in single core at just 2 GHz I'm in. Else I'll disagree

  • Stan

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018Wrong. We have 3ghz cpus in desktops and laptops since 10 y... moreClock speed number alone is useless. It's the instructions per clock aka IPC, multiplied by clock speed, is what really matters. Simply put - a 3.0Ghz CPU that's able to process 1 instruction per Hz, will have the same speed as a 1.5Ghz CPU, processing 2 instructions per Hz. Given the same architecture, which is obviously impossible, the power usage will be the same too.

What you're thinking is the same core, say A75, accelerated from 2.8 Ghz to 3.0Ghz. While the speed increase is less than 10%, power usage increase will be way more than 10%, because you will not just be increasing the clock speed, but the voltage and the amp draw as well.

In this article they're comparing two completely different core types, so A75 @ 2.8 vs A76 @ 3.0 is not apples to apples comparison. A76 could be designed to run at that speed, while consuming less power. The frequency number alone does not provide us with any information whatsoever.

bloop, 05 Jul 2018This reminds me of how last year you'd always get people sa... moreThat is because the OS that is customized has many more new features that you dont need or you never tried, but they swallow ram like crazy. Not only that but build in apps and process are eating it too. It was truth back then, it is still true with 8GB ram on phones.

Shanti Dope, 05 Jul 2018Here we go again Limiting everything that we can do Aren'... moreNeed more GHz.
For AI

  • Ash

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018This is not anything that user can benefit from is for only... moreSorry,now I understand what you are trying to mean.
But what you want is not something that any manufacturer wants to give because a longer battery life would mean an overall longer lasting phone and manufacturers want you to replace your phone every year or two.
So my point is to better be happy with whatever progress we get.

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018There is no need for 3ghz soc. 2ghz is more than enough. Th... moreFor robots

Shanti Dope, 05 Jul 2018Here we go again Limiting everything that we can do Aren'... moreThis reminds me of how last year you'd always get people saying things like "4 GB of RAM is way more than a phone will ever need, I don't want to see anything higher because it's a waste." Now those same people are probably saying "4 GB is too low to be used on a flagship." People's attitudes on specs can be very strange.

Laptop class or desktop class? I think the Exynos 9815 has already a cpu of desktop class. A processor that can achieve the mark of about 5200 pts in single core in the Geekbench is of desktop class.

Ash, 05 Jul 2018Stop complaining against real innovation,if you want to com... moreThis is not anything that user can benefit from is for only marketing to be better than other manufactores and to sell better their product. Open your eyes.

Shanti Dope, 05 Jul 2018Here we go again Limiting everything that we can do Aren'... moreWrong. We have 3ghz cpus in desktops and laptops since 10 years. Do we need now more than 3ghz for desktops? Nope. Same for phones. With the difference that not increasing clock speed will benefit battery which is all we want - longer battery life, not 3ghz or 4gz now or in future.

  • Ash

CherryPie., 05 Jul 2018There is no need for 3ghz soc. 2ghz is more than enough. Th... moreStop complaining against real innovation,if you want to complain then complain about greedy manufacturers removing the 3.5mm jack,SD card slot(apple,Google,Sony,htc) and adding more and more spyware(all Chinese) and bloatware(Samsung).