Back in May 2020, we launched our latest mobile solution offering including the Arm Cortex-A78 CPU, Arm Mali-G78 GPU and Arm Ethos-N78 NPU. At the same time, we also announced the Cortex-X Custom (CXC) program, which allows for customization and differentiation beyond the traditional roadmap of Arm Cortex products. This enables our partners to create products that provide the ultimate performance for specific use cases. Already we are seeing great success with this generation of Arm-based processors and the rapid expansion into markets outside of traditional smartphones. We are looking to address some of these markets with our latest CPU product.
Today, we are announcing the Arm Cortex-A78C CPU, a new CPU built on the foundation of Cortex-A78. It is purpose-built to be part of a scalable and secure compute solution for next-generation ‘on-the-go’ devices, such as always-on laptops.
The Cortex-A78 family
Cortex-A78C is part of the Cortex-A78 family, which is designed to address the diversity of needs within the Arm ecosystem. From the Cortex-A78, which represents the very best of Arm’s drive for high-performance at best-in-class efficiency for next-generation smartphones, to the Arm Cortex-A78AE CPU, which provides high-performance and advanced safety features for complex autonomous applications. These solutions are offering great value beyond PPA. The newest member, Cortex-A78C, builds on the success of these designs with the latest architecture updates for enhanced compute performance, scalability, and security.
Cortex-A78C enables more homogeneous multi big core computing, with support for up to 8 big CPU core clusters. The octacore (up to 8 big CPU cores) configurations lead to more scalable multi-threaded performance improvements when compared to Cortex-A78, which supports 4 big CPU core and 4 little CPU core (Cortex-A55) configurations in the DynamIQ shared unit. Big.LITTLE is the de-facto standard in mobile (and will remain so in the future). However, the 8 core configurations of Cortex-A78C unleash the multi-threaded performance required for demanding digital immersion workloads, such as gaming on-the-go and all-day productivity. Cortex-A78C also increases the L3 cache memory to 8MB, which helps to further improve performance, especially for workloads with large datasets.
Up to 8 'big' core support with Cortex-A78C
These enhanced features are ideal for enabling high performance, heavily threaded workloads, such as ‘physics’ in gaming and professional productivity applications. When combined with Mali GPUs, the 8 core configurations extend and enhance the all-day gaming capabilities. Mali-G78 provides the graphics performance and battery life improvements to support the drive for more immersive gaming experiences on-the-go for longer. Meanwhile, the L3 cache improvements empower developers to bring enhanced gaming experiences, such as AAA gaming, to next-generation devices.
Cortex-A78C provides updates for data and device security. One key feature is Pointer Authentication (PAC), which minimizes the attack surface to ensure data on the device is kept secure. Sophisticated computer attacks exploit the use of gadgets in Return-Orientated-Programming (ROP) and Jump-Orientated-Programming (JOP). PAC significantly reduces exploits and prevents attackers from taking control of the software control flow. This leads to ROP exploits being reduced by over 60 percent and JOP exploits by over 40 percent. Reducing these potential exploits is essential in ensuring that users’ data is kept safe on devices, even when installing third party apps. For more detailed information about PAC and preventing ROP and JOP attacks, then I recommend reading this blog.
Scalable and secure multicore computing through Cortex-A78C
Cortex-A78C is a CPU core that has been optimized for specific market applications and devices. While Cortex-A78 is a mobile-focused core for next-generation smartphones, Cortex-A78C’s new features provide the performance, scalability, and security needed for the next-generation of on-the-go devices. This enables gaming on-the-go and all-day productivity experiences on these devices.
Arm is listening to the needs of different partners and markets and delivering CPU designs that are best suited to those needs. Arm Cortex-A78C is part of this commitment to provide high-performance, efficient, secure, and cross-platform heterogeneous compute.
Learn more about Cortex-A78C
This is a really nice product. Finally something high performance for laptop and low power desktop. It could even be useful for small servers and SBCs (with proper cooling).
Will the chips be available from ARM, or it is just a design to be customized and build by others like Qualcomm.
There is no mention of clocks, power usage or memory controllers. It would be amazing to be able to connect dual SO-DIMM memories to this chip, as I hate fixed memories on boards.