Chinese Version 中文版： ARM Cortex-A72与全新高端移动体验
When I look back at September 2010 – when we announced the ARM Cortex-A15 processor - the smartphone devices shipping then were using a single-core ARM Cortex-A8 processor. In those days, these early smartphones were already beginning to change the way we thought of connected experiences. I recall the advent of integrated email boosted productivity, devices now could offer instant messaging and multimedia capabilities. By the time we got to the beginning of 2014 and phones based on later versions of Cortex-A15-based octa-core designs, the level of CPU performance increased was a spectacular 17x of devices five year before and your smartphone was now an inseparable part of your daily existence and more often than not, your primary compute platform.
What’s more, devices now boost larger and higher resolution displays with vivid colours, sophisticated always on multi-sensor context awareness, high-quality still and video camera capability and responsive gaming – smartphones are setting the standard of what connected experiences the user expects in ever-slimmer devices – placing a significant demand on the SoC to operate within strict thermal and power budgets. The discerning consumer expects smartphones to be the hub of our always-connected lifestyles and will need more capability in the future.
It is with this need of the future consumer in mind that last week, we announced the first ARM IP Suite for the premium mobile experiences – at the heart of which is the new ARM Cortex-A72 processor, our most advanced high-performance CPU. Aimed at devices shipping in 2016, the Cortex-A72 processor will deliver a staggering 50x CPU performance boost compared to devices from five years ago! The IP Suite also includes the Mali-T880 GPU and CoreLink CCI-500 along with premium configurations of Mali–V550 and Mali-D550 video and display processors respectively and complemented by the ARMv8-A high-efficiency Cortex-A53 processor (in big.LITTLE combinations). When used together in a mobile SoC, these products will ensure that 2016 smartphones deliver unprecedented performance and efficiency, and provide users with an unrivalled premium mobile experience.
We believe that the Cortex-A72 processor and the Premium Mobile IP suite will redefine mobile experiences. The Cortex-A72 processor in conjunction with 16nm FinFET+ technology POP IP unleashes the level of performance that can truly enable very interactive productivity applications. Further combination with the CoreLink CCI-500 Interconnect offers twice the peak system bandwidth that would deliver highly responsive and seemless content creation including movie editing and stunning console-like quality of gaming experiences combined with virtual reality applications that give another dimension to making your primary compute platform, your only compute platform.
On an architectural level, the Cortex-A72 benefits from enhancements in all aspects of CPU performance integer and floating point performance and specially memory streaming which will vastly improve large datasets and interactive workloads all within the constrained energy and power budgets of the smartphone. To summarize key benefits, the Cortex-A72 will deliver
2015 marks a point when performance in devices is matched by the release of software that would bring closer integration of productivity suites – with Microsoft Office and Outlook now available for ARM-based smartphones and tablets. Industry standard tools such as AutoCAD 360 accepted across several industries as requisites for modelling, manufacturing and production are starting to really take off. We are also seeing tools widely used by artists, creators, makers all take further advantage of increase CPU and GPU performance. With this in mind, what lies ahead is a very interesting question. We can only hint at the vague direction in which we are gazing at that opportunity, but there are several instances in which the combination of sensor data, sophisticated image capture and integration with the types of aforementioned applications may even re-define the way in which we have viewed content creation.
One can easily imagine a scenario that allows you to synthesize a series of still images of an object or person taken from various angles, utilizing the smartphone camera and accurately plotting the position of the device either via references in the background of the images captured or that through accurate mapping of sensor data on the devices. The synthesized series of photos can then be processed into a 3D model. This rendering with an associated physics model and mesh geometry can be manipulated, used as an avatar in virtual reality or even exported to a 3D printer to instantly create the subject – in this case, a wedding topper. Some of these use cases exist today, but in only in part, cumbersome and often with processing constrained to the cloud and subject to its availability. The future user experience is mobile-first, seamless, instant productivity – something that is no longer relegated to a desk environment, but ushers in smarter interactions at all levels. To deliver this, the all parts of the SoC must grow. Of course, from the exciting directions we see several ARM partners taking, the example I choose here would be rendered quite rudimentary one day in the near future!
The Cortex-A72 processor builds on the success of the Cortex-A57, which is the state-of-art and the high-performance CPU of choice for 2015 devices. On the hardware front too, we see our partners driving an amazing transformation at an unprecedented pace. In just 2 years, we have seen Cortex-A53 processor based SoCs designed into 100s of devices, supporting the huge smartphone adoption in Asia-Pacific markets. We are seeing a big wave of these Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processor-based devices coming to market, with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 already shipping and achieving consistently high benchmark scores and leading the mobile experience. We have also recently seen several Cortex-A57 processor-based devices announced, such as LG G Flex2, LG G4 and Xiaomi Mi Note Pro to name a few. This is a good time of the year when technology media is looking forward to several new devices being announced at the key industry expos and we expect several to feature ARMv8-A cores. Stay tuned!
Besides this, devices based on the 32-bit ARMv7-A architecture including processors like Cortex-A15, Cortex-A17 and Cortex-A7 continue to ship in very large numbers in hundreds of end devices. It is excellent to see the range and quality of the devices that these cores are going into, and I am confident that this trend will continue as our product range widens.
The Cortex-A72-based products will build on this very solid foundation next year. It is an exciting time for the ARM partnership and I hope you think so too! To learn more about the products launched, check out our announcement and let us know what you think.