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These chips will power your 2018 flagship smartphones

ARM, smartphones,meltdown,spectre,ai processor

ARM is arguably the most important mobile company in the world, responsible for designing the CPU cores and graphics chips that get used in hundreds of millions of phones around the world.

So when the UK-based company announces new designs, well, the rest of the mobile world takes notice. After all, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung and Huawei use these designs when building their chips.

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Now, ARM has announced three new designs, in the form of a new heavyweight CPU core, a new lightweight core for power efficiency and a new graphics chip.

ARM A75 – a CPU core for the machine learning era?

The A75 succeeds the A72 and A73 chips, the older cores being found in the Snapdragon 600-series and Huawei’s Kirin 950 and 960 range of chips.

These cores are responsible for heavy lifting, such as 4K video recording, so what is ARM promising for the new core? The firm claims “over 20% more integer core performance” and “substantial enhancements in floating point and memory workloads performance”.

Don’t expect huge efficiency gains though, with the A75 pretty much falling in line with the already frugal A73. Still, if efficiency is what you want, that’s where the next core comes into play.

Otherwise, ARM is also claiming “additional performance” for machine learning.

ARM A55 – expect better budget chips

We haven’t seen a new power-saving core from ARM in ages, with the A53 being the last update in 2014. So we’re glad to see the company deliver an upgrade in this department.

The A55 also delivers dedicated machine learning smarts, but overall gains seem to be more substantial too. “It delivers up to 18% more performance at 15% better power efficiency when compared to its predecessor, the Cortex-A53,” ARM claims.

The company says that the new energy-saving core also provides better performance in departments such as “integer (+18%), floating point (+20%), NEON SIMD (+40%), JavaScript (+15%), and memory (200%) workloads”.

In other words, expect a substantial performance leap for budget smartphones, as they see upgraded power-saving cores for the first time in a while.

ARM Mali G72 – a solid graphical upgrade

We saw Samsung and Huawei use the previous G71 GPU in their Galaxy S8 and Huawei P10/Mate 9 respectively, already delivering a welcome boost in visual fidelity.

This latest GPU tech is an evolution of that technology rather than a full rework though, so we shouldn’t expect big improvements, right? Well…

ARM is claiming “25% higher energy efficiency, 20% better performance density and 40% greater overall performance than devices based on previous generation Bifrost GPU”.

Otherwise, the new GPU also features support for DirectX 12, being an upgrade over the previous model’s DirectX 11 support.

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