ARM Sets New Standard for the Premium Mobile Experience

ARM announced a suite of IP that will enable a new standard for premium experiences on 2016 mobile devices. At the heart of this suite is the ARM Cortex-A72 processor, which is the highest performing CPU technology available for developing mobile SoCs today. In target configurations, the Cortex-A72 processor will deliver CPU performance that is 50X greater than the leading smartphones from just five years ago.

The ARM premium mobile experience IP suite also offers a significant graphics upgrade generating a stunning visual experience for users at up to 4K120fps resolution. Devices with this new industry-leading technology suite are expected to enter the market in 2016.

The ARM premium mobile experience IP suite offers the most compelling mobile technology available today. Alongside the Cortex-A72 processor is the new CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect and the new Mali-T880 GPU, ARM’s highest performing and most energy-efficient mobile GPU, along with Mali-V550 video and Mali-DP550 display processors. To further ease chip implementation, the suite also includes ARM POP IP for the leading-edge TSMC 16nm FinFET+ process.

“Our new premium mobile experience IP suite with the Cortex-A72 processor delivers a decisive step forward from the compelling user experiences provided by this year’s Cortex-A57 based devices,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president, products groups, ARM. “For multiple generations, together with our partners, we have delivered the leading-edge of the premium mobile experience. Building on this, in 2016 the ARM ecosystem will deliver even slimmer, lighter, more immersive mobile devices that serve as your primary and only compute platform.”

The 2016 Premium Mobile Experience

The premium mobile experience IP suite addresses the ever-increasing demands of end-users for their primary, always-connected mobile devices capable of creating, enhancing and consuming any content. For 2016 devices, ARM and its partners will boost the mobile experience associated with use cases such as:

  • Immersive and sophisticated image and video capture, including 4K120fps video content
  • Console-class gaming performance and graphics
  • Productivity suites requiring fluid handling of documents and office applications
  • Natural language user interfaces capable of running natively on a smartphone.

Introducing Cortex-A72, the Highest Performance ARM Cortex Processor

More than ten partners, including HiSilicon, MediaTek and Rockchip, have already licensed the Cortex-A72 processor, which is based on the ARMv8-A architecture that delivers energy-efficient 64-bit processing while providing full backward compatibility to existing 32-bit software. The Cortex-A72 processor will deliver substantial new benefits:

  • Sustained operation within the constrained mobile power envelope at frequencies of 2.5 GHz in a 16nm FinFET process and scalable to higher frequencies for deployment in larger form factor devices
  • 3.5X the performance of 2014 devices based on the Cortex-A15 processor
  • Improved energy efficiency that delivers a 75 percent reduction in energy consumption when matching performance of 2014 devices
  • Extended performance and efficiency when the Cortex-A72 CPU is combined with a Cortex-A53 CPU in ARM big.LITTLE™ processor configurations.

CoreLink CCI-500, Extending Efficiency Across the SoC

The CoreLink CCI-500 Cache Coherent Interconnect enables big.LITTLE processing and delivers system power savings thanks to an integrated snoop filter. CoreLink CCI-500 delivers double the peak memory system bandwidth and offers a 30 percent increase in processor memory performance compared to the previous generation CoreLink CCI-400. This enables more responsive user interfaces and accelerates memory intensive workloads such as productivity applications, video editing and multi-tasking. CoreLink CCI-500 fully supports ARM TrustZone® technology for a secure media path enabling protection of multimedia content when used with the Mali product family.

Mali-T880, A Ground-Breaking Mobile Graphics and Visual Experience

The new Mali-T880 GPU delivers 1.8X the graphics performance of today’s Mali-T760 based devices and a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption across identical workloads. The Mali-T880 enables high-end, complex use cases to be enjoyed on power-constrained mobile and consumer platforms with its advances in energy efficiency, additional arithmetic capabilities and scalability. For mobile gamers, the result is a more advanced gaming and console-like experience. Native support for 10-bit YUV provides stunning fidelity for premium 4K content, complementing the Mali-V550 video processor and Mali-DP550 display processors.

Energy-efficiency continues to be the guiding design principle across the spectrum of the Mali product family, including a diverse set of proven, system-wide bandwidth reduction technologies. In premium device configurations, the Mali-V550 video processor fully supports HEVC decode and encode on a single core. In addition, it offers scalability up to 4K120fps with its full eight cores. The Mali-DP550 display processor offers enhanced capabilities for offloading tasks such as composition, scaling, rotation and image post-processing from the GPU to maximize battery life.

Improved Time-to-Market with FinFET Technology

The new POP IP for advanced TSMC 16nm FinFET+ enables any silicon vendor to migrate from 32/28nm process nodes with predictable performance, power results and time-to-market. ARM POP IP will enable Cortex-A72 processors to sustain 2.5 GHz in smartphones and scale to higher frequencies for larger form-factor devices in typical conditions. POP IP also supports implementations of the Mali-T880 for TSMC 16nm FinFET+.

Advancing Mobile Ecosystem Innovation with ARMv8-A Leadership

The mobile ecosystem is already taking advantage of the benefits of ARMv8-A with the move to Google Android™ 5.0 Lollipop. The new IP suite builds on this, enabling partners to deliver even more performance in the slimmest of form factors without compromising battery life. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, ARM expects significant adoption of Google Android 5.0 Lollipop in the premium mobile device market, further unleashing the capabilities of 64-bit ARMv8-A based CPUs. This opens the door for more application developers to take advantage of the doubling of SIMD multimedia (ARM NEON™ technology) and floating point performance, crypto instructions to protect consumers data and 4GB or higher memory support; delivering the next-generation premium mobile experience.

Partner Quotes

“The need to be always connected with access to data, premium content and storage is dramatically changing as more devices and people use the connected cloud for digital experiences,” said George Yao, general manager of Turing Processor BU, HiSilicon. “HiSilicon is committed to offering platforms that support these demands by delivering more performance and outstanding energy-efficiency. We are pleased to support ARM as it introduces the first full suite of IP targeted at premium mobile platforms. The game-changing Cortex-A72 delivers more than 3X the performance of 2014 devices and Mali-T880 takes state-of-the-art graphics to the next level. Our partnership will usher in a new era for mobile and networking solutions.”

“The pace of innovation in mobile is accelerating at an unprecedented rate, which means we need to deliver the latest technology to our customers as fast as possible,” said Joe Chen, senior vice president of MediaTek. “We are pleased to partner with ARM for the launch of Cortex-A72, bringing the ARMv8-A architecture to market with leading performance and energy-efficiency benchmarks. Ultimately it is all about providing a better experience for end users as the complexity of applications, content and devices increases.”

“Increasingly, consumers are adopting mobile devices including smartphones, tablets, phablets and other large screen devices as their primary compute platforms. These larger form factor devices demand higher performance and energy-efficiency that scales across a variety of processor configurations,” said Mr. Feng Chen, chief marketing officer, Rockchip. “Rockchip is pleased to partner with ARM to introduce the Cortex-A72 to enable a wide range of premium mobile platforms that consumers can take advantage of. Rockchip is dedicated to bringing cutting-edge CPU and GPU technologies and solutions to our customers and end users to enable a compelling user experiences for personal and enterprise use.”

“TSMC’s 16FinFET+ process is already delivering exceptional results with SoCs based on Cortex-A57 thanks to rapid progress in yield and performance,” said Suk Lee, TSMC Senior Director, Design Infrastructure Marketing Division. “The combination of TSMC 16FF+ process technology and the implementation advantages of ARM POP IP gives our customers the opportunity to rapidly bring highly optimized mobile SoCs based on Cortex-A72 to market in early 2016.”

“Cadence and ARM have a long history of close collaboration that has resulted in some noteworthy achievements enabling mutual customer success,” said Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, senior vice president and chief strategy officer for EDA, Cadence. “In support of the new ARM Premium mobile experience IP suite, Cadence has created a complete system-on-chip (SoC) environment to optimize its implementation, verify the system during OS boot-up and analyze interconnect subsystem performance. ARM used the Cadence digital and system-to-silicon verification tools and IP during the ARM Cortex-A72 processor development to ensure that the flow met complex mobile design requirements. This will help designers to shorten time to market while achieving optimal results at advanced process nodes.”

“Through more than 20 years of collaboration with ARM, we’ve enabled our customers to use Synopsys tools to quickly get their innovative products to market while meeting power, performance and area design targets,” said Deirdre Hanford, executive vice president, customer engagement, Synopsys. “Early adopters of ARM’s new suite of IP, including the Cortex-A72 processor, CoreLink CCI-500 interconnect, Mali-T880 GPU, Mali-V550 video processor and Mali-DP550 display processor, are already using Synopsys tools, methodology and professional services to design and verify their products aimed at delivering a premium mobile experience. For the ARM Cortex-A72, a member of this new suite of IP, our Reference Implementation (RI) builds on our successful RIs for ARM Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 and will enable designers to take advantage of the 10X increase in design throughput that Synopsys’ IC Compiler™ II product offers, while achieving the performance target in a mobile power envelope.”