ARM Cortex-A75 & Cortex-A55 Cores, and Mali-G72 GPU Details Revealed

We’ve already seen ARM Cortex A75 cores were coming thanks to leak showing Snapdragon 845 SoC will feature custom Cortex A75 cores, but we did not have many details. But since we live in a world where “to leak is glorious”, we already have some slides originally leaked through VideoCardz with the post now deleted, but Liliputing & TheAndroidSoul got some of the slides before deletion, so let’s see what we’ve got here.

ARM Cortex A75

So ARM Cortex-A75 will be  about 20% faster than Cortex A73 for single thread operation, itself already 30% faster than Cortex A72. It will also be the first DynamIQ capable processor together with Cortex A55 with both cores potentially used in big.LITTLE configuration.

Cortex A75 performance is only better for peak performance, and remain the same as Cortex-A73 for sustained performance.

The chart above does not start at zero, so it appear as though there are massive performance increases, but looks at the number and we can see 1.34x higher score with GeekBench, and 1.48x with Octane 2.0. Other benchmarks also have higher scores but between 1.16 and 1.33 times higher.

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Cortex A75 cores will be manufactured using 10nm process technology, and clocked at up to 3.0 GHz. While (peak) performance will be higher than Cortex A73, efficiency will remain the same.

ARM Cortex A55

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ARM Cortex A55 is the successor of Cortex-A53 with about twice the performance, and support for up to eight cores in a single cluster. There are octa-core (and even 24-core) ARM Cortex A53 processor but they also use multiple 4-core clusters.

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Power efficiency is 15% better too, and ARM claims it is 10x more configurable probably because of DynamIQ & 8-core cluster support.

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If we have a closer look at the benchmarks released by the company, we can see the 2x performance increase is only valid with LMBench memcpy memory benchmark, with other benchmarks from GeekBench v4 to SPECINT2006 showing 1.14x to 1.38x better performance. So Integer performance appears to be only slightly better, floating point gets close to 40%, and the most noticeable improvement is with memory bandwidth.

ARM Mali-G72 GPU

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Mali-G72 will offer 1.4x performance improvement over 2017 devices, which must be Mali-G71…, and will allow for machine learning directly on the device instead of having to rely on the cloud, better games, and an improved mobile VR experience.

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The new GPU is also 25& more efficient, and supports up to 32 shader cores. GEMM (general matrix multiplication) – used for example in machine learning algorithms – is improved by 17% over Cortex A73.

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Based on the information we’ve got from Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 leak, devices based on ARM Cortex A75/A55 processor and Mali-G72 GPU should start selling in Q1 2018. We may learn a few more details on Monday, once the embargo is lifted.

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23 Replies to “ARM Cortex-A75 & Cortex-A55 Cores, and Mali-G72 GPU Details Revealed”

  1. I thought all of the Qualcomm processors were their own Krait design which varies from vanilla Arm.

    So I’m wondering where this fits with any Snapdragon product.

  2. I’m not surprized they needed to create the A75. The A73 is presented as faster than the A72, but its decode pipeline was reduced from 3 to 2 issues, and while the pipeline is much shorter and the overall IPC likely higher, I suspect that some specific workloads which managed to keep the pipeline busy with 3 instructions per cycle were really hurt by the inevitable reduction to 2 imposed by the A73. Going back to 3 seems like a smart move. Most likely we’ll see that it’s still based on the Sofia micro-arch, the same used in A17 and A73 which is really efficient (makes me think about pentium-M and core when we used to suffer from P4 a decade ago).

    Regarding the memcpy benchmark, it has been shown that A73 already featured a much faster memory controller than the A72, so probably they decided to retrofit this in the entry level (A53) and make it an A55. Lots of workloads are memory-bound anyway.

  3. So again, next year’s Snapdragon would not have a fully custom core, but only a semi one – the same case as 835.
    This way, Qualcomm’s chip would be less unique, and won’t be faster than other A75 implementations.

    But I’m more curious about Adreno’s GPU: would the 630 be as powerful and capable as ARM’s G72? would it finally be able to record 4K@120?

    Samsung’s G71 (of the 8895 SoC) is theoretically capable of 4K@120 recording.
    But Adreno 540 (of the 835 SoC) can’t do that.
    So I think that Samsung is restricting (by S8’s software) its own G71 from using its full potential – just for the sake of equality between its S8 variants (using 8895 and 835).

    If currently the 540 is lagging behind some of the G71 implementations, would the 630 also lag behind the G72?

  4. @cnxsoft

    It seems that I am the only person in the world which is bothered by the fact that the 8895 S8 is not operating at its full potential – and that it downgrades itself to 4K@30 only because of the 835 S8.

    I didn’t stumble upon any website that has risen this issue.
    And I wonder whether a 3rd party ROM would be able to unlock all the potential. But I do know that Snapdragon models are friendlier to the developer community than Exynos ones. So pity that Qualcomm’s offerings are not the superior ones.

    1. I’m also bothered, but not by that exactly, I’m bothered that they can’t record 1080p 480fps or 720p 960fps. More resolution with half a feature isn’t really a feature, 120fps does not fit with slowmotion, is too low framerate for most purposes 🙁

  5. it could be nice to see AMLOGIC chips with theses babies, it was about time to upgrade the now aging A53, an 1xA75 + 2xA55 could be a super configuration for cheap Smartboxes

  6. @Willy
    sure, but I wouldn’t bet on that, 3 Ghz and above are for 10nm+, Amlogic will probably go with the same 28 nm again or 16nm at best, but it’s already enough for a little SoC

  7. @natsu
    TV box SoCs need to be cheap, decode video, and be fast enough to display a nice 2D/3D user interface. So they won’t use higher-end cores and GPU, since they are too expensive for that market.

    Maybe we can expect Cortex A72 cores a bit later, once smartphones all use Cortex A75 cores, and royalties for the old cores drop.

  8. @cnxsoft
    exactly, I didn’t expect the Mali G72 to be on a Smartbox either, but the A55 will replace A53 for sure, with dynamicIQ we could have some nice heterogenous configuration such 1+2, 1+3 etc instead for classic Quad and Octacores, just one A72 would provide a big jump in performance with 2xA55 for a fraction of the cost, GPU wise a quad Mali 820 will do just fine for now

  9. I suspect they will not deliver the hype in real world use. As always, the posted result look ok on paper, but I suspect cherry picking of better results by Arm.

  10. @natsu
    I wouldn’t count on A55 replacing A53 unless there is more going on at ARM. A53 has become popular because it was a companion to A57–which was targeted at older processes. It endures in popularity (unlike that A57) because it’s well implemented on old processes which are very inexpensive.

    For low end manufacturers to switch to A55 would require a complete rework of all of their IP, a move to a smaller and more expensive process, and the licensing of a new core. Any one of those would be a major hurdle, but all three of them at once?

    I wouldn’t expect to see Amlogic nor Allwinner move to the A55 any time soon. That could be changed if ARM offers a version of it in older processes–not meant as a companion to that A7* chips. But the licensing and interfacing work woudl still be issues.

  11. Oh, so they actually updated the A53.. Can A55 do 28nm?

    And A75’s got per-core L2.. Truly the end of an era – A72 was truly ARM’s ‘Intel Core’ ; )

  12. @willmore
    in fact, they would not have much choice if they go DynamicIQ with heterogenous clusters, only A55 is compatible, besides the A55 on 28nm wouldn’t be much different from A53

  13. @benjamin
    Amlogic s905 line do A53 @28 nm but struggle to be stable above 1.5ghz

    A A57 needs 20nm for 2.1ghz and A75 needs 10nm for 3.0ghz

    Going off above graphs.

  14. @cnxsoft
    Well, Rockchip have set a new benchmark with RK3399. I presume AMlogic and AllWinner have competitive SoCs in the pipeline that should be out soon. It will be very interesting to find out what SoC has been chosen for HardKernel’s new 64-bit platform in 2017.

  15. @Curmudgeon
    True, but Rockchip RK3399 is not really an STB SoC. They probably designed it with Chromebooks in mind, but also let people do whatever they want with it, so we have TV boxes. One notable missing feature is HDR, and I’m not sure whether there are limitations with DRM and audio pass-through. The last two do not work in the boxes I’ve tried, but it remains to be seen if it’s due to hardware limitation, or more work needs to be done on the firmware side.

  16. While it would be good to see better GPU in STB tv boxes, sadly what real use of the is made? Despite the trend for retro gaming TV boxes have not really encaged this market. Yet there lots of console emulators in Google play. I have tried a nes, snes, megadrive, advert based emulators myself but getting bluetooth controllers to work with them can be a pain. You can even find MAME emulators in Google play. For TV watching as Amlogic s905x shows Mali 450 can do HDR.

  17. theguyuk :
    Amlogic s905 line do A53 @28 nm but struggle to be stable above 1.5ghz
    A A57 needs 20nm for 2.1ghz and A75 needs 10nm for 3.0ghz
    Going off above graphs.

    allwinner has A53 cores at 40nm, so does broadcom with rpi3. frequency is obviously lower because of that.

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