Arm announce new mobile CPUs and GPUs for Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, other next-gen chips

Arm 2023 CPU GPU design Cortex X4 A720 A520 G720 G620

Today, Arm announced the third generation of Armv9.2-based Total Compute Solutions (TCS23) with better performance and efficiency over the previous generation.

On this list of new announcements are the performance-oriented Cortex-X4, middle Cortex-A720, and efficiency-focused Cortex-A520 cores. Like the previous generation, these CPUs only support 64-bit tasks and can be used in a cluster of up to 14 cores, thanks to the new DynamIQ Shared Unit or DSU-120 design. For smartphones, Arm suggests a 27% performance boost in a 1+5+2 (X+A720+A520) core configuration over the previously prominent 1+4+3 structure on flagship chips.

Arm also advances its GPU lineup with the improved Immortalis-G720 flagship GPU along with the sub-flagship Mali-G720 and Mali-G620 GPU designs.

Arm Cortex-X4

Arm 2023 CPU GPU design Cortex X4 A720 A520 G720 G620

The Cortex-X4 is Arm's new flagship core that is claimed to bring a 15% performance boost over the Cortex-X3, which powers current flagship Android smartphone chipsets, such as the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (using Kryo cores based on Arm's design), MediaTek Dimensity 9200/9200+, Google Tensor G2, Samsung Exynos 2300, etc. The Cortex-X4 is also said to occupy 10% less space while improving the power efficiency by 40% over the X3 when deployed over comparable hardware specifications (clock speed, manufacturing process, cache, et al.).

The Cortex-X4 can be expected on flagship mobile chipsets, such as the purported Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and MediaTek Dimensity 9300. There is a possibility we might even witness the new flagship core design on Qualcomm's next chipset for portable laptops — the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 4 — or its in-house chipsets, but there is no evidence supporting this yet.

Arm Cortex-A720 and A520

Arm 2023 CPU GPU design Cortex X4 A720 A520 G720 G620

For mobile chipsets like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Cortex-X series performance cores are accompanied by cores with relatively lower power consumption in a big.LITTLE cluster. Likewise, the Cortex-X4 is expected to be paired with the new Arm Cortex-A720 and Cortex-A520 cores on flagship chips.

The Cortex-A720 marks a 20% improvement in power efficiency over the previous A715 cores. In comparison, the Cortex-A520 is claimed to bump efficiency up by 22% compared to its predecessor. The Cortex-A520 is the first update to the efficiency lineup in two years and is reported to improve performance by 8% over the Cortex-A510. Meanwhile, no such claim about improved performance was made for the Cortex-A720.

Notably, while the Cortex-X3 is destined to be limited to high-end mobile chipsets, the Cortex-A720 and Cortex-A520 may be seen on some upper mid-range chips, such as the Snapdragon 7 Gen x series.

Immortalis-G720, Mali-G720, and Mali-G620 GPUs

Arm 2023 CPU GPU design Cortex X4 A720 A520 G720 G620

Arm has also introduced newer designs for GPUs to accompany the advanced CPUs and calls them the "most efficient GPUs ever." Of these, the Immortalis-G720 is aimed at flagship chipsets, while the Mali-G720 and Mali-G620 GPUs are geared towards mid-range smartphones and other devices such as streaming boxes, AR/VR headsets, and more.

Arm shares collective figures for the three GPUs, claiming a 15% increased efficiency and a 15% performance improvement over previous generations. Arm also claims a 40% lower usage of the memory bandwidth and reduced CPU load. For the Immortalis-G720 particularly, Arm claims 25% better peak performance in applications related to machine learning.

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