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.
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
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 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.