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ARM introduces new-generation Cortex-A72, second-gen 64-bit core

ARM Holdings, a leading developer of mobile processors and solutions, on Tuesday introduced its second-generation high-performance 64-bit core based on the ARMv8-A architecture. While ARM has not revealed a lot of details about its new core, it said that it significantly increases performance compared to existing offerings and is the highest-performing general-purpose processing core that can be licensed at present.

The ARM Cortex-A72 is based on ARMv8-A architecture and is designed to run at clock-rates of up to 2.50GHz and beyond when implemented using TSMC’s 16nm FinFET+ process technology. The Cortex-A72 core can be integrated into quad-core clusters for modern smartphone or server processors. The A72-based system-on-chips will support all modern ARM technologies, including TrustZone security, NEON advanced SIMD extensions, VFPv4 floating point unit, virtualization as well as backwards compatibility with ARMv7 apps.


According to ARM, the Cortex-A72 is expected to deliver roughly 80 – 90 per cent higher performance than the Cortex-A57 while consuming about the same amount of power, which means that the A72 has higher instructions per clock (IPC) rate and generally more efficient architecture. The company also claims that its new core is also 75 per cent more power efficient than the Cortex-A15 at target process technology, which is not a big surprise.


The ARM Cortex-A72 is the new “big” core from ARM that could be installed into Big.Little configurations with ARM Cortex-A53 in order to wed maximum performance and low power consumption for competitive mobile system-on-chips.

Since the Cortex-A72 is based on the ARMv8-A, not the ARMv8.1-A architecture as expected previously, software makers will not have to significantly tune their applications to take advantage of the A72’s performance improvements.

“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.”

More than ten partners, including HiSilicon, MediaTek and Rockchip, have already licensed the Cortex-A72 processor. The first ARM Cortex-A72 SoCs are expected to emerge in 2016.

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KitGuru Says: ARM is slowly, but surely increasing performance of it cores, which is particularly important for its server business. It should be noted, though, that the more important improvements will become available along with chips powered by the ARMv8.1-A architecture.

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  1. ARM is going ko kill intel (my personal view, intel guys hv right to troll)-

    1. Everyone know A57 is more powerful than intel atom architechure (silvermont) at same clock and intel’s big core like haswell is 40-70% more powerful than atom at same clock speed. So if this A72 core is more than 50% powerful than A57 (almost sure) than A72 will fight against intel’ ULV big cores like skylake this results in clear victory of A72 coz performance difference will be 5-10X lower than cost difference. ARM cpu cost 30$ at launch time than drop to less than 10$ within a year while intel big offering always rests at skyhigh price.

    2. In performance per watt per dollar ARMv8.1 designs will be powerful enough to crush intel big cores in high TDP arena (as fas as we know by having some knowledge of armv8.1 and broadwell).

    3. Servr market desperatly want ARM reason is more than 4-5X lower cost so if even ARM is slightly less powerful than X86, ARM will win coz in server market-
    Total cost = setup cost(60%) + operational cost(40%)
    Using ARM total cost will be dramatically low

    4. Intel is totaly rely on x86 design coz if intel got ARM licence than intel hv to sell chips at 20-30$ which will be against their abrupltly high profit strategy so if ARM got performance leadership which it will got than that day will be doomsday for intel ofcourse because of software ecosystem intel will get 4-5 years extra life span but nothing good for intel……….. Wake up intel

  2. ARM is closing the performance gap with Intel quickly and efficiently than we all thought, which is after all a good thing. I am really amazed with such high performance that too with traditional power efficiency of ARM processors. All the best ARM. Both Industry and we helpless consumers needs ARM.

  3. Completly agree with u buddy