The first CPUs based on Arm’s Armv9 architecture and several accompanying GPUs have been revealed by Arm. Armv9, which is the first new Arm architecture in a decade, was announced back in March and described as being a response “to the global demand for ubiquitous specialized processing with increasingly capable security and artificial intelligence”.
The announced CPUs include the Arm Cortex-X2, Arm Cortex-A710, and Arm Cortex-A510. The Cortex-X2 is the flagship entry of the trio, and Arm says that it is capable of delivering a 30% improvement in performance compared to current flagship Android smartphones. Arm also says that its flagship can offer a 40% improvement in single-threaded performance compared to “mainstream laptop devices” from 2020.
Meanwhile, the Arm Cortex-A710 is described as the “first Armv9 ‘big’ CPU” and offers a 30% energy efficiency gain and a 10% performance uplift when compared to 2020’s Cortex-A78. Arm promises “uncompromised scalability and performance across multiple form factors” with the Cortex-A710. As for the Arm Cortex-A510, it is said to be the highest-performing “LITTLE” CPU in Arm’s arsenal and has a 35% performance increase and 20% better power efficiency compared to the Cortex-A55.
The Armv9 CPUs will use the new DSU-110 for their DynamIQ CPU clusters, with the maximum cluster configuration being eight Cortex-X2s. Arm mentions that with merged core microarchitecture, pairs of Cortex-A510s can be grouped into complexes, with each CPU cluster being able to have multiple complexes.
Arm says that “to support the ecosystem in their push for performance, all mobile ‘big’ and ‘LITTLE’ cores will be 64-bit only by 2023”.
On the GPU side, there are the Arm Mali-G710, Arm Mali-G610, Arm Mali-G510, and Arm Mali-G310. Aimed at premium smartphones and Chromebooks, the Mali-G710 is said to deliver a 20% improvement in performance and a 35% uplift in machine learning compared to the Arm Mali-G78. It offers a command stream frontend to replace the job manager in previous Mali GPUs, with the feature lowering the CPU’s workload.“ This, in turn, lowers the power budget that needs to be provided to the CPU, enabling the GPU to perform more tasks,” says Arm. For its shader cores, the Mali-G70 starts with seven and scales up to 16 cores compared to the Mali-G78’s 24, but Arm says that the former’s cores are bigger and better.
For the other GPUs, the Mali-G610 is a “sub-premium” GPU that “inherits all the features from Mali-G710 but at a lower price point”. Meanwhile, the Mali-G510, which is aimed at “mid-range smartphones, premium smart TVs and set-top boxes”, offers a 100% performance boost, 22% increased energy savings, and a 100% ML uplift from the Arm Mali-G57.
As for the Mali-G310, which is the “first ever efficiency GPU built on the Valhall architecture” and is meant for “entry-level smartphones, AR devices and wearables”, it offers 6x texturing performance, 4.5x Vulkan performance, and 2x Android UI content compared to the Arm Mali-G31.
Compared to the Mali-G710, the Mali-G610 has 1-6 shader cores while the Mali-G510 has 2-6. The Mali-G310 has one. The Mali-G510 and Mali-G310 “inherit CSF, the redesigned and additional execution engine, and the redesigned texture unit from Mali-G710” and have additional features such as formats for better HDR support and AFBC uncompressed buffers.