Apple A13, Kirin 985 and Snapdragon 865 with ARM

BySteve Lowry 2019-05-28 1002

At Computex 2019, ARM gave a first preview of the next CPU and GPU generation by talking about the Cortex-A77 CPU and Mali-G77 GPU. This will be the basis for many new chips.

Kirin 985


But we will experience a rather "small" leap in CPU design in the next generation. With the last generation, there was the step to the 7 nm process, but for the time being it remains that way. Nevertheless, there is of course no standstill and we get a good 20 percent more performance (35 percent for AI tasks) - without requiring more energy.


There's a bigger leap forward for the GPU, the Mali-G77 is said to have up to 40 percent more graphics power than the G76 and even up to 60 percent more power when it comes to machine learning tasks. At the same time, the new GPU design should be up to 30 percent more efficient than the old GPU.

Apple A13, Kirin 985 and Snapdragon 865

There are many manufacturers who rely on ARM, Qualcomm with the Snapdragon series, Samsung with the Exynos chips or Huawei with the Kirin chips. Of course, it also depends a little bit on what the respective manufacturers end up doing with them, because we've seen differences in performance before. The 20 percent in CPU performance will hardly be felt in everyday life, but the GPU increase is quite considerable.


When is this to be expected? I estimate that the first smartphones will come onto the market as early as 2019. Probably already in autumn with the Apple A13 in the iPhone 11 and Kirin 985 in the Huawei Mate 30 Pro (although Huawei doesn't currently work with ARM). But the Snapdragon 865 (if that's its name) will certainly not be seen again until early 2020.


PS: Apple designs the graphics processor itself.


The step to the 7 nm process was big, this year it could be marketed as 7 nm+ and by 2020 we might already see the first CPUs manufactured in the 5 nm process (Apple A14, Kirin 990).

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