Smartphones require faster hardware every year, but upcoming models equipped with 5G and multiple displays will likely call for an even bigger jump in processing power than normal. ARM’s new Cortex-A78 CPU could serve as a starting point for companies like Qualcomm to design custom chips and deliver on that need. Compared to the current Cortex-A77, the forthcoming processor will provide a 20 percent increase in what ARM calls “sustained performance.” Despite the faster speed, the CPU will operate at a 1-watt power rate, so battery life should stay strong.
ARM will also create graphics processors for the next generation of smartphones. The high-end Mali-G78 is a 24-core GPU. The company says that it will be 25 percent more powerful than the existing Mali-G77. ARM’s next neural processing unit will also get a 25 percent improvement in performance, though these are more often found in IoT and edge devices than smartphones.