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ARM Unleashes Exclusively 64-bit CPUs for Android Devices

ARM's new 64-bit CPU cores that promise increased power efficiency and performance, set to redefine the future of Android devices.

ARM Unleashes Exclusively 64-bit CPUs for Android Devices

In a clear message to Android manufacturers still clinging to outdated 32-bit technology, ARM has unveiled its inaugural range of exclusively 64-bit CPU core designs. This forward-looking lineup – comprising the Cortex-X4, Cortex-A720, and Cortex-A520 – doesn’t always equate to dramatic leaps in performance. Still, it undoubtedly sets the pace for Android's near future.

Positioned as a performance core for top-tier phones, the Cortex-X4 succeeds its predecessor, the X3. It sports a revamped architecture promising 15% superior performance while consuming 40% less power. This could lead to quicker app launches and an agile interface, not to mention probable gains in battery life during heavy-duty tasks like gaming.

As the successor to the A715 "middle" core, the Cortex-A720 takes on the bulk of computing tasks. It boasts enhanced speed, but the real emphasis here is endurance. ARM touts the A720 as more than 20% power-efficient compared to the preceding design. For chipmakers looking to cut costs or downsize hardware, a smaller 'entry' version is available.

Meanwhile, the Cortex-A520 efficiency core, designed for background processing and low-demand duties, offers notable benefits. It's reportedly 22% more efficient than its predecessor, the A510, while delivering 8% superior performance. This could translate to extended battery life, even for less frequent users.

ARM isn’t overlooking graphics performance either, launching the Immortalis-G720, Mali-G720, and Mali-G620 GPU designs concurrently. These designs promise enhanced performance alongside lower power consumption. They introduce a deferred vertex shading (DVS) pipeline, drastically reducing bandwidth usage and freeing up space for more complex scenes and HDR visuals. The Immortalis notably offers an average 15% performance jump from its predecessor and is 15% more efficient.

While ARM hasn't mentioned its clientele, it's safe to assume industry heavyweights like Qualcomm and MediaTek will adopt these new Cortex designs as bases for their next system-on-chip models. Apple's stance remains uncertain. Despite using ARM, Apple hasn't transitioned to the newer ARMV9 architecture.

This development is poised to shake up the Android market. Android has been slow to phase out 32-bit hardware and apps, with Chinese brands like Oppo and Xiaomi clinging to 32-bit SoCs. The latest ARM lineup nudges these companies towards adopting purely 64-bit SoCs or risk falling behind.