Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

ARM’s A72 Chip Design Makes Big Efficiency Strides

Ina Fried, Recode:

ARM, the British company whose chip designs are at the core of nearly all mobile phone processors, on Tuesday showed off a new processor core it says can deliver three times as much performance as its current designs.

Perhaps more importantly, ARM says the new A72 — due out in phones by next year — can use 75 percent less power while offering the same performance as today’s chips. That means phones that are thinner and more powerful don’t need fans, ARM says.

Some of the power and performance gains come from changes to ARM’s chip design, while others bank on the fact that the new chip is expected to be manufactured in plants using a thinner 16-nanometer generation of transistors.

This is really good news, but not necessarily because the phones don’t need fans.1 This isn’t likely to be in the 2015 iPhone, but it lends credence to Ming-Chi Kuo’s speculation that the A10 in the 2016 iPhone models will use a 16nm process. It’s not like that generation of iPhone won’t get thinner, either, but this development means that a thinner phone won’t necessarily come at the expense of battery life. If these performance improvements are as significant as ARM claims, the 2016 iPhones could be really thin, really powerful, and have way longer battery life, too.

  1. Was this a serious consideration at any point? ↩︎