Arm has just announced the Arm Cortex-A78C CPU (opens in new tab), which can support up to eight cores and eight MB of cache to meet compute-intensive workloads.
What makes the announcement even more noteworthy is that it comes days before Apple will unveil its first batch of three Arm-powered laptops at its ‘One More Thing (opens in new tab)’ event on November 10.
The newly announced CPU is Arms first serious contender in the high-performance CPU market, currently dominated by Intel and AMD. The Arm Cortex-A78C is part of the Cortex-A78 family of CPUs (opens in new tab) that Arm unveiled earlier this year in May 2020. But while the A78 was pitched for mobile devices, the A78C is designed specifically for high-performance, always-on devices such as laptops.
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Winds of change
The previously announced Cortex-A78 followed the conventional Big.LITTLE standard for mobile CPUs with support for configurations with 4 big CPU cores and 4 little CPU cores.
Now, in a departure from the norm, the new Cortex-A78C supports configurations with up to 8 big CPU cores.
According to Arm this makes the Cortex-A78C more suitable for scalable multi-threaded workloads such as immersive gaming on-the-go, à la Oculus Rift.
Furthermore, the Cortex-A78C also supports up to 8MB L3 cache and can run eight threads in parallel.
Arm claims this makes it perfectly suitable for the upcoming generation of laptops that will compete with tablets in both form factor and longevity.
Note that Arm itself doesn’t manufacture and sell its own CPUs, but rather licenses them to third-party companies.
With Apple all set to ditch Intel, it shouldn’t be long before other device manufacturers come swarming to Arm.
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