If you’ve read about the processors in mobile devices, known as SoCs (System On a Chip), then you’ve probably heard about ARM, the British company that creates designs for ICs (Integrated Chips, also called silicon chips, or just chips), and their Cortex line which is used in many SoCs like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 and 808, which power BlackBerry’s Passport and Priv.
This week, ARM announced the Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71, their latest CPU and GPU (Graphics Processing Units) designs. The pair of designs are aimed at providing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) capabilities to smartphones. The company says the Cortex-A73 design provides a 30% increase in sustained performance and power efficiency over the previous generation A72, and the Mali-G71 GPU design provides a 50% performance increase and a 20% increase in power efficiency over the previous generation. It says the performance of the Mali-G71 surpasses many of the discrete GPUs found in today’s mid-range laptops.
ARM doesn’t actually make any chips, though. They simply design them and licence the designs to chip makers. According to the company, ten partners have signed up for the Cortex-A73, including Marvell and Mediatek, and that MediaTek and Samsung Electronics have licensed the Mali-G71.
ARM expects smartphones based on the Cortex-A73 and Mali-G71 to hit the market later this year, or early next year. Since BlackBerry has been using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs in their latest devices, the next BlackBerry flagship device might just have the new Cortex and Mali designs.