Arm’s Total Compute: Dive Deeper Into Its New CPU Offerings

May 28, 2021 by Jake Hertz

Recently, Arm released its Total Compute solutions which included three new CPU offerings. Here is a deeper look into what each one is offering.

This week, Arm made headlines with its new Total Compute solutions platform, which marked the company's most significant release yet. This release encompassed an enormous amount of new hardware, including three new CPUs, four new GPUs, and new CoreLink interconnects technology––so much news that couldn't possibly be covered in just one article. 

This article will focus on one piece of the Total Compute offering by taking a deeper look at the three new CPU offerings. 


Arm Cortex-X2 

The first of three CPU offerings from Arm is its new Cortex-X2, which the company is calling its most powerful CPU to date. 

The Cortex-X2 is the second offering in the Cortex-X family. This family is focused on performance first instead of other families that are more concerned with a balance between performance, power, and area. The X2 is built off of the Armv9 architecture and claims to achieve some very impressive specs. 


The Cortex-X2 claims to be Arm’s most powerful CPU to date.

The Cortex-X2 claims to be Arm’s most powerful CPU to date. Image used courtesy of Arm


According to Arm, the X2 by itself can deliver 30% single-threaded performance improvements in Android smartphones and 40% single-threaded performance improvements for laptops. 

Compared to X1, the newer generation X2 offers 16% integer performance improvement and 2x machine learning improvements. 

The X2 is further supported by Arm's new DynamIQ Shared Unit, the DSU-110. The new shared unit allows designers to support up to 8 Cortex-X2 CPUs in a single cluster along with a more extensive L3 cache support of up to 16 MB––allowing designers to modify its CPU configurations for its given application. 


Arm Cortex-A710 

The next CPU offering from Arm is its new Cortex-A710, a CPU designed to maintain maximal sustained performance while maximizing device battery life. 


Arm is calling the Cortex-A710 its first Armv9 “big” CPU.

Arm is calling the Cortex-A710 its first Armv9 “big” CPU. Image used courtesy of Arm


Compared to the previous generation Cortex-A78 CPUs, the Cortex-A710 provides a 10% improvement in performance at the same power consumption. 

At the same level of performance, the A710 claims up to a 30% improvement in energy efficiency. Continuing Arm's increased ML focus in this generation of CPU, the A710 achieves 2x ML performance improvements compared to the A78. 

Unlike the X2, which is meant for strictly heavy computation, the A710 seems to be more well-rounded, making it valuable for various applications and devices. 

Arm claims that the intended use cases are premium smartphones, laptops, smart home devices, and smart TVs, which provide a nice balance between power and performance. 


Arm Cortex-A510 

Finally, the last CPU offering from Arm in its Total Compute suite is the Cortex-A510, which is the company's first high efficiency "LITTLE" core in four years. 


Cortex-A510 is Arm’s first Armv9 “LITTLE” CPU.

Cortex-A510 is Arm’s first Armv9 “LITTLE” CPU. Image used courtesy of Arm


An essential benefit of the A510 is the increased performance it brings compared to the previous generation Cortex-A55. 

Comparatively, the A510 offers a 35% performance increase, which means that, on a system level, the "LITTLE" CPU, which is the more power-efficient option, can run longer before needing to switch over the "big" CPU. 

The main focus of the A510 is to create an overall system efficiency in a CPU cluster. Like the other CPUs in the suite, the A510 offers significant ML improvements over predecessors, with a 3x improvement over A55. 

By itself, the A510 is designed to be an extremely efficient device, improving power efficiency by up to 20%. Two Cortex-A510 CPUs can be grouped in a CPU cluster, resulting in increased area efficiency and scalability for different end devices when leveraging a merged core microarchitecture. 


Something for Everyone

After reviewing each of Arm's new CPU offerings, it is apparent that it is looking to address many different markets and end applications with their three new Total Compte CPUs. 

Between the Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, and Cortex-A510, all needs from high compute to high efficiency are seemingly met, making the impact of this new suite very far-reaching. 

The next article will dive deeper into the other extensive hardware offering in Total Compute: Arm's four new Mali GPUs.


Featured image used courtesy of Arm