Question Will ARM step up with a more powerful little core?

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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We've seen rumours indicating that Intel's "little" core in Alder Lake is almost as fast as a Skylake core. And Apple have had surprisingly powerful "little" cores for years. So why on Earth is ARM continuing with such awful "little" cores? The 510 is still an in-order core, and only 3-wide! Their own performance projections say that even with twice as much L2 and L3 cache it only beats the A55 by 35% in integer workloads, which is pretty awful.

Surely at some point they need to up their game? I'm sure we'll still be seeing Android phones with 8 of these as their only CPU in the next few years, and that is going to be a miserable experience.
 

naukkis

Senior member
Jun 5, 2002
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ARM has big, medium and little cores. Those little cores are in phones to extend battery life and Intel doesn't need them. Increasing little cores power use would be stupidest thing to do for phones/ other battery driven devices.
 

Insert_Nickname

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May 6, 2012
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So why on Earth is ARM continuing with such awful "little" cores? The 510 is still an in-order core, and only 3-wide! Their own performance projections say that even with twice as much L2 and L3 cache it only beats the A55 by 35% in integer workloads, which is pretty awful.
ARM has big, medium and little cores. Those little cores are in phones to extend battery life and Intel doesn't need them. Increasing little cores power use would be stupidest thing to do for phones/ other battery driven devices.
This^^

The ARM little cores are designed for minimum power use, not performance. For standby use, you only need something that'll do the (basic) task (checking stuff, syncing etc.), so as to not fire up the medium or big cores.

I'd consider Apples "little" cores more as medium cores in comparison.

I'm sure we'll still be seeing Android phones with 8 of these as their only CPU in the next few years, and that is going to be a miserable experience.
Can't really blame ARM for OEMs doing it wrong. Those cheap 8 small core SOCs are more for being able to advertise "hey, 8 cores!" then anything else.
 
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DrMrLordX

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Apr 27, 2000
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@NTMBK has a point, unless the A510 uses significantly less power at idle and load than Apple's IceStorm cores. Then maybe they make sense. But if Apple is squeezing more performance out of IceStorm than ARM can out of a standard implementation of A510 within the same power envelope, then I think it's safe to say that the A510 is vastly in need of improvement.
 

NTMBK

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Nov 14, 2011
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Yup, Apple doesn't have A55-level cores in their phone, but they get great battery life. ARM are just way behind on the efficiency cores.
 

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