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This chip might bring more CPU power than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4

Arm's new CPU could be faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 CPU, and MediaTek and Samsung are both expected to use it.

Published onApril 29, 2024

ARM logo
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
  • The Cortex-X5 CPU core beats the Oryon CPU cores in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset, a leaker has claimed.
  • MediaTek is reportedly using the Cortex-X5 in its upcoming Dimensity 9400 processor.

Qualcomm is expected to announce its Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 chipset for flagship phones in late 2024, and this will be the first smartphone chipset powered by the company’s Oryon custom CPU cores. However, it sounds like Arm and MediaTek could take the fight to Qualcomm with the next Dimensity processor.

Leaker Digital Chat Station has asserted on Weibo that the upcoming MediaTek Dimensity 9400 chipset uses the Arm Cortex-X5 CPU core, reportedly code-named BlackHawk. The tipster further claims that the Cortex-X5 beats the CPU cores inside the Apple A17 Pro chip and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 SoC when it comes to IPC performance (instructions per cycle).

It’s worth noting, however, that the A17 Pro is currently used in the iPhone 15 Pro series, so the new Arm CPU versus next-generation Apple CPUs would be the better comparison. Digital Chat Station also suggested in a follow-up comment that the Cortex-X5 has “PC-level performance” and better efficiency.

Cortex-X5: An ambitious release for Arm?

This wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard about the Arm Cortex-X5 CPU core potentially being a huge horsepower upgrade. An analyst firm first reported on the presumed Cortex-X5 in January, using the BlackHawk name and suggesting it could beat Apple and become the best smartphone CPU. The firm also claimed that it would offer the “largest year-over-year IPC performance increase in five years.”

There’s more to a smartphone CPU than IPC metrics, though, with other factors like benchmarks, sustained performance, and the Android OEM’s own hardware/software all affecting the overall experience. So we’ll need to wait for the first real-world phones with the Dimensity 9400 processor to see whether the Cortex-X5 is indeed the top smartphone CPU. We’re also expecting Samsung to use the CPU core in its Exynos 2500, which will likely power some Galaxy S25 models.

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