Cortex-X3 Proves Its Area Efficiency

TechInsights’ floorplan analyses of smartphone processors reveal the size of CPUs and caches.
Joseph Byrne
Joseph Byrne

MediaTek’s flagship smartphone processor shows that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Although the company’s prior-generation Dimensity 9000 had the smallest Cortex-X2, the more powerful Cortex-X3 in the new Dimensity 9200 occupies even less silicon real estate. Its improved size and performance make MediaTek’s X3 the most area-efficient high-end CPU in a smartphone processor.

In this class, Apple still delivers the fastest CPU through a combination of superior per-clock performance (IPC) and higher peak clock rate. The Everest core in its Bionic A16 processor improves its predecessor’s area efficiency. But, accompanying its greater performance, it’s the largest high-end smartphone CPU.

Our conclusions are based on TechInsights’ floorplan analyses of current and previous-generation smartphone processors from Apple, MediaTek, and Qualcomm. We also collected performance data from The three current-generation chips all employ the same TSMC 4 nm process with an optical shrink, simplifying comparisons. However, the designs vary in size and configuration.

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