ARM Cortex-A78C Processor for PCs Will Run Windows 10 OS On Laptops

Microsoft Windows 10 on ARM project now has the official support directly from the maker of the processors. ARM has now announced ARM Cortex-A78C processor which is being designed specifically to power laptops that run Windows on ARM (WoA) version. The announcement is expected to significantly boost the support for the WoA project not just from Microsoft but also from hardware manufacturers.

ARM has announced a new processor that is meant for running Windows 10 operating system. To date, it was only Microsoft that was attempting to develop a version of Windows 10 which could run on processors other than the traditional x86 platform. With ARM chips based on the high-performance Cortex-A78 architecture, laptop manufacturers will soon have a capable SoC to power their devices which run Windows on ARM OS.

ARM Cortex-A78C Processor For Windows on ARM, Specifications, Features:

The ARM Cortex-A78C is a variant of the high-end Cortex-A78 Cores that will power the next generation of flagship smartphones. The company had launched the Cortex-A78 earlier this year and claims it as the most premium Cortex-A CPU. According to ARM, SoC with the CPU can deliver a 20 percent sustained performance upgrade and a 50 percent increase in energy savings over last year’s Cortex-A77.

The new ARM Cortex-A78C CPU, meant primarily for the next generation of on-the-go devices, such as always-on laptops will support up to 8 big CPU core clusters for a more “homogenous multi big core computing”. In comparison, ARM’s high-end Cortex-A78 supports 4 big CPU cores and 4 little CPU cores (Cortex-A55) in ARM’s proprietary DynamIQ or big.LITTLE arrangement. The Cortex-A78 is expected to be part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 875 and Samsung Exynos 1080 smartphones SoCs.

Besides the inclusion of 8 Big CPU Cores, the ARM Cortex-A78C will be compatible with the recently launched Mali-G78 GPU. The A78C is specifically designed to offer eight cores worth of “big” CPU performance, with either 256KB or 512KB of L2 cache per-core and up to 8MB of L3 cache for all the CPUs to share. L1 cache size could be 32KBor 64KB for each of the instruction and data caches. The L3 cache reportedly supports up to 60GB/s of sustained bandwidth. This should directly translate to increased performance especially while working with large datasets, claims the official blog from ARM.

Besides the Cortex-A78C, there’s also the Cortex-A78AE which is meant for automotive and embedded applications. All these new processors, get a number of security features, including a new Pointer Authentication Code (PAC) capability built into the ARMv8.3 instruction set extension. Essentially, the security measure detects tampering attempts and is capable of restoring the original pointer values. ARM assures this will help in keeping data safe even when installing third-party applications.

When Will Laptops Running Windows on ARM Arrive With ARM Cortex-A78C Processors?

ARM has merely announced the ARM Cortex-A78C processor. The company hasn’t offered any timeline. However, the mere announcement is expected to significantly drive the decision of manufacturers to focus on Windows on ARM. This will directly help Microsoft accelerate the development of the operating system.

Windows operating system, including Windows 10, has been running reliably on x86 CPUs that are made by Intel, and AMD. However, this duopoly is now clearly been challenged by ARM. Incidentally, it is Microsoft that wants more CPUs to reliably run Windows. However, it is the development and enthusiast community that wants Windows OS to run on multiple single-board computers and IoT devices.

Alap Naik Desai


A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.