The specs for the newest and greatest ARM phone chip the A72, show that it is close to 3.5 times more powerful than ARM’s previously released Cortex-A15. It is also powerful enough to record and process 4K video at a rate of 120 frames per second.
While the specs of this 32 and 64bit capable chip look mighty impressive it is a predictor of things to come. These reference design chips are used for example by Apple in their A architecture because the company has an architectural license agreement with ARM; that has proved to be an amazing performer because Apple tweaks the design to perform incredibly fast in their devices sometimes above 50% from the reference design in some specific applications.
Will the next iPhone 7 sport an ARM Cortex A72 derived Apple A10 chip capable of 4k slow motion? Hard to tell at this point but we do expect the next Apple devices to shoot full 4k at up to 60fps. The Current iPhone 6 is capable of 4k in hardware as evidenced by the Ultrakam app which unlocks 50MB/sec 4k recording on the stock device.
Apple is known for incremental upgrades that take their sweet time to get to market. But if 4k is in the cards we might at least expect 1080p video at 240fps instead of 720p. Incremental can also be good. We however expect competitors to offer 4k at 120fps faster than Apple in the next year.
Considering how fast Phone camera technology is advancing it may be possible to see phones capable of extremely high frame rates this decade that would only be an illusory dream today.
This is how 4k at 120fps looks like: Shot on a RED EPIC by virginiaathletics.
Power consumption is very good on the ARM Cortex A72 and that will be a reason for fast adoption in portable devices. The 16nm fabrication process cuts down heavily in power while increasing performance in a huge leap.
The A72 is scheduled to be in devices by early 2016.