ARM is gradually conquering the world. His business by licensing manufacturers has allowed him to cut a slice of the Intel market by placing chips in all kinds of phones, laptops and other devices. Now the company is preparing to take the next big step: a new architecture for chips, the first in ten years.
For much of the last decade, most of the smartphones that have arrived on the market have done so under the ARM architecture. Apple or Qualcomm for example, two of the biggest contributors to this market with chips, use ARM architecture. Which one of them? ARMv8, an architecture that has been around for more than ten years and is finally going to be replaced.
Security, AI and power
As announced by ARM, the new architecture v9. With v9 the British company says it is focusing on three main aspects of the needs of today’s processors: security, artificial intelligence processing and computing power.
Starting with the security aspect, the ARMv9 architecture includes ARM’s Confidential Computing Architecture (CCA) functionality. This allows apps to use Realms, which is essentially the ability to protect your private code and data to run in environments separate from other apps or software.
ARM says that ARMv9 processors will also feature ARM’s Scalable Vector Extension (SVE). It is a functionality developed in conjunction with Fujitsu and that allows faster processing of data through 5G, virtual or augmented reality locally, and especially machine learning. SVE technology is also present, for example, in the world’s most powerful supercomputer, the Japanese Fugaku. ARM says that ARMv9 will include the second iteration of SVE, SVE2.
Regarding power and performance itself, ARM promises performance increases of more than 30% in the next generations of mobile CPUs and the cloud. However, there are not many details about how they hope to achieve this. As always, it will be necessary to see in practice how CPUs and GPUs behave once they integrate ARMv9 as an architecture.
There is currently no set date for when ARMv9 chips will hit the market and for consumers. It is an architecture that will be implemented in both mobile processors and GPUs for computers such as servers and supercomputers in the cloud. Mind you, they estimate that the v9 architecture will power 300 billion new ARM-based chips.