Security, artificial intelligence and DSP capabilities. These are the three main challenges of the second decade ARM that, after presenting the ArmV8 project in 2021, announced its new Armv9 architecture for the processors of the future. This new design is based on Arch64, ARM’s first 64-bit architecture, but benefits from a sufficient number of new extensions to justify a change in nomenclature.
However, the transition from ARM NEON technology to SVE2 (Second generation scalable vector extension). This change, announced in the fall of 2020, is expected to increase the capacity of upcoming ARM chips in DSP, AI and crypto, while increasing their throughput.
Smartphone and supercomputer
If until now this promising transition had only been attempted on a few CPUs (such as the Fujitsu A64FX, which powers the world’s number one Japanese supercomputer Fukagu), it is no coincidence: the first version of SVE technology, released in 2016, also it was based on SIMD computing units and did not allow as pronounced versatility as that offered by NEON technology at the time.
As AnandTech explains, compared to NEON, SVE / SVE2 incorporates new SIMD functions, but also and above all it benefits from a variable size operator ranging from 128 to 2048 bits. An advantage that developers should be able to take advantage of quickly: SVE2 will allow them, in short, Compile your own code only once for flexibility.
An increase of 30%
ARM promises that with Armv9, its next two generations of mobile cores, “Matterhorn” and “Makalu”, will each develop a CPI generational higher than 14% for a total increase of almost 30% across these two generations. ARM also specifies that this figure is calculated without taking into account the frequencies that will be applied to the chips produced by the SoC manufacturers (to which ARM sells its licenses). Therefore, the end consumer could benefit from a more substantial increase in performance.
Regarding the GPU, ARM also discussed the future of its Mali iGPUs, which will also take advantage of Armv9 to gain capacity. The company explains that it will work on the implementation of Variable Rate Shading (VRS), but also and especially ray tracing. In other words, mobile gaming should become even more fluid and visually appealing thanks to the upcoming SoCs on ARM technologies.
It remains to be seen when next-generation Armv9 architecture solutions arrive. Right now, the deadline is set for the end of 2022.