Arm Announces Armv9 Architecture

Posted on May 25, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Hardware, Mobile with 12 Comments

Arm today announced its first new microprocessor architecture in a decade, stating that it will be the foundation for the next decade of computing. Dubbed Armv9, this platform isn’t just for smartphones and tablets, but will also target Windows PCs, Chromebooks, wearables, smart TVs, and other devices across a family of chipsets.

“The new Armv9 architecture … will be the foundation of the next decade of compute,” Arm’s Aditya Bedi writes. “Bringing more performance, machine learning (ML), DSP, and security to empower our partners to deliver best-in-class solutions for all workloads and applications across all markets. Building on this bold vision for the future of compute, we are delighted to announce the first Armv9 Cortex CPUs targeting a wide range of consumer devices for a variety of workloads and use cases. These CPUs are designed to push to limits of performance and efficiency and are tuned to deliver exceptional user experiences.”

Arm claims that the Armv9 chips will perform about 30 percent better than their predecessors across both CPU and GPU, with triple the performance for machine learning and other AI-based tasks. There will be so-called “big” CPUs for PCs and Chromebooks and high-efficiency “LITTLE” chips (not sure why that is all-caps) for other use cases.

Overall, Arm is offering three distinct micro-architectures for different workloads. The Cortex-X series promises to maximize performance on single-thread and burst workloads. The Cortex-A700 series prioritizes sustained multi-core workloads and offers the best balance between efficiency and performance. And the Cortext-A500 series pushes efficiency over performance for lightweight workloads.

I’m curious now if Qualcomm’s next-generation Snapdragon chipsets for Windows 10 on ARM will be based on this new architecture. I thought it was weird that the firm didn’t release a new 800-series chipset in late 2020, but this could explain it.

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Comments (12)

12 responses to “Arm Announces Armv9 Architecture”

  1. kingbuzzo

    so...more like an Amiga design then...lolz

  2. crunchyfrog

    Perhaps this will be that wake up call Microsoft has been waiting for from the WOA team.

    • robinpersaud

      100%. We need a WOA deployment that does not stink - and developers to get on board.

      The next revision of the Surface Pro X should be interesting...if they opt to use something based on this new architecture.

    • lvthunder

      I bet it's more ARM's response to Apple.

    • Daishi

      It’s not Microsoft that needs the wake up call, it’s Qualcomm. By far the biggest issue with Windows on ARM is that the available chips for it to run on suck. The 8CX, and the SQ1&2 that are based on it, are still using A76 that were announced in 2018. If someone was releasing phones today to take on the latest from Apple using Snapdragon 855s (the equivalent generation phone SOC) people would think they were an idiot.

      On the upside that means that, from my back of the envelope calculations, if Qualcomm just did a straight swap from that to the X2 cores ARM just announced then we should be looking at something along the lines of a 75% performance jump.

  3. KPixel

    @Paul: "big.LITTLE" is an Arm trademark. They chose to write it that way probably because it was the only way to trademark it (and it is geeky :) ).

    • MikeCerm

      Also, I think the size of the lettering is meant to imply that the "big" cores are for short, bursty workloads, while the "LITTLE" cores run all the time, ultimately performing most of the work. That's how I've always interpreted it.

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