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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