Arm's latest: A CPU design to better serve AI, ML

The new Armv9 microarchitecture from Arm will cater to the demands of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and add security features.

arm cortex chip image
Arm

Arm Holdings has introduced the Armv9 microarchitecture, the first overhaul of its CPU architecture in a decade, with heavy emphasis on security and all things artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Arm, for the unfamiliar, does not make CPUs like Intel and AMD. It makes basic architectural designs that licensees modify with their own special technological sauce. It makes variances for high-performance, mobile, embedded, and edge/cloud.

As part of Arm’s Vision Day event earlier this week, the company announced the first details of the Armv9 architecture, with more to come later this year. The company has to tread cautiously as it is in the process of being acquired by Nvidia, and forces are lining up to oppose the deal.

From an architectural standpoint, v9 probably isn’t as big a jump as v8 was over v7, where the company introduced 64-bit instructions for the first time with the AArch64 instruction set, along with a redesigned execution mode.

Armv9 is built on Armv8 and is backwards compatible, so no software rewrites will be required. The major new technology concept introduced in Arm v9 is the Confidential Compute Architecture and the concept of Realms.

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