The two most important new features are the memory tagging mechanism and the Realm data management system. They are to be part of an overall program called Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA), which is to enable computing in a hardware-secured environment. Details of this solution will be presented in the coming months, as for now it is known that the idea is to create dynamic, separate computing environments, which is probably something like today’s sandboxes.
New AI and ML mechanisms
In addition to security concerns, Armv9 will equip the new processors with the next generation of SVE2 scalable vector computing extension. It is to improve the performance of applications using artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital signal processing algorithms. Generally, a lot of emphasis was placed on the creation of specialized systems supporting the work of SoC in specific applications. These chips are to be rapidly developed throughout the reign of v9 architecture.
The evolution of the CPU
When it comes to the speed of the new cores, ARM expects that their next generations, called Matterhorn and Makalu, will bring a combined IPC increase of 30% (we only take into account the increase resulting from architecture changes). As you can see, there is no madness in this respect, but the company pointed out that even the possibilities of the current generation are not fully used by the creators. It is certainly interesting to say that while designing new varieties of Mali GPUs, work is underway to implement the Ray Tracing technology. However, at what stage this implementation is not specified.
ARM expects that the first processors using the new solutions will appear this year, and the devices using them should hit the shelves in early 2022. ARM also announced that the current acquisition of the company by nVidia will not change anything in the company’s operating model. nor the technology licensing rules.
Personally, I am most interested in how these new “native” ARMs will fare with Apple Silicon. It must be remembered that Apple processors are licensed for ARM instructions, while the cores are developed in Cupertino by themselves. Despite the common base, it can be expected that the paths of these families will increasingly diverge, especially in the field of specialized systems, which are an increasingly important part of SoC systems. It will be an extremely interesting duel.
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