Arm Takes On AI With New Chip Architecture
Arm has unveiled its first new architecture in more than 10 years, pushing security and AI as potential markets for its processor technology.
The new Armv9 architecture will deliver up to a 30 per cent performance boost over the next two chip generations compared to processors currently powered by Armv8, the company says, and will add capabilities for enhanced security and machine learning applications.
Armv9 will help the shift from general-purpose to specialised computing, including AI, Internet of Things, and 5G applications, said Simon Segars, chief executive officer, Arm.
“As we look toward a future that will be defined by AI, we must lay a foundation of leading-edge compute that will be ready to address the unique challenges to come.
“Armv9 is the answer. It will be at the forefront of the next 300 billion Arm-based chips driven by the demand for pervasive specialised, secure and powerful processing built on the economics, design freedom and accessibility of general-purpose compute,” he said.
More than 100 billion Arm-based devices have been shipped over the last five years, and the company boldly predicts it will soon be processing 100 per cent of the world’s data at the end point, in the cloud, or on data networks. While best known for smartphone processors, Arm architecture has already replaced Intel in Apple’s M1 Macbook chips, and the company is gunning for the PC and server processor markets.
US chipmaking giant Nvidia has been in talks to purchase Arm from SoftBank for $40 billion USD, over the objections of several Arm customers. Brian Kelleher, senior vice president of hardware engineering at Nvidia, hailed the new architecture as a big step forward.
“Nvidia sees enormous opportunities to bring the transformative powers of AI deeper into gaming, autonomous vehicles, enterprise data centres and embedded devices.
“Through our ongoing collaboration with Arm, we look forward to using Armv9 to deliver a wide range of once unimaginable computing possibilities,” he said.
The first Armv9-based chips are expected to launch this year.