Arm is getting ready for the next decade. The new v9 architecture will bring higher performance and security

In connection with Arm, we were rather expecting a report on when (or if) Nvidia would definitely buy this British company. The creators of the processors that dominated the mobile world and are now conquering the computer world, but they were surprised by much bigger events. Announced the new Armv9 architecture.

It will not be such a revolution as Armv8, which came ten years ago and brought support for 64-bit instructions. It is more of a set of smaller improvements that we saw in the continuously updated figure eight (the latest version is v8.6) and which has so far only appeared as optional extensions. Of course, it will remain backward compatible.

The biggest “computational” innovation will be that the Armv9 instruction set must contain SVE2 (Scalable Vector Extension). These SIMD instructions will greatly increase the performance of machine learning or DSP operations in image processing, audio, or network traffic control. The first version of CEE was optional, and so far only Japanese Fujitsu has sacrificed silicon for it with the A64FX processor. Over 7.5 million of these cores use Fugak, with an overview of the most powerful current supercomputer . The original SVE worked with vectors with a length of 128 bits, with SVE2 chip makers will be able to choose multipliers of up to 2048 bits.

The second big novelty is Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA). It is processor-level hardware protection that prevents potential attackers from using malware to obtain data or modify code from other applications. Neither the operating system nor the hypervisor will be able to infect protected data in memory. Obviously, this is protection against vulnerabilities such as Meltdown or Specter, or future exploits of this type.

At the moment, we do not yet know when the first Armv9 chips will appear on the market. The new architecture will first be ready for the -A profile, ie powerful processors such as Cortex reference cores or server Neovers, can potentially appear in Apple M2 and other CPUs, which license only the instruction set, but the microarchitecture itself is already designed by the companies. Later, Armv9-R for real-time processors and Armv9-M for single-chip computers will arrive.

Arm also spoke at yesterday’s event about upcoming licensable CPUs and GPUs. This year, it will introduce the Neoverse N2 server processor, which will already run on Armv9. As far as consumer chips are concerned, this year we can expect new Cortexes with the code designation Matterhorn , which will be followed up next year by microarchitecture Makalu . It will bring 30% higher performance than the current Cortex-A78 (or X1). This year’s chip will be about 15% faster than last year’s. It is not yet certain whether the Matterhorn will be built on Armv9.

The future generation of graphics Mali , which we only know will support ray tracing and variable rate shading , both can be found in the latest generation of desktop chips from AMD and Nvidia (for the last two generations).

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