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Arm’s Solution to the Future Needs of AI, Security and Specialized Computing is v9

Today, Arm introduced the Armv9 architecture in response to the global demand for ubiquitous specialized processing with increasingly capable security and artificial intelligence (AI).

News highlights:

  • The new Armv9 architecture will form the leading edge of the next 300 billion Arm-based chips
  • Advances specialized processing built on the economics, design freedom and accessibility advantages of general-purpose compute
  • Delivers greater performance, enhanced security and DSP and ML capabilities

Cambridge, UK, March 30, 2021 – Today, Arm introduced the Arm®v9 architecture in response to the global demand for ubiquitous specialized processing with increasingly capable security and artificial intelligence (AI). Armv9 is the first new Arm architecture in a decade, building on the success of Armv8 which today drives the best performance-per-watt everywhere computing happens.

“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,” said Simon Segars, chief executive officer, Arm. “Armv9 is the answer. It will be at the forefront of the next 300 billion Arm-based chips driven by the demand for pervasive specialized, secure and powerful processing built on the economics, design freedom and accessibility of general-purpose compute.”

The number of Arm-based chips shipped continues to accelerate, with more than 100 billion devices shipped over the last five years. At the current rate, 100 percent of the world’s shared data will soon be processed on Arm; either at the endpoint, in the data networks or the cloud. Such pervasiveness conveys a responsibility on Arm to deliver more security and performance, along with other new features in Armv9. The new capabilities in Armv9 will accelerate the move from general-purpose to more specialized compute across every application as AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G gain momentum globally.

Security: Computing’s greatest challenge

To address the greatest technology challenge today – securing the world’s data – the Armv9 roadmap introduces the Arm Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA). Confidential computing shields portions of code and data from access or modification while in-use, even from privileged software, by performing computation in a hardware-based secure environment.

The Arm CCA will introduce the concept of dynamically created Realms, useable by all applications, in a region that is separate from both the secure and non-secure worlds. For example, in business applications, Realms can protect commercially sensitive data and code from the rest of the system while it is in-use, at rest, and in transit. In a recent Pulse survey of enterprise executives, of enterprise executives, more than 90% of the respondents believe that if Confidential Computing were available, the cost of security could come down enabling them to dramatically increase their investment in engineering innovation.

“The increasing complexity of use cases from edge to cloud cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Henry Sanders, corporate vice president and chief technology officer, Azure Edge and Platforms at Microsoft. “As a result, heterogeneous compute is becoming more ubiquitous, requiring greater synergy among hardware and software developers. A good example of this synergy between hardware and software are the ArmV9 confidential compute features which were developed in close collaboration with Microsoft. Arm is in a unique position to accelerate heterogeneous computing at the heart of an ecosystem, fostering open innovation on an architecture powering billions of devices.”

AI everywhere demands specialized, scalable solutions

The ubiquity and range of AI workloads demands more diverse and specialized solutions. For example, it is estimated there will be more than eight billion AI-enabled voice-assisted devices in use by the mid-2020si, and 90 percent or more of on-device applications will contain AI elements along with AI-based interfaces like vision or voiceii.

To address this need, Arm partnered with Fujitsu to create the Scalable Vector Extension (SVE) technology, which is at the heart of Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer. Building on that work, Arm has developed SVE2 for Armv9 to enable enhanced machine learning (ML) and digital signal processing (DSP) capabilities across a wider range of applications.

SVE2 enhances the processing ability of 5G systems, virtual and augmented reality, and ML workloads running locally on CPUs, such as image processing and smart home applications. Over the next few years, Arm will further extend the AI capabilities of its technology with substantial enhancements in matrix multiplication within the CPU, in addition to ongoing AI innovations in its Mali™ GPUs and Ethos™ NPUs.

Maximizing performance through system design

Over the past five years, Arm designs have increased CPU performance annually at a rate that outpaces the industry. Arm will continue this momentum into the Armv9 generation with expected CPU performance increases of more than 30% over the next two generations of mobile and infrastructure CPUs.

However, as the industry moves from general-purpose computing towards ubiquitous specialized processing, annual double-digit CPU performance gains are not enough. Along with enhancing specialized processing, Arm’s Total Compute design methodology will accelerate overall compute performance through focused system-level hardware and software optimizations and increases in use-case performance.

By applying Total Compute design principles across its entire IP portfolio of automotive, client, infrastructure and IoT solutions, Armv9 system-level technologies will span the entire IP solution, as well as improving individual IP. Additionally, Arm is developing several technologies to increase frequency, bandwidth, and cache size, and reduce memory latency to maximize the performance of Armv9-based CPUs.

A unique vision for the next decade of computing

“Addressing the demand for more complex AI-based workloads is driving the need for more secure and specialized processing, which will be the key to unlocking new markets and opportunities,” said Richard Grisenthwaite, SVP, chief architect and fellow, Arm. “Armv9 will enable developers to build and program the trusted compute platforms of tomorrow by bridging critical gaps between hardware and software, while enabling the standardization to help our partners balance faster time-to-market and cost control alongside the ability to create their own unique solutions.”

Learn more about Arm’s vision for the next decade of computing here. The site features several in-depth, on-demand videos including:

  • Simon Segars explores Arm’s growing relationships and ambitions as he narrates the company’s journey toward enabling the next generation of Armv9-based specialized computing.
  • A look at the future of the Arm architecture led by Richard Grisenthwaite and members of the Arm technical leadership team.
  • A fireside chat with Simon Segars and Microsoft President Brad Smith.
  • Forward-looking panel discussions with Arm ecosystem partners including Google, Foxconn, Microsoft, NVIDIA, NXP, Unity, Volkswagen, Zoom and many more.

Supporting Partner Quotes

Ampere Computing:

“Ampere has a strong vision for the next decade of cloud compute. We’re excited about the future architectural advances and broad design flexibility that Armv9 will provide, upon which Ampere will continue to innovate and deliver our own performance-leading cloud native processors, delivering scale across the market.”
Jeff Wittich, chief product officer, Ampere Computing


“Over the years, we’ve closely collaborated with Arm across verification, implementation and system design to enable our mutual customers to realize their SoC designs with superior quality of results across markets such as AI, mobile, and high-performance computing. The Armv9 is well-positioned to deliver the ever-increasing levels of performance, security and specialization required by tomorrow’s products, and our optimized digital flows have demonstrated early successes, showcasing the power and performance benefits of the Armv9 architecture.”
Anirudh Devgan, president of Cadence


“Our strategic partnership with Arm is key for breaking into the mobile games sector. We’re excited to see how Armv9 will empower future CRYENGINE developers to create even more secure mobile content in a graphic fidelity almost unimaginable just a decade ago.”
Avni Yerli, chief executive officer, Crytek


“Our MIH alliance is building an open platform that will accelerate innovation and deployment of electric vehicles. The new architecture developments in Armv9 will deliver the processing performance and security that will enable platforms to deliver a step change in the electrification of mobility.”
William Wei, chief technology officer, Foxconn


“The work we’ve done with Arm has enabled us to not only build a CPU powering the world’s fastest supercomputer, but Fujitsu is also a pioneer and collaborator in helping to develop SVE. In continuing our partnership over the next decade, we look forward to an ever-growing HPC ecosystem and the availability of innovative server-class platforms that will help us maintain our position as a formidable player in the market.”
Naoki Shinjo, Corporate Executive Officer, SVP, Head of Platform Development Unit, Fujitsu


“Improving the security of connected devices requires close collaboration between both software and hardware teams, and our partnership with Arm is a great example of how to do co-development right. Mitigating memory-related vulnerabilities is hugely important for improving security across a wide range of connected devices, and we look forward to seeing how MTE helps raise the bar for security across the industry.”
Dave Kleidermacher, vice president of Engineering for Android Security & Privacy at Google


“Marvell and Arm have long shared a vision of bringing innovative, optimized solutions to market – from the cloud to the network edge. The advancement of the Arm architecture underpins the strength of our partnership. We look forward to our continued collaboration as we deliver best-in-class silicon and software technologies to serve the needs of the data infrastructure worldwide.”
Raghib Hussain, chief strategy officer and executive vice president of the Networking and Processors Group at Marvell


“MediaTek has collaborated with Arm for many years across a broad range of products from mobile, to PC and DTV. The scalability of the Arm architecture, along with performance and design innovation are key as we expand the MediaTek portfolio. The Armv9 architecture will play a role as we design next-generation Dimensity 5G products with new capabilities, features and user experiences.”
Kevin Jou, chief technology officer at MediaTek


“NVIDIA sees enormous opportunities to bring the transformative powers of AI deeper into gaming, autonomous vehicles, enterprise data centers 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.”
Brian Kelleher, senior vice president of hardware engineering at NVIDIA

NXP Semiconductors:

“A foundation of high-performance compute with extreme energy efficiency and uncompromising security is essential for the era of the intelligent edge. Arm has a long history of collaborating with NXP and we share these guiding principles in building technologies that enable our customers to realize the full value of intelligent edge devices.”
Ron Martino, senior vice president and general manager, Edge Processing Business, NXP Semiconductors


“OPPO’s smartphones powered by Arm technology bring the right level of performance, power efficiency and security for our users. Arm’s commitment to innovation with the new Arm v9 architecture will enable the industry to create new, smarter and even more secure experiences in the future.”
Levin Liu, OPPO Vice President and Head of OPPO Research Institute


“Arm technology has taken always-connected device experiences to an entirely new level; That has changed the game for companies like PicsArt, which is making creativity accessible to hundreds of millions of people. The compute performance in mobile devices has already enabled us to create an entire creative playground for photo and video editing, but we’re looking forward to taking advantage of the Armv9 architecture’s increased performance and power efficiency to build out even more experiences on Arm-based solutions while taking our users’ content to even greater heights.” Artavazd Mehrabyan, co-founder and chief technology officer at PicsArt

Red Hat:

“Modern cloud environments are evolving to support expanded hardware choice and differentiation as part of a trend towards greater workload-optimized compute. Red Hat and Arm have collaborated closely to create common, open technology standards that embrace this flexibility while also retaining compatibility across different platforms. We’re pleased to continue this work with today’s unveiling of the Armv9 architecture and look forward to the new capabilities that it will enable, from enhanced architectural performance to advanced security features as well as a broader range of workloads across the open hybrid cloud.”
Chris Wright, CTO, Red Hat

Renesas Electronics Corporation:

“As a leading supplier of SoC products for the automotive industry, Renesas is focused on helping our customers realize their vision for the future of the automobile. Armv9 technologies will deliver the security, performance and advanced AI capabilities the industry needs to open up new automotive possibilities including increased levels of automated driving and enhanced in-cabin experiences for the next generation of mobility.”
Takeshi Kataoka, deputy general manager, Automotive Solution Business Unit, Renesas Electronics Corporation

Samsung Electronics:

“Arm’s next-generation Armv9 architecture offers a substantial improvement in security and machine learning, the two areas that will be further emphasized in tomorrow’s mobile communications devices. As we work together with Arm, we expect to see the new architecture usher in a wider range of innovations to the next generation of Samsung’s Exynos mobile processors.”
Min Goo Kim, executive vice president of SoC development at Samsung Electronics

Siemens Digital Industries Software:

“Our long-time collaboration with Arm has allowed us to keep pace with the constant acceleration of complex SoC design and development. With Armv9, we look forward to new compute capabilities that will empower engineers with the freedom to innovate and deliver new levels of performance and efficiency.”
Joseph Sawicki, executive vice president of IC-EDA for Siemens Digital Industries Software


“The three decades of close collaboration between Arm and Synopsys have resulted in innovative technologies with a shift-left approach that helps our mutual customers address complex SoC challenges across a broad range of market applications. Access to the Armv9 architecture and Synopsys’ industry-leading digital design and verification full-flow platform solutions, Fusion Design Platform and Verification Continuum Platform, enables our mutual customers best power, performance and area, quality-of-results, and time-to-results. The intelligently designed Armv9 architecture opens up many new possibilities across a range of markets as we look forward to continuing our collaboration on the next generation of challenges including 3D IC design, machine learning and smart process, voltage and temperature monitoring with methodologies targeting Arm’s newest, most-advanced architecture.”
Sanjay Bali, vice president of Product Marketing at Synopsys


“Over the last decade, TSMC and Arm have collaborated closely to achieve several significant milestones that have helped our mutual customers unleash silicon innovations with faster time-to-market, such as the industry’s first 64-bit FinFET process silicon implementation, the first big.LITTLE 16nm FinFET design and process co-optimization, and the first 7nm Arm-based CoWoS® chiplets for high-performance computing. We congratulate Arm on the introduction of its Armv9 architecture and look forward to our continued partnership to accelerate next-generation SoC designs with power, performance and area (PPA)-optimized design platforms for smartphone, HPC, automotive, AI/ML, and IoT applications.” Suk Lee, vice president of Design Infrastructure Management Division at TSMC

Unity Technologies:

“From its inception, Arm has enabled the innovations that ushered in the mobile computing revolution we see today. Our close collaboration on new technologies and optimizations ensure that the Unity engine fully utilizes the underlying hardware to deliver best-in-class mobile performance and efficiency out of the box – allowing developers to focus on achieving their vision. The new Armv9 architecture will exponentially increase computing capabilities and empower Unity developers to bring even richer gaming experiences to millions of players worldwide.”
Ralph Hauwert, senior vice president of R&D, Unity Technologies


“Armv9, the brand-new architecture for the mobile segment, will empower our products with increased computing and security capability. We are looking forward to seeing the outstanding performance based on Armv9 CPUs, which can strengthen our delivery of high-quality and unique products to better address our customers’ demands as we have always done.”
Yujian Shi, senior vice president and chief technology officer, vivo


“Our customers are adopting Arm-based SmartNICs to make their infrastructure more efficient and more secure. We announced support for SmartNICs with VMware Project Monterey, which is designed to optimize performance, introduce a zero-trust security model, make distributed firewalls practical, and extend VMware management value for the first time to bare-metal environments. Now with Armv9, we can work with our partners to make improved security and better performance a reality across the hybrid cloud.”
Lee Caswell, vice president marketing, Cloud Platform Business, VMware

Xiaomi Group:

“The Xiaomi and Arm partnership has delivered premium mobile experiences worldwide. The new Armv9 architecture will help Xiaomi continue bringing innovation to millions of users through premium computing performance, utmost security, and advanced machine learning capabilities, creating an even more intuitive, smarter mobile experience.”
Lei Jun, chairman and chief executive officer, Xiaomi Group


“The mobile experiences from smartphones to laptops are changing rapidly, and 2020 created challenges in keeping the world connected. Video communications have allowed us to stay connected personally and professionally, and even enable continued education in the face of shutdowns. We see the need for strong computing performance, efficiency, and security in this new reality.  We look forward to Armv9 architecture, and the collaboration between Zoom and Arm to enhance the virtual experience across multiple platforms.”
Brendan Ittelson, chief technology officer, Zoom

Additional Resources

  • Read this blog from Arm CEO Simon Segars for his perspective on the news
  • Learn more about Arm’s vision for the next decade of computing through a series of on-demand videos here
  • Explore the results of a Pulse survey on the future of security technology here

iStatista Research Department, Jan 22, 2021
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Alex Harrod
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