Arm introduced the Armv9 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.
The new capabilities in Armv9 are designed to 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.
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.
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-2020s, and 90 percent or more of on-device applications will contain AI elements along with AI-based interfaces, like vision or voice.
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.