ARM DynamIQ microarchitecture takes aim at AI and machine learning

ARM moves beyond mobile with DynamIQ

The new technology, announced this Tuesday, is called DynamIQ, and ARM describes it as "probably the biggest micro-architectural shift since ARM announced 64-bit ARMv8-A in 2011". Toss in some new SIMD instructions, faster memory and caches, and the intrinsic advantages of a new CPU core designed five years hence, and it's no longer insane to think ARM could deliver a performance advantage that huge in specific workloads in such a short period of time (subject, of course, to power and thermal constraints).

ARM's DynamIQ architecture builds on its earlier big.LITTLE with the ability to mix up to eight cores of differing performance/power ratios, while also adding instructions created to accelerate AI and ML applications. This boosts innovation in SoCs designed with right-sized compute with heterogeneous processing that deliver meaningful AI performance at the device itself. A compact "single-cluster" design consolidates multiple components in a single chip, and enhanced big.LITTLE, an ARM technology that intelligently switches between processor cores, shares memory between cores more efficiently. "Along with this we have an optimised memory sub system with faster access and power saving features", he said.

The Dynamiq instructions will also be specifically tailored to improve artificial intelligence and machine learning, with a 50-fold boost in AI performance coming in the next three to five years, ARM said.

This will help ARM move into markets beyond mobile, Nayampally explained, particularly as the demand for compute speeds up.

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The technology should be useful for the evolving smartphone market, given the priorities around heterogeneous computing and device-based AI on mobile devices.

ARM's not giving exact dates for the technology's anticipated arrival, only stating that it expects its hardware partners to ship an additional 100 billion ARM-based chips by the year 2021, having shipped roughly half that number between 2013 and 2017.

This new microarchitecture will also allow for safer autonomous systems, according to ARM, with DynamIQ bringing with it greater levels of responsiveness for ADAS solution and increased safety capabilities which will enable partners to build ASIL-D compliant systems for safe operation under failure conditions.

With the DynamIQ, with is essentially an extension of ARM's Cortex-A processor design and will form the next family of Cortex-A processors due to emerge later this year, the Cambridge-based tech firm is enabling a expanded combination of cores on a single chip, with each core able to support an individual power profile allowing chipmakers to implement custom frequencies in each core.

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