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Arm v9 Yields Three New CPUs

June 1, 2021

Author: Aakash Jani

In a company first, Arm released three CPUs at once, prompted by its transition to Arm v9. They include Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, and Cortex-A510, the company’s first new “little” core in four years. Each provides impressive double-digit performance gains, albeit with greater power and area. Together, they herald the end of 32-bit support in the mobile segment.

The new cores introduce exciting features such as scalable vectors and Arm v9 compatibility. As it enters the v9 era, the company is also phasing out its old 32-bit instruction set, making room in the decoders for the new instructions. Most mobile-software developers have already moved on from the 10-year-old Aarch32 standard, but Google drove the final stake by announcing that its Play Store will discontinue all 32-bit applications after July 2021. Arm omitted Aarch32 from the X2 and A510; the A710 still handles legacy code for this generation, but all future mobile CPUs will be 64-bit only.

The A510 expands to three decoders, gaining 35% performance relative to its predecessor while maintaining strong efficiency. In addition to a standard A510, Arm offers a two-core cluster that shares the SIMD units to increase area efficiency. Arm shipped RTL for all three cores to lead customers in 2020, and we expect the first chips using them to enter production early next year. Although these cores are known as the Matterhorn generation, that code name technically applies only to the A710.

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