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Samsung vows to make Exynos processors based on ARM’s new architecture

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Last updated: March 31st, 2021 at 15:21 UTC+02:00

Samsung makes Exynos processors based on ARM’s microarchitecture. The latest Exynos chipsets such as the Exynos 1080 and the Exynos 2100 use the ARMv8.2-A design. Yesterday, ARM unveiled its brand new ARMv9 architecture, and Samsung announced that it will release Exynos chips based on ARM’s new design in the future.

ARM’s brand new architecture comes almost a decade after the launch of ARMv8 in October 2011. ARMv8 brought support for 64-bit CPUs with the AArch64 instruction set. With ARMv9, the British semiconductor design firm aims to bring improved performance along with better security. The company says that its new design features enhanced vector processing, much better machine learning performance, improved security, digital signal processing, and full backward compatibility with ARMv8.

ARM v9 Architecture Features

With ARMv9, smaller machine learning workloads can be processed directly on the CPU rather than relying on dedicated accelerators. It also introduces Confidential Compute Architecture (CCA) for a more dynamic security system. CCA creates ‘realms’ that are secure and containerized execution environments that are opaque to the operating system.

ARM claims that its new design brings an IPC (instructions per cycle) improvement of 30% over ARMv8, but AnandTech expects it to be around 14% better than current-generation CPUs such as the Cortex-A78 and Cortex-X1 (used in the Exynos 2100). ARM also revealed that its next-generation Mali GPUs will bring real-time ray-tracing and variable rate shading for improved graphics performance.

We can expect ARMv9-based processors from Apple, Samsung, Qualcomm, and MediaTek to hit the market sometime in 2022. So, it is possible that the Galaxy S22 will use a high-end Exynos processor with ARMv9-based CPU cores and AMD Radeon Mobile GPU. Samsung took a giant leap with the Exynos 2100, solving battery life and performance throttling issues, and the next-gen Exynos processor could be even better.

ARM v9 Confidential Compute Architecture

Min Goo Kim, executive vice president of SoC development at Samsung Electronics, said, “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.

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