UK-based semiconductor design company ARM Holdings announced today a new platform called DynamIQ, promising drastic improvements in multicore microarchitecture for ARM Cortex-A processors later this year. DynamIQ is an evolutionary step forward for the ARM big.LITTLE technology launched in 2011, and while it follows the same principle of using the “right processor for the right task”, the new architecture allows for new configurations that were not possible in the past. Furthermore, DynamIQ is described as a “monumental shift” in multicore microarchitecture, as the platform will not only be used for smart computing devices like smartphones but other areas including smart cars, smart homes, and AI (artificial intelligence).
The ARM big.LITTLE architecture was announced in 2011 along with the ARM Cortex-A7 32-bit microprocessor, and the idea behind big.LITTLE was to improve chipset performance while lowering energy requirements by combining powerful processor cores (big) with low-energy cores (LITTLE) in a single computing package. Similar to big.LITTLE, DynamIQ uses heterogeneous computing architecture allowing for multiple types of cores to be used in a single processor. However, DynamIQ was designed from the ground up and offers a wider range of big.LITTLE configurations such as 1+3 or 1+7 CPU cores, which allows for a more granular control over a processor’s performance and energy consumption at any given time. Using DynamIQ, System-on-Chip designers can use up to eight cores in a single cluster, with each core having different power and performance characteristics. Furthermore, the DynamIQ platform comes with new, dedicated processor instructions for ML (machine learning) and AI (artificial intelligence), providing up to 10x faster response between a CPU and specialized accelerator hardware compared to ongoing ARM Cortex-A73-based systems. Additionally, the technology can be optimized to provide up to 50 times boost in performance for AI over the next 3-to-5 years.
Other new features include a safer autonomous system by providing greater responsiveness for ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), as well as increased safety capabilities allowing companies to build ASIL-D (Automotive Safety Integrity Level-D) compliant systems. ARM will introduce DynamIQ later this year along with a new Cortex-A processor. ARM technologies reside at the base of every computing device used today by 3.5 billion people, and DynamIQ will likely be adopted by the majority of chipset manufacturers in the near future.