Arm’s roadmap is refreshed as DevSummit 2020 looks to the future
Arm held its annual developer conference last week, and used the opportunity to announce and discuss a myrid new and updated approaches which will ensure it remains at the heart of advances in IoT, edge computing, machine learning and faster processing power, along with further progress in Project Cassini, and the partnership with Microsoft.
Freshly renamed Arm DevSummit from Arm TechCon, this was the first Arm event since the $40bn acquisition by NVIDIA in September : attendees doubled from last year to 10,000.
Taking the bull by the horns, the three-day event began with a ‘fireside chat’ between Arm CEO Simon Segars and NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang, moderated by Arm president Rene Haas.
Mr Huang said that he expects the regulatory approval for the deal will take a year.
“As soon as we explain the rationale of the transaction, the regulators will realise that we are two complementary companies,” he said.
He also explained that Arm’s agnostic position in the industry – which allows it to make deals with multiple companies who are in competition with each other – will continue. He announced that Arm will license some of Nvidia’s own GPU and DPU technology.
Arm reminded the uninitiated of its position in the market, with 180bn “advanced, energy-efficient processors designs” shipped for use in smartphones, sensors and supercomputers, and more than 1,000 technology partners.
Mr Segars, in his keynote, announced the Arm SystemReady certification programme, a formal set of computing platform definitions to cover all the systems that Arm’s ecosystem supports. SystemReady encourages the adoption of Arm’s standards and speifications “to deliver a vision for software that works across a diverse eco-system of Arm-based hardware”.
Arm also updated the standard component of Project Cassini with the implementation of SystemReady. Project Cassini, launched last year in San Jose, is a reference design for edge computing, including hardware, software and security – developed with ecosystem partners – which will support cloud-native stacks at the edge. Faster development of new applications can be expected.
Mr Segars also stated Arm and Microsoft are expanding their partnership to better enable AI to be deployed on end-point devices.
On processors, Arm unveiled the next two generations of CPUs, codenamed Matterhorn and Makalu. The shift from the current Cortex A78/X1 processor to the Makalu generation will see a 30 per cent uplift in the CPU’s performance. From 2022, Cortex-A big cores will only support 64-bit.
A host of technical insights, sessions and talks ensured that Arm’s roadmap was successfully updated. Mobility, IoT, the edge, automotive and data centre activity (including storage) are all key parts of its plans for the future.
“The infrastructure is changing fundamentally as compute gets pushed from the data centre to the edge,” said Arm editor-in-chief Brian Fuller, “and as efficient computing becomes Job One for designers and developers.”
“The ubiquity of Arm technology puts us in a unique position to help close the gap between software design and hardware development, which is critical to the future of computing,” noted Mr Segars at this summit of all the talents.