Arm introduces Custom Instructions to tailor SoCs
At this week’s Arm TechCon, Arm announced a new feature for the Armv8-M architecture. Custom Instructions enables SoC designers to add instructions for specific embedded and IoT applications without risk of software fragmentation.
The feature will initially be implemented in Arm Cortex-M33 CPUs from the first half of 2020 at no additional cost to new and existing licensees.
According to Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm, Custom Instructions can bridge hardware and software co-design for application-specific acceleration and device differentiation.
Arm Custom Instructions for the Armv8-M architecture with secure Arm TrustZone technology, allow users to add application specific features to the Cortex-M33 CPUs. The Custom Instructions are enabled by modifications to the CPU that reserve encoding space for designers to add custom datapath extensions without impeding the integrity of the existing software ecosystem. Combined with the existing co-processor interface, Custom Instructions enable Cortex-M33 CPUs to be extended with various types of accelerators optimised for edge compute use cases including machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI).
Arm will offer Custom Instructions as a standard feature in future Cortex-M CPUs.
Arm provides energy-efficient processor designs for intelligent computing in more than 150 billion chips. More than 70 per cent of the world’s population are using Arm technology, securely powering products from the sensor to the smartphone to the supercomputer. Arm’s technology combined with IoT software and end-to-end connectivity, device and data management platform help its partners design, secure and manage all areas of compute from the chip to the cloud, says the company.