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By 31 October 2011 | Categories: news

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ARM has revealed the technical details of its new ARMv8 architecture, the first ARM architecture to include a 64-bit instruction set. ARMv8 broadens the company’s architecture to embrace 64-bit processing and extends virtual addressing, building on the heritage of the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture, which cores such as the Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A15 processors are constructed upon.

This new ARMv8 architecture will expand the reach of ARM processor-based solutions into consumer and enterprise applications, where extended virtual addressing and 64-bit data processing are required.

The ARMv8 architecture consists of two main execution states, AArch64 and AArch32. AArch64 execution state introduces a new instruction set, A64 for 64-bit processing, whilst the AArch32 state supports the existing ARM instruction set. The company stated that the key features of the current ARMv7 architecture will be maintained or extended in the ARMv8 architecture.

"With our increasingly connected world, the market for 32-bit processing continues to expand and evolve, creating new opportunities for 32-bit ARMv7 based processors in embedded, real-time and open application platforms," said Mike Muller, chief technology officer of ARM.

"We believe the ARMv8 architecture is ideally suited to enable the ARM partnership to continue to grow in 32-bit application spaces and bring diverse, innovative and energy-efficient solutions to 64-bit processing markets."

"ARM is an important partner for Microsoft," added KD Hallman, general manager of Microsoft. "The evolution of ARM to support a 64-bit architecture is a significant development for ARM and for the ARM ecosystem. We look forward to witnessing this technology's potential to enhance future ARM-based solutions."

Microsoft has added support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices to the iteration of its Windows operating system, Windows 8. ARM will disclose processors based on ARMv8 during 2012, with consumer and enterprise prototype systems expected in 2014.
 
In related news, ARM also recently unveiled its Cortex-A7 MPCore processor, which the chipmaker says is its most energy-efficient application class processor to date.

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