Arm's new chip architecture boosts security, speed for billions of processors

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Armv9-based chips will arrive starting this year.
Arm; illustration by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Arm, whose chip technology reaches every smartphone and just about every corner of the computing industry, announced a new processor architecture Tuesday designed to significantly improve security and performance. The architecture, called Armv9, should make its way into an estimated 300 billion processors starting this year through the next decade, the UK company said.

Armv9, a successor to the Armv8 technology that emerged last decade, isn't a chip design. But it governs how chips work, including the set of instructions that software uses to control the chip and architectural details about how those instructions are carried out.

Even if you don't know a computer chip from a tortilla chip, Arm's technology is in your life thanks to the company's licensing deals. Every phone, whether iPhone or Android, uses Arm-family chips designed by companies like Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, Huawei and MediaTek. The chips also appear in much more basic devices, like Arduino computers for hobbyists, and in Fugaku, the world's fastest supercomputer.

Arm isn't blowing smoke when it estimates that 300 billion Armv9 chips are in our future. About 100 billion Arm chips have shipped just in the last five years. The highest-profile new examples are the Apple-designed M1 processors that…
Stephen Shankland
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