ARM unveils record-breaking Cortex-X4 core with eight ALUs

Total Compute Solution 23

ARM has been releasing a new generation of processor cores every year lately. This year will be no different (except for the Computex timing). ARM has unveiled a complete line of new architectures: a new Cortex-X4 “prime” big core for maximum single-threaded performance, a new medium Cortex-A720 core whose role is to provide multi-threaded performance (like Intel’s E-Core), and finally a new low-power Cortex-A520 little core.

ARM calls the entire “line-up” of CPU cores along with the interconnect logic and other IP for them (such as GPUs) the “Total Compute Solution” (TCS), where this year’s one is “TCS23”. This series is the first to be based entirely on the ARMv9 architecture. While in the previous year’s line-up, ARM still partially maintained backwards compatibility in the Cortex-A510 core, now all cores are pure 64-bit based on ARMv9.2 ISA with no compatibility with 32-bit software.

Cortex-X4 aims for higher performance, remaining cores focus on better efficiency

The ARMv9.2 architecture has interesting new features, especially for security. The Memory Tagging Extension technology introduced in previous generations was supposedly improved in performance through the use of QARMA3, a new algorithm that performs pointer authentication. It is said to significantly reduce the negative impact of this security feature on software performance, reducing the slowdown to less than 1%.

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