ARM Unveils ARMv6 Architecture

If the Microprocessor Forum were only about CPUs for computers, you could breeze through it in about a half hour. Since there were upwards of 35 different exhibitors, however, there were all manner of new chips to check out, not a few of which were targeted at mobile apps. ARM is one of the big wigs in the mobile and embedded space, mostly by licensing IP to other big companies, and picked the forum to announce its next-generation ARMv6 architecture. The company says the ARMv6 architecture was developed by working closely with licensees like Intel, Motorola, and Texas Instruments. The ARMv6 architecture adds the Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions to boost performance in audio and video functions, an enhanced level-one memory system, and improved data synchronization and shared memory management to help folks build multi-processor systems. ARM says the new architecture offers 30% better performance than its predecessor along with improved mixed-endian support and unaligned data in hardware, as well as up to an 8x performance increase for media applications. The ARMv6 architecture will be incorporated into the next generation of ARM microprocessor cores scheduled for delivery in 2002. The cores can be licensed as intellectual property (IP) for implementation within application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) or application specific standard product (ASSP) design.

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