Armv9 introduced at Arm Vision Day 2021

ServeTheHome attended Arm Vision Day 2021 and posted a quick overview.

At the event, the company introduced Armv9 which will bring about key advancements for machine learning, digital signal processing, and security.

One of the key drivers of Arm expecting to see massive shipment growth is the need for specialized compute. Or another way to look at this is that a number of traditional analog devices will convert to some level of “smart” and connected over the next few years. An example was given of a mechanical pump (like a water pump) that could be monitored for failure signs and efficiency versus just pumping water. For each of those applications, there will be different needs in terms of sensor connectivity and processing, general-purpose and accelerated compute (CPU and AI as examples), memory, and communications infrastructure. Arm sees the lower power cost of new chips enabling a wider array of chips and therefore more chips being sold.


Another key push will be for Arm SystemReady. This is building on Arm ServerReady which helped Arm servers go from being a science experiment to boot each server to our experience with the Ampere Altra Wiwynn Mt. Jade Server where it worked (mostly) out-of-the-box using a standard image.

Arm SystemReady is probably the biggest thing for OS enthusiasts. One of the weaknesses of the Arm hardware ecosystem, compared to the x86 ecosystem, is the lack of a standardized boot environment. x86 has a BIOS or UEFI, and Arm has UEFI (server) and something (probably devicetrees and a fork of Das U-Boot). Going forward Arm SystemReady systems will be able to boot via UEFI to allow for a standard OS image like x86.

They could have picked something else (coreboot, Barebox, Das U-Boot), but UEFI is at least better then what it was.


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