ARM’s new chip design focuses on AI and machine learning

ARM has unveiled its next generation of processor designs, a new microarchitecture named Dynamiq. Chips built using Dynamiq will be easier to configure, says ARM, allowing manufacturers to connect together a wider variety of CPUs. This should allow for more powerful systems-on-chip, but also processors that better serve computing tasks of the future from artificial intelligence to self-driving cars. “It’s a step change in how we build CPUs and the way we stitch CPUs together,” ARM product marketing head John Ronco told The Verge. “It’ll be in smartphones and tablets, for sure, but also automotive networking and a whole range of other embedded devices. Anywhere a Cortex processor is used today, Dynamiq is going to be the next step forward.” Dynamiq builds on ARM’s existing “big.LITTLE” approach, which pairs a cluster of powerful, or “big,” processors, with a set of power-sipping “little” ones. Dynamiq adds more variety to this system, supporting core that aren’t just big or little, but anywhere in between, with the ability to connect up to eight different CPUS of any configuration — an approach to chip design known as heterogeneous computing. Jim McGregor, an analyst with Tirias Research, says ARM’s announcement today is a big indicator of the company’s expanding ambitions. “ARM is very serious about being more than just an intellectual property provider, and intends to be a force throughout the [processor] ecosystem,” McGregor tells The Verge. “It’s essentially looking to expand into other market segments through building a flexible architecture.”