ARM's excutives talked about the company's roadmaps and their latest developments towards heterogeneous computing, where CPU and GPU cores are working together in various tasks, at the "Hot Chips 23" conference held last week in Stanford, California.
At his keynote entitled "ARM Processor Evolution: Bringing High Performance to Mobile Devices," Simon Segars, VP of ARM, explained the company's vision for a future SoC in which there will be full coherency on CPU and GPU; a SoC designed for general purpose computing. Such a SoC is not expected to appear before 2015, according to ARM's roadmap. Currently, ARM's high-end solutions are based on the 2x or 4x "Cortex-A9" core - where full coherency within the CPu cluster exists, and the Mali -400 video processor.
According to ARM, the next generation of ARM
cores will appear in 2013 and will be based on the quad-core "Cortex-A15 (Eagle)" CPU core and the "Mali-T604" GPU core, which will feature a unified shader architecture and will support OpenCL 1.1 and up to 68GFLOPS. Mr. Segars described the the high-end devices that will appear in 2013 as "Super Phones" since their performance will be enough to replace laptops.
SoCs based on the Cortex A15 cores will offer scalability by taking advantage of the "CoreLink CCI-400" and ARM's AMBA 4 interconnection tecnologies:
The Mali-T604 GPU architecture will maintain cache coherency between the shader cores: