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ARM is Already Considering 128-bit Mobile CPU

Earlier this year, Apple made headlines with its 64-bit SoC for the iPhone 5S. That SoC is now present in the iPad Air and the new iPad Mini Retina. Since the launch of the iPhone 5S, we've been hearing talk of a 64-bit Exynos from Samsung. Now ARM has confirmed that the chip is coming. The Korea Herald cites a senior manager at ARM as saying executives from Samsung and ARM met this week and discussed the ARM 64-bit chip expected to be used in a Samsung device next year.

Though it's not an official confirmation, rumors of a 64-bit Samsung device have been doing the rounds for a while. Word on the street is that the Galaxy S5 will include a 64-bit processor. No doubt if Samsung does include the 64-bit Exynos in the S5, we'll also see it in the next iteration of Galaxy Note as well.

Of course, with the rate at which mobile technology is evolving, it's hard to think about what's next without thinking about what's going to come in the future. To that end, it sounds like ARM is already considering a 128-bit processor. According to the KoreaTimes' ARM official, such a chip could hit the market in the next two years, but it's not set in stone.

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  • darkchazz
    I much rather have this than pointless, battery eating, gpu sucking 1440p mobile displays...
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    There is a difference between a CPU that can handle 128bits data structures a CPU that can do all arithmetic operations using 128bits operands. With AVX2, x86 can already work with 256bits registers and AVX3 will extend that to 512bits but most arithmetic using those are limited to 64bits int/float.

    I'm guessing ARM's 128bits will be similar: provide more register bits to work with SIMD and add a subset of instructions that can actually work with 128bits values.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    128 bit is a little bit (pun not intended) overkill
    Reply
  • cemerian
    i would say more than overkill, 64bit already qualifies for that status
    Reply
  • Pinhedd
    12021513 said:
    There is a difference between a CPU that can handle 128bits data structures a CPU that can do all arithmetic operations using 128bits operands. With AVX2, x86 can already work with 256bits registers and AVX3 will extend that to 512bits but most arithmetic using those are limited to 64bits int/float.

    I'm guessing ARM's 128bits will be similar: provide more register bits to work with SIMD and add a subset of instructions that can actually work with 128bits values.

    That's most likely the case. Dynamically scheduled machines scale exponentially in power and transistor consumption due to the massive backend bus and common data bus. 128 bit GPRs and 128 bit EUs across the board would cause ARM processors to lose their market position as low power CPUs without offering any sort of advantage.
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    128 bit is pointless. I can't even remember the last time I needed to deal with a 64 bit structure. 64 bit is useful for addressing more than 4 gigs of RAM after that it's use is limited.
    Reply
  • Kewlx25
    ddpruitt, IPv6 is 128bit. ZFS is 128bit. I'm not sure how their data structures are actually used, but I'm sure there is potential optimizations that could be done for processing data in 128bit general registers.

    64bits is enough to address huge swaths of memory space, but 64bits isn't much data to be processed in one cycle.

    The real question is how much of our current and near future algorithms could benefit from 128bit general int registers.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    12021680 said:
    128 bit is pointless.
    Not pointless but it does have somewhat limited use cases...
    - cryptography
    - arbitrary length bitfield manipulations
    - arbitrary precision math: 75% fewer partial multiplications, half as many intermediate steps for most other operations
    - memory copying: half as many load/store operations to copy a given amount of data

    This is assuming we do not count SIMD as legit 128bitness. If we count SIMD then it becomes useful for tons of things like audio and image/video processing.
    Reply
  • GhosT94
    128 bit is an overkill , it seems their still playing the numbers game which will hit a dead end after 64 bit and energy efficient and prices will become key points next year IMO
    Reply
  • ericburnby
    12021680 said:
    128 bit is pointless. I can't even remember the last time I needed to deal with a 64 bit structure. 64 bit is useful for addressing more than 4 gigs of RAM after that it's use is limited.

    Let's say you had a 64bit program that performed image manipulation. The program itself was 10MB and it allocated 240MB of RAM for data to work with for a total of 250MB of RAM.

    Now here's a question for every one on Tom's who continually posts that you need 4GB of RAM to make use of 64bit.

    Do you think this program, only occupying 250MB of RAM, will not give you any advantage on a system with less then 4GB of RAM? Think very carefully about your answer. This should weed out the people who actually understand 64bit from those that don't.
    Reply