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Samsung also is eyeing Cortex-M processors for its Smart TVs and appliances

Two of the smartphone market's biggest powers met this week to discuss processors.  UK-based ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM), an architecture company whose titular instruction set is found in 95 percent of smartphones sold today, traveled to South Korea, the home turf of Android phonemaker South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930).  Samsung accounted for over 30 percent of global smartphone shipments in Q3 -- nearly three times more than any other OEM.
Samsung and ARM met to discuss the adoption of ARM's new ARMv8 64-bit instruction set, which Samsung's upcoming Exynos 6 processors for next year's Galaxy S5 is expected to use.  Antonio Viana, ARM’s executive vice president of commercial and global development, met with senior Samsung executives to talk about the roadmap to 64-bit and beyond.
An unnamed senior manager at ARM with knowledge of the meeting suggested 128-bit chips might also have been discussed.  While PC CPUs have yet to hit 128-bit, The Korea Herald quotes the senior ARM executive as saying there was a "possibility" that ARM would release a 128-bit instruction set in the next two years and push for smartphone/tablet adoption.  But the Korean publication says the ARM official said these plans were only a "possibility" and not a definite plan at present.
Samsung wants to make sure that its Exynos chips for next year's Galaxy S5 have access to ARM's best instruction set -- the 64-bit ARMv8 instruction set.

The official is quoted as suggesting that smartphones soon may have more than 4 GB of memory and need 64-bit processors to address their memory.  The source stated, "As technology moves from, for example, shifting to face recognition on smartphones from the fingerprint scanner to unlock an iPhone, it requires more powerful memory capacity."
It also appears that ARM is incentivizing the transition to 64-bit ARM chips in the mobile market, in part, to fuel its server ambitions, as well as its PC push.  
While 64-bit chips offer some gains in graphics and I/O addition to the aforementioned memory addressing gains, processing is generally otherwise unaffected.  However, ARM is purposefully tilting the playing field in 64-bit's flavor by designing its new instruction sets -- which allow more registers -- to only work for 64-bit chips.  32-bit chips will be forced to use the older, less optimized ARMv7.  In other words, ARM is telling mobile chipmakers to make the switch or settle with last generation instruction sets.
This push will allow ARM to foster an ecosystem of compatible applications, which may help the chip designer to push into the PC and server markets, two key areas of desired growth.

Cortex M
Samsung may look to use the Cortex M chips in new appliances.

Samsung and ARM also reportedly discussed the Cortex-M processor, a low power core design which Samsung may look to use in its appliances and Smart TVs.

Source: The Korea Herald

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RE: 128-bit?
By inighthawki on 11/21/2013 8:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Of course not, I did not mean to imply that. In fact quite the opposite, my point was to the OP who implied that a 128bit processor was only useful to have 128 bits of addressable memory.

I'm not sure I follow what kinds of improvements you'd end up seeing from 128 bit pointers though. Like the transition from 32-bit, it'll just increase binary size (this time by twice as much) which will inevitably lead to an increase in cache misses, so I'm not convinced that there's really good uses for 128 bit pointers that would drastically improve efficiency like that. Could you give examples of where that would be useful? You've intrigued me.

RE: 128-bit?
By YearOfTheDingo on 11/22/2013 12:25:19 AM , Rating: 2
Say you have a pointer pointing to a buffer that's 100 bytes in length. The compiler could encode the length into the pointer, so that if pointer arithmetics resulting in an invalid pointer, it'll be flagged as such. When it's accessed, the CPU will generate a protection fault.

Such a scheme could actually reduce binary size, since it gets rid of instructions from OOB checks. More importantly from a efficiency standpoint, it takes some pressure off of the branch prediction unit.

RE: 128-bit?
By retrospooty on 11/22/2013 9:30:35 AM , Rating: 2
It's all BS anyhow. 128 bit isnt happening, isnt being planned for any ARM CPU. Someone likely made it up just to see how the dullards react.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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