Arm has announced significant additions to its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, including new machine learning (ML) IP, the Arm Cortex-M55 processor and Arm Ethos-U55 NPU, the industry’s first microNPU (Neural Processing Unit) for Cortex-M.
The new IP and supporting unified toolchain enable AI hardware and software developers with more ways to innovate as a result of unprecedented levels of on-device ML processing for billions of small, power-constrained IoT and embedded devices.
“Enabling AI everywhere requires device makers and developers to deliver machine learning locally on billions, and ultimately trillions of devices,” said Dipti Vachani, senior vice president and general manager, Automotive and IoT Line of Business, Arm.
“With these additions to our AI platform, no device is left behind as on-device ML on the tiniest devices will be the new normal, unleashing the potential of AI securely across a vast range of life-changing applications,” added Vachani.
Cortex-M processors have become the computing platform of choice for developers, with Arm partners shipping more than 50 billion chips based on Cortex-M into a vast range of customer applications. With the addition of the Cortex-M55, Arm is offering its most AI-capable Cortex-M processor ever and the first based on the Armv8.1-M architecture with Arm Helium vector processing technology for significantly enhanced, energy-efficient DSP and ML performance. Cortex-M55 delivers up to a 15x uplift in ML performance and a 5x uplift in DSP performance, with greater efficiency, compared to previous Cortex-M generations.
Additionally, Arm Custom Instructions will be available to extend processor capabilities for specific workload optimization, a new feature for Cortex-M processors.
The Ethos-U55 is highly configurable and specifically designed to accelerate ML inference in area-constrained embedded and IoT devices. Its advanced compression techniques save power and reduce ML model sizes significantly to enable execution of neural networks that previously only ran on larger systems.
The new Cortex-M CPU and the Ethos microNPU underline Arm’s commitment to empower silicon designers and device manufacturers with the agility to innovate on the Arm architecture at even the smallest endpoints, igniting a new wave of creativity and innovation for the IoT.