New Arm architecture offers 15x greater ML performance

February 15, 2019 //By Wisse Hettinga
New Arm architecture offers 15x greater ML performance
The new compute performance will take the Armv8.1-M architecture to the ‘edge’.

Arm Helium technology is the M-Profile Vector Extension (MVE) for the Arm Cortex-M processor series. Helium is an extension of the Armv8.1-M architecture and delivers up to 15x performance uplift for machine learning and up to 5x uplift to signal processing tasks, a significant performance uplift for machine learning (ML) and digital signal processing (DSP) applications.

With Helium, Arm Cortex-M processors can manage the compute challenges in many applications, such as audio devices, sensor hubs, keyword spotting, and voice command control, power electronics, communications and still image processing.

Armv8.1-M with Helium delivers real-time control code, ML and DSP execution. Software developers will be able to securely scale intelligent applications that take advantage of DSP capabilities across a wider range of devices, enabling enhanced support for emerging applications across three key categories; vibration and motion, voice and sound, and vision and image processing.

There are similarities between Helium and the Advanced SIMD technology for Arm Cortex-A processors, which is called Neon. However, Helium has been designed from the ground-up for efficient signal processing performance in small processors, and provides many new architectural features to unlock new applications.

In addition to the added performance and lower development costs, SoC design and development teams will immediately recognise other benefits including: Optimised cost, power and design efforts by consolidating functionality; Simple deployment of TrustZone due to Armv8.1-M being designed to Platform Security Architecture (PSA) specification; Single toolchain for both control and signal processing software development; Easier software development due to a comprehensive set of tools, models and libraries from the well-established Helium ecosystem, many of which are already being used by Cortex-M developers today.

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