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Arm announces new processor IPs for AI and machine learning

Arm has announced details of its latest processors designed for artificial intelligence and machine learning, the Arm Cortex-M55, as well as the first microNPU (Neural Processing Unit), the Ethos-U55 which offer a combined 480x machine learning improvement for microcontrollers.

Cortex-M based processors are already powering a vast range of AI products with over 50 billion chips shipped to partners. Arm claims that its latest Cortex-M55 is its most capable AI processor yet and is the company’s first Cortex-M processor to be based on the Armv8.1-M architecture.

Equipped with Arm Helium vector processing technology, the Cortex-M55 offers significantly enhanced energy-efficient, 5x digital signal processing (DSP) performance improvement and 15x machine learning (ML) performance compared to previous Cortex-M generations. In addition, custom instructions will be added to improve processor performance for specific workloads, which is a new feature for Cortex-M series processors.


For deployment in systems that require even more processing power, the Cortex-M55 can be paired with the new Ethos-U55, Arm’s first microNPU, to deliver a combined 480x increase in performance for machine learning applications, compared to existing Cortex-M solutions. Ethos-U55 is highly configurable which allows it to accelerate ML inference in area-constrained embedded and IoT devices. A smaller package provides power efficiency improvements as well as allowing the Ethos-U55 to run neural networks in smaller systems.

Both the Cortex-M55 and Ethos-U55 are fully supported by Arm’s Cortex-M toolchain, to allow distribution of traditional DSP and ML workloads and ensure developers have a seamless integration experience while getting the best possible performance out of the new Cortex-M55 and Ethos-U55 combined configuration.

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KitGuru says: AI and IoT devices are everywhere these days, this new processor combination from Arm will allow theses device to become more powerful and even smaller. What do you guys think of these new processors from Arm?

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