New AMBA 4 specification optimizes coherency for heterogeneous multicore SoCs

Jun 07, 2011

ARM today announced the latest AMBA 4 interface and protocol specification featuring the AMBA 4 AXI Coherency Extensions (ACE). Cache coherency is essential in multicore computing applications to efficiently maintain the consistency of data stored in local caches of a shared resource. The AMBA 4 ACE specification enables system level cache coherency across clusters of multicore processors, such as the ARM Cortex-A15 MPCore processors and ARM Mali-T604 graphics processors. This ensures optimum performance and power efficiency of complex heterogeneous SoC designs, and is designed to address next generation computing across mobile, home, networking and gaming applications.

Compute performance in screen-based devices has increased over 700 times since the mid 1990's. New technologies, such as high-performance heterogeneous multicore processing, have emerged to help drive this growth in performance. These new technologies have increased demand on System IP, particularly at a sub-system, hardware and software level. Challenges that stem from latency, bandwidth, power and performance still need to be addressed. Therefore, effective hardware coherency is becoming increasingly crucial to minimize off chip memory traffic and software cache maintenance, which saves processor cycles.

AMBA is the de facto standard on-chip interconnect methodology and is supported by the vast majority of the digital . The direction of the latest specification has been driven by a wide group of leading semiconductor, EDA and verification vendors, including Arteris, Cadence, Jasper, , Mentor, Sonics, ST Ericsson, Synopsys, Texas Instruments and Xilinx.

"Designers of complex heterogeneous, embedded multi-processing SoCs now require robust specifications, design & verification tools and systems IP. This ensures their devices minimize off-chip memory transactions, while maximizing performance and ," said Michael Dimelow, Marketing Director, Processor Division, . "AMBA 4 ACE is a major component to enabling the successful development and deployment of future Cortex-A and Mali GPU processor sub-systems- by ensuring the optimum combination of performance and energy efficiency."

he AMBA 4 ACE specification enables system level cache coherency for high-performance multicore processors to manage increased data and cache sharing, more cross component communication and support additional processing engines that access shared caches and external memory. Publishing a standard way of managing cache coherency, memory barriers and virtual memory management will reduce software cache maintenance, saving processor cycles and reducing external memory accesses.

The introduction of memory barriers throughout the memory sub-system enables system architects to ensure optimal instruction ordering, when necessary, to improve system performance. Distributed virtual memory signalling extends memory virtualization, introduced with the latest ARM architecture and the Cortex-A15 processor, to the system MMUs to make more efficient use of external memory and provide the ability for multiple operating systems (OS) to share hardware resources under an appropriate hypervisor.

The latest specification represents the second phase of the AMBA 4 protocol. Phase one of the AMBA 4 specification, launched in 2010, included definition of an expanded family of AXI interconnect protocols. To date more than 4000 engineers from 2500 unique businesses and organizations have downloaded this first phase.

Explore further: Renesas announces SRAM using leading-edge 16 nm FinFET for automotive information systems

More information: To download the AMBA4 ACE specifications go to silver.arm.com/download/download.tm?pv=1156048

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

ARM unveils Cortex-A15 MPcore processor

Sep 09, 2010

ARM today introduced the Cortex-A15 MPCore processor that delivers a 5x performance improvement over today’s advanced smartphone processors, within a comparable energy footprint. In advanced infrastructure applications ...

ARM Demonstrates Highest Performance ARM11 Family Processor

Jul 13, 2005

ARM has recently demonstrated the first test chip of its ARM11 MPCore synthesizable processor which has demonstrated performance equivalent to a 1.2GHz ARM11 family processor, with power consumption of approximately 600mW ...

Recommended for you

Off-world manufacturing is a go with space printer

3 hours ago

On Friday, the BBC reported on a NASA email exchange with a space station which involved astronauts on the International Space Station using their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in ...

Cadillac CT6 will get streaming video mirror

4 hours ago

Cadillac said Thursday it will add high resolution streaming video to the function of a rearview mirror, so that the driver's vision and safety can be enhanced. The technology will debut on the 2016 Cadillac ...

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

4 hours ago

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.