ARM DynamIQ Improves on big.LITTLE Technology, Supports Up to 8 Heterogeneous Cores in a Single Cluster
ARM unveiled big.LITTLE technology in 2011 which consisted of clusters of low power cores such as Cortex A7 or A53, and high performance cores such as Cortex A15 or A72, with the system assigning tasks to the best processor for the job in order to optimize battery life. big.LITTLE supports up to 4 cores per cluster, and you can mix different types of cores within a single cluster. ARM DynamIQ changes all that as up to 8 cores are supported within one cluster, and you can mix low power and high performance cores within a given cluster.
ARM DynamIQ multicore microarchitecture will be available for all new ARM Cortex-A processors starting this year, and targets automotive, networking, server, and primary compute devices. ARM claims it’s especially advantageous for artificial intelligence due to better performance, and autonomous driving due to increased safety, and it allows for much faster response from accelerators. Based on the slide below showing the evolution of multi-core implementation with ARM SoC, the company might as well as called it ARM’s Just Do What You WantTM multi-core technology, especially as they explain that any configuration is possible such as 1+7 (1x big and 7x LITTLE CPUs), 2+4, 1+3 etc…
One advantage of using multiple heterogeneous cores within a single cluster is that it’s less “expensive” to migrate tasks from a LITTLE processor to a big processor, with increased efficiency as processors share the same memory (and cache?), and most big.LITTLE implementations going forward are likely to use a single cluster design, unless you need more than 8 cores.