Arm says developers need better multi-arch support • The Register

Arm says heterogeneous compute architectures — those that combine CPUs, GPUs, DPUs, and other types of processors — pose a challenge for software developers, and greater multi-architecture support is needed to solve this issue.

Specialized processing, as the chip designer calls it, will likely take over from Moore’s Law in driving innovation. System builders will focus on attributes such as performance, efficiency, and optimizing the task at hand rather than clock speed when combining CPUs, GPUs, DPUs, and others devices, Arm said.

But this specialized processing model disrupts the usual activities of software developers, according to Bhumik Patel, Arm’s director of software ecosystem development. He says in a blog post that the answer is to enable a frictionless experience for developers to achieve cross-architecture support for the software they code.

Arm of course has a vested interest in this, as many DPUs and other accelerators that appear in heterogeneous compute architectures tend to be based on Arm CPU cores.

A good example is that of Nvidia Bluefield DPUintended for applications such as SmartNICs that can offload network processing tasks from the host processor.

Patel said frictionless development requires development tools to be available across the entire software stack, and for cloud and edge deployments, this must include the ability to develop applications with native software practices. cloud. “Over the past few years, working with our partner ecosystem, we have enabled the majority of projects in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation landscape, and we continue to drive the adoption of multi-architecture support,” he said. -he assures.

Arm said he has also invested in efforts such as Cassini Project and the Centauri project to simplify the process of bringing cloud-native software experiences to edge deployments such as 5G base stations and IoT gateways, a kit often based on Arm technologies.

Arm said both initiatives have three elements: a product certification process outlining hardware and firmware specifications; a security certification program; and reference implementation guides for software developers.

Hardware and security certifications ensure developers know what to expect from devices that meet Cassini or Centauri standards, while reference designs remove all the time, cost and effort required to develop on Arm.

VMware is a partner that has worked closely with Arm through Project Cassini to get ESXi-Arm operational. It is the version of VMware’s ESXi hypervisor designed to run on 64-bit Arm silicon, and is a key part of its Project Monterey effort to enable Arm-based SmartNICs to handle network processing, zero-trust security and storage acceleration features in VMware. infrastructure based.

Arm may not be the only company with an interest in cross-platform development, but it may be in a unique position thanks to the variety of areas in which the Arm architecture is deployed. And the company may have yet another architecture to support when its next GPU is introduced.

Patel said Arm is dedicated to accelerating deployments by enabling frictionless development. So long as such moves aren’t removed as part of Arm’s efforts to make itself leaner and more attractive to investors for its upcoming IPO, of course. ®

Margie D. Carlisle