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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 09:02

ARM announces ARMv7-A extensions

Written by Nick Farell


Allows for virtualisation
ARM announced two extensions to its instruction set to allow both virtualization and large physical address support.

The move is a cunning plan to get more Arm chips into lucrative data centre set-ups. The first instantiation of the ARMv&-A instructions will be part of the "Eagle" architecture and was shown off to the Hot Chips conference. Both extensions are aimed at servers, which ARM has largely left to the likes of Intel with its Xeon and the AMD Opteron.

The new virtualization level includes a new privilege level for the hypervisor, with two-stage address translation for both the OS and hypervisor levels. The large-physcial address space extension includes support for the translation of 32-bit virtual addresses to up to 40-bit physical addresses, or a terabyte of RAM.

ARM will release the specification at the end of the third quarter.
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