ARM announces Cortex-R82 Processor With Support For Up To 1 TiB RAM

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British chip-designer Arm has announced a new design for a Linux-capable 64-bit Cortex-R real-time processor that is capable of addressing up to 1 TiB of RAM. Hardware manufacturers can make models with up to 8 cores and Arm Neon machine learning capabilities.

written by 林慧 (Wai Lin) 2020-09-05 - last edited 2020-09-05. © CC BY

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Cortex-R82 block diagram.

The new ARM Cortex-R82 design is the first Cortex-R design capable of running regular Linux distributions thanks to the inclusion of a memory management unit (MMU). Previous R-series chips have been limited to specialized operating systems and very down-scaled and heavily modified Linux versions like uClinux. Any Linux distribution working on the Arm Cortex-A series processors will also work on the Cortex-R82.

Cortex-R chips are generally used for specialized purposes like cellular modem sub-systems, HDD and SSD controllers and other things like that, it is not the type of SoC you would expect to find on something like a Raspberry Pi.

ARM claims the new Cortex-R82 design offers lower latency and higher speeds compared to their previous generation Cortex-R8 chip. The new design has 40-bit addressing which allows it to directly address up to one terabyte memory. That is a huge step up from the 4 GiB limit their Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R8 processors have.

Hardware manufacturers who make chips based on this design can make up to 8-core versions and optionally include support Arm Neon SIMD machine learning instructions. Arm expects hardware partners to make the chip on a 5nm process node.

Arm says chip variants with the Neon SIMD machine learning instructions could be used for applications like parking lot video surveillance systems with license plate recognition.

Neil Werdmuller, Senior Manager and "Storage Solutions Lead" at ARM, has written a longer marketing piece titled "Arm Cortex-R82: Combining high-performance 64-bit real-time and applications processing for the next generation of storage devices on the Arm "community" website.

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