In May, we announced Arm Total Compute Solutions 2023 (TCS23). TCS23 is a complete IP package for mobile computing, offering our best ever premium solution for smartphones. Arm Total Compute was first introduced in 2021 to address the significant mobile market where building SoCs is becoming more complex for System on Chip (SOC) designers. Software engineers must also address increasing demands for more immersive games, real-time 3D experiences and next-gen AI applications. TCS23 provides new 5th Generation GPU architecture for innovative visual computing on Arm with the most powerful Armv9 Cortex compute cluster. This delivers double-digit performance gains. The package includes the latest bundle of essential tools, software and ecosystem partnerships. This enables mobile developers to write easier, simpler, faster and more secure software.
Now, five months on, we are announcing another vital component of TCS23: the open-source Platform Software stack and Ecosystem FVP. This implements a TCS23 Premium Mobile configuration, reducing engineering cost and accelerating the time-to-market for silicon vendors. The stack uses the new Cortex-X4, Cortex-A720, and Cortex-A520 cores on DSU-120, alongside the new Mali-G720 GPU.
This is the first software stack release comprising of the full set of Total Compute capabilities. This includes Mali-G720 GPU support for enabling Android Hardware rendering, which unlocks all graphic capabilities. The stack also includes the integration of the TensorFlow Lite Machine Learning software, which provides prebuilt and customizable execution environments for running machine learning models on Android quickly and efficiently. With the Arm Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) release, the integrated software stack provides our partners with a comprehensive reference platform. This platform accelerates their hardware and software bring-up and development stages.
Building premium mobile SoCs is becoming more complex for silicon vendors because of the increased complexity of the architecture and IP components. Both are required to match the continuous demands for power, performance, and computing requirements. Leveraging the reference TCS23 Platform Software stack and FVP removes most of the SoC engineering challenges associated with ramping up with a new set of IP and functionalities. The engineering costs are reduced. More time and effort is spent on differentiating factors, instead of base software bring-up. This ultimately enables device manufacturers to focus on delivering their own unique commercial value, on either hardware or software differentiating functionalities.
With TCS23, we announced a solution that takes a leading-edge approach to security. The TCS23 Software stack emphasizes this and provides:
The stack fully aligns with the security evolution of the Google Android ecosystem.
Also, up to date TrustZone software enables partners to build their platform on a strong secure foundation code. This includes:
A prototype implementation of the Arm Runtime Security Subsystem (RSS) completes the comprehensive set of firmware components.
Security is a north star of the TCS23 software release. This is reflected in the software updates, and the added support of all Arm security features across the stack. These features include Pointer Authentication, Branch Target Identification (PAC and BTI) and Memory Tagging Extension (MTE). Such support hardens control flow integrity and memory safety, even in secure software components running in TrustZone.
On the performance side, full support for the Energy Aware Scheduling algorithm is enabled in the Linux Kernel. This support provides optimal balancing of tasks across all cores and achieves maximum performance and best power consumption.
An example demonstration of the Arm Memory Partitioning feature is also included, part of the broader Armv8.4 MPAM architecture extension. Delivered as a kernel vendor module, the feature, now enabled in the software stack, enables L3 cache partitioning according to system needs.
Figure 1: The full software stack available for TCS23
Standardization is also included in this release. The stack provides support for the Firmware Framework for A-class specification (FF-A). This standardizes the communication between normal and secure world software, alongside support for Arm power management specifications (PSCI, SCMI).
Finally, the release includes support for the following Armv9.2 architecture extensions:
See the full feature set in the release note below.