This blog was originally posted on 11 September 2013 on blogs.arm.com
Following on from the UEFI 64-bit announcement, I like to announce the release of the ARM® Architecture Reference Manual (commonly known as the ARM ARM) for ARMv8-A. This is a significant event that has important implications for the software community. It enables the software eco-system to develop openly for 64-bit ARM applications, compilers, boot firmware and Operating Systems. I believe this will add impetus to the ARM ecosystem, through 64-bit software support, to continue the increasing momentum evident in the many servers & high performance computing, networking and general computing (including mobile and embedded) developments based on the ARMv8-A architecture.
We started developing ARMv8-A over six years ago as an R&D project, with a major increase in effort in 2009. Technology trends and growing needs for larger memory footprints made it obvious that ARM would need a 64-bit solution; it was only a matter of time… This in turn created interest in new markets for ARM. For example, some server class Operating Systems declared that they were going to be 64-bit only.
It describes the registers, instructions, instruction encodings, exception model, virtual memory model (including cache support) and memory management, as well as the debug architecture. At a high level, ARMv8-A describes both a 32-bit and 64-bit architecture, respectively called AArch32 and AArch64.
I strongly recommend if you are interested in porting and developing software for ARM application processors that you get hold of the ARM ARM for ARMv8-A and download an ARM Foundation Model. The ARM Foundation Model is a software platform to start early development – this snippet below is taken from the ARM web site:
Go to ARM Infocenter and navigate through ARM architecture / Reference Manuals
The ARM ARM for ARMv8-A is now publicly released. It allows the software community to openly develop 64-bit ARM software. This is a significant event for the entire ARM eco-system.
Note: Information previously published in an AArch64 Instruction set Overview document is included in the new manual.