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Arm aims to take machine learning to mainstream and low-end devices with the launch of its new neural processing units (NPUs).

The company is unveiling the Ethos-N57 and Ethos-N37 NPUs, which it will license to chipmakers who can integrate it into their products. The idea is to extend the range of Arm machine learning (ML)  processors to enable artificial intelligence (AI) applications in mainstream devices.

The company also unveiled the Mali-G57 graphics processing unit (GPU). This is the first mainstream Valhall architecture-based GPU, delivering 1.3 times better performance over previous generations.

And Arm is unveiling the Mali-D37 display processing unit (DPU), which delivers a rich display feature set within the smallest area for full HD and 2K resolution.


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Once the preserve of premium devices, immersive experiences such as AR, high-fidelity gaming, and new AI-based use cases across mobile and the home are now being demanded by the mainstream market, said Paul Williamson, vice president and general manager of Arm’s client line of business, in a statement.

The new NPUs have features such as voice recognition and always-on capabilities, which are no longer unique to mobile.

AI intelligence is now everywhere from gaming devices to digital TVs (DTVs), and increased compute at the endpoint is required to allow for these responsive experiences. For example, intelligent experiences in DTVs range from smart assistant voice commands to real-time translation for shows in another language and facial recognition to enhance parental controls.

Above: Arm Mali-G57 graphics

Image Credit: Arm

“Together, this IP represents Arm’s ability to scale, bringing premium experiences to everyday and ultra-efficient consumer devices,” Williamson said.

The new suite of IP includes:

  • Ethos-N57 and Ethos-N37 NPUs: enabling AI applications and balancing ML performance with cost, area, bandwidth, and battery life constraints
  • Mali-G57 GPU: the first mainstream Valhall architecture-based GPU, bringing immersive experiences through performance improvements
  • Mali-D37 DPU: delivering a rich display feature set within the smallest area, making it the perfect DPU for entry-level devices and small display screens
  • Ethos-N57 and Ethos-N37 NPUs: enabling truly heterogeneous compute

Following the earlier introduction of the Arm ML processor (now referred to as the Ethos-N77), the Ethos-N57 and Ethos-N37 are the newest members of the Ethos NPU family. Arm Ethos is a suite of products designed to solve complex AI and ML compute challenges, allowing the creation of more personalized, immersive experiences in everyday devices. As consumer devices become smarter, they require additional AI performance and efficiency via dedicated ML processors.

Optimized for cost and battery life-sensitive designs, the new Ethos NPUs deliver premium AI experiences on everyday devices.

Both the Ethos-N57 and Ethos-N37 are designed with some basic principles in mind. They are optimized around support for Int8 and Int16 datatypes and use advanced data management techniques, minimizing data movement and associated power. They also feature a more than 200% performance uplift over many other NPUs through techniques such as innovative Winograd implementation.

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