Personal · Technology

Back to work, ARMv9 and Samsung’s future flagship SoC.

The first week back at work didn’t go too badly – it is annoying how holidays go quickly but what I’m going to do (because I have such a surplus of annual leave) is to see whether I can cash in a week’s annual leave (clear off the ‘interest free’ deal I have with my phone carrier) with the focus by me on June this year being the time I take off to chill out and enjoy WWDC. It’ll be interesting to see whether WWDC will go back to the venue or whether the two years in a row Apple has realised that they can save a tonne of money and still get the developer community excited without having to have people physically in attendance.

It appears that the rumours are starting already with the rumour that the transition will be complete by the end of this year (link) – it’ll be interesting to see whether that’ll mark the move to ARMv9 given that Qualcomm and Samsung have moved their flag ship SoCs over to ARMv9. One of the big improvements is the inclusion of SVE2 (Scalable Vector Extension 2) but there are also security improvements baked right into the silicon which, if taken advantage of by programmers and compilers, should make the user experience a lot more secure.

The Verge is reporting that the Exynos 2200 will be announced 11 January 2022 (link) with the promise by Samsung of delivering ‘console level graphics. One of the big benefits of getting a new phone isn’t just the hardware but also the fact that what used to be ‘optional’ Android standards become required standards which should help improve security and speed at which software updates are made available. For example in the case of ‘Project Mainline’ (link) two new modules have become mandatory for new devices shipping Android 12. The benefit of Project Mainline is the ability for Google to ship ‘out of cycle’ updates directly from them to the consumer’s device without having to deal with the OEM. Google generally focuses components that have a high likelihood of security vulnerabilities and/or bugs due to their complexity. There is also GKI 2.0 which provides a stable interface – I could imagine OEMs adopt this rather quickly given that it’ll simplify their long term maintenance in the form of software updates and upgrades.

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