As we enter a new era of cloud computing, connected devices, and wireless communication, the demand for greater complexity and better performance of computing systems will continue to grow. With the slowdown of Moore’s Law, we can expect to see widespread deployment of accelerators and input/output (I/O) devices in heterogeneous compute systems.
To ensure system performance, power efficiency, ease of software development, and system interoperability, accelerators and I/O devices require a well-defined hardware/software interface. The addition of virtualization – a method that enables you to run multiple virtual machines using one physical machine – significantly increases the complexity of the hardware/software interface. Virtualization is commonplace in cloud computing and is growing in popularity across other markets. Widespread adoption of virtualization will make it a prerequisite of computing systems across multiple segments.
To facilitate these developments, new industry standards are required for interfacing and virtualizing accelerators and devices. Standardization will enable better interoperability, re-usability, reduced development costs and time-to-market, through software frameworks and an ecosystem of device/accelerator components.
The diagram below shows a set of standardization layers to enable low friction integration of accelerators and the implementation of standard software frameworks.
The Revere Accelerator Management Unit (Revere-AMU) System Architecture is an advanced development effort from Arm that builds on existing industry standards. It defines a complete set of system architecture layers for interfacing accelerators and I/O devices, as illustrated in the diagram. We have developed the Revere-AMU to stimulate discussion across the ecosystem and industry, in the hope that we can collaborate to drive standardization.