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Start64!ARM Holdings, the British company behind the popular ARM processor architecture used in more than 15 billion mobile devices, announced this week that the newest version of the ARM architecture will add 64-bit processing for the first time ever.


This new architecture has two main execution states, AArch64 and AArch32. The AArch64 execution state introduces a new instruction set, A64 for 64-bit processing, and AArch32 supports the existing ARM instruction set that is used in all of ARM's previous offerings, including the popular Cortex A9 and Cortex A15 processors being used by chipmakers such as Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Samsung, and Toshiba.

The company says it has already given the ARM compiler and Fast Models with ARMv8 support to "key ecosystem partners," and that support for a range of open source operating systems, applications and third-party tools is already in development.

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