ARM pulled back the curtains today, during its TechCon conference, on its next generation architecture, ARMv8 which is set to supersede the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture.
The new architecture introduces a 64-bit instruction set and extends virtual addressing which will allow ARM to finally address two of the most important features that have prevented ARM from being a true all-rounder rival to Intel.
The ARMv8 architecture consists of the AArch64 and AArch32, two execution states and a new instruction set called A64.
The necessary ARM tools and compiler for the ARMv8 have already been seeded to the key partners of ARM, and that includes Microsoft.
A spokesperson for the company said that "The evolution of ARM to support a 64-bit architecture is a significant development for ARM and for the ARM ecosystem. We look forward to witnessing this technology's potential to enhance future ARM-based solutions."
Processors based on the v8 architecture are likely to be launched in 2012 according to ARM with consumer and enterprise hardware reaching the market in 2014. This leaves us to believe that the Cortex-A15 might be the last major top of the range chipset to use ARMv7.