It was an architectural announcement. Even its positioning on the last day of the ARM TechCon event was intended to emphasize that the company’s confirmation of its move into 64bit processing is one for the future, albeit the relatively near future.
The ARMv8 was unveiled in its applications form only and then with just the basic details. According to Mike Muller, chief technology officer, the main reasons for making the announcement now are to clarify the roadmap and to allow time for the construction of an appropriate support ecosystem around the new core.
That second point is important. Once upon a time, the ARM “Connected Community” was relatively small even though the technology was becoming increasingly influential. Today, it has more than 770 members and continues to grow.
The idea that ARM could quietly nurture its 64bit architecture toward a commercial release without any details leaking across this size of ecosystem simply doesn’t hold water. More to the point, getting the best support out there for what is likely to be a fairly bloody commercial battle will involve getting the best tools and other support built around the v8 quickly.