Neoverse V2 Pressures x86 Servers
Arm’s next Neoverse CPU, code-named Demeter, will appear in Nvidia’s Grace processor in 2023, matching the single-thread performance of mainstream Xeon products for the first time.
Neoverse V2 extends Arm’s server-focused CPU line, raising performance over the previous generation and implementing the Arm v9 instruction set. Code-named Demeter, the licensable core will first appear in Nvidia’s Grace processor, which is due to enter production in 2Q23. It continues Arm’s assault on the data center as it attempts to take share from the x86-powered duopoly of AMD and Intel.
Arm launched the Neoverse line with the N1, which first appeared in production processors in 2020. Although the N1 was nearly identical to the Cortex-A76, which Arm designed for mobile devices, subsequent Neoverse designs have added data-center features such as larger caches and greater security. The microarchitectures, however, are basically the same as their mobile antecedents.
In this case, Arm has accelerated the V-series to better align with the X-series. The V2 derives from Cortex-X3, a high-end mobile CPU due to ship in flagship smartphone processors early next year; the V2 should appear less than half a year later if Grace ships as planned. This acceleration means that the V2 provides a two-generation microarchitecture jump over the V1, resulting in a big boost in single-thread performance that could put it neck-and-neck with the leading x86 server CPUs.
The V2 designation doesn’t indicate version 2; the new CPU is part of the Neoverse V-series, which targets supercomputers (HPC) and high-end servers. The N-series features smaller cores and greater power efficiency for mainstream servers, smart NICs (DPUs), and cellular base stations. Arm also offers the E-series for lower-performance embedded applications.