RISC-V, accelerator pressure leads to customizable Armv8-M instructions

TechCon Microprocessor designer Arm will allow chipmakers licensing its blueprints to, in certain circumstances, alter the holiest of holy scriptures: its CPU instruction set.

Specifically, the Softbank-owned biz will allow customers to add custom software instructions to Armv8-M CPU cores, free of charge, starting with the Cortex-M33 in early 2020.

These are microcontroller-grade RISC processor cores: think small, low-power brains directing sensors, gizmos, robots, appliances, industrial equipment, and so on.

These aren't the beefy general-purpose Armv8-A CPUs running apps and games on your tablet or smartphone.

"This makes sense for Armv8-M and R profile cores, where the software is intimate with the hardware," Arm senior director Thomas Ensergueix told The Register earlier this month.

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