The A64 is for true 64-bit processing, and the existing A32 is part of the current ARMv7 architecture, including key features such as TrustZone Virtualization and NEON advanced SIMB which are to be maintained or improved as part of the release of the ARMv8 chips.
This step is widely seen as the removal of the last barrier against gaining a significant share of the desktop and server markets that Intel have long held captive.
“ARM is an important partner for Microsoft. 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,” said KD Hallman, a general manager for Microsoft.
This step is also very significant because it now potentially positions ARM as a big player in the Windows Server 8 market giving Intel a run for their money.
Consumer and enterprise prototype systems based on the new ARMv8 architecture are expected in 2014.