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ARM Processors

ARM Holdings is the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property (IP) supplier and as such is at the heart of the development of digital electronic products. ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. The ARM comprehensive product offering includes 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. ARM provides a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies.

Supported Technologies

ARM7 Family
ARMv4T Architecture
ARM9 Family
ARMv5TE Architecture
ARM11 Family
ARMv6 Architecture
Thumb ISAYesYesYes
Thumb-2 ISANoNoYes (ARM1156T2-S Only)
DSP ExtensionsNoYesYes
SIMD ExtensionsNoNoYes
Jazelle Bytecode SupportNoYes (ARM926EJ-S Only)Yes (Except ARM1156T2-S)
Floating Point SupportNoYes (VFP9)Yes (VFP11)
TrustZone Security ExtensionsNoNoYes (ARM1176JZ(F)-S Only)
Cache SupportNoYesYes
TCM SupportNoYesYes

ISA – Instruction Set Architecture
SIMD – Single Instruction Multiple Data
TCM – Tightly Couple Memory

The ARM Cortex™-A series of applications processors provide an entire range of solutions for devices hosting a rich OS platform and user applications ranging from ultra-low-cost handset through smartphones, mobile computing platforms, digital TV and set-top boxes through enterprise networking, printers and server solutions. The market-proven Cortex-A8 processor along with the scalable Cortex-A9 and the high-efficiency Cortex-A5 processors all share the same architecture and therefore full application compatibility, that includes support for the traditional ARM, Thumb ® instruction set and new high performance and compact Thumb-2 instruction set.


  • Support for full Operating Systems
    • Linux full distributions- Android, Chrome, Ubuntu and Debian
    • Linux 3rd party – MontaVista, QNX, Wind River
    • Symbian
    • Windows CE
    • Other OS support requiring Memory Management Unit
  • Instruction Set Support – ARM, Thumb-2, Thumb, Jazelle®, DSP
  • TrustZone® Security Extensions
  • Advanced single-precision and double-precision Floating Point support
  • NEON™ media processing engine

Cortex-A Technologies

RISC Processor Core

  • High performance 32-bit core
  • Up to 13-stage pipeline technology
  • 1.5-2.5 DMIPS/MHz per core
  • Advanced branch prediction

Media Acceleration

  • NEON integer and floating point SIMD Engine for enhanced media performance
  • Jazelle technology for accelerated execution environments

Advanced Memory System

  • 1-2 cycle cache access
  • Pipe-lined loads and stores
  • Tuned for memory streaming
  • Integrated or closely-coupled optional level-2 caches

Instruction Set Architecture

  • ARM and Thumb ISA for ensuring binary compatibility
  • Thumb-2 for optimal blend of code density and performance
  • NEON™ / DSP extensions for advanced DSP and media performance
  • VFP for high-performance single and double-precision floating point
  • Jazelle®-DBX and RCT support

Multicore Technologies

  • 1-4 cores
  • Full L1 cache coherency
  • Advanced Coherency Port
  • Snoop Control Unit

System Extensions

  • TrustZone® security extensions

The ARM Cortex™-M processor family is an upwards compatible range of energy-efficient, easy to use processors designed to help developers meet the needs of tomorrow’s embedded applications. Those demands include delivering more features at a lower cost, increasing connectivity, better code reuse and improved energy efficiency.

Cortex-M Technologies

RISC processor Core

  • High performance 32-bit CPU
  • Deterministic operation
  • Low latency 3-stage pipeline

Low power modes

  • Integrated sleep state support
  • Multiple power domains
  • Architected software control

Tools and RTOS support

  • Broad 3rd party tools support
  • Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS)
  • Maximizes software effort reuse

Thumb-2 technology

  • Optimal blend of 16/32-bit instructions
  • 3x smaller code size than 8-bit devices
  • No compromise on performance

Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC)

  • Low latency, low jitter interrupt response
  • No need for assembly programming
  • Interrupt service routines in pure C

CoreSight debug and trace

  • JTAG or 2-pin Serial Wire Debug (SWD) connection
  • Support for multiple processors
  • Support for real-time trace

Advanced RISC Machines Media

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