Arm DS Development Studio

Manufactured By:ARM
Arm DS Development Studio Arm DS Development Studio
Arm DS Development Studio
Arm DS Development Studio
Arm Development Studio Bronze Edition, Node Lock, 1 Year Term
Arm Development Studio Silver Edition, Node Lock, 1 Year Term
Arm Development Studio Gold Edition, Node Lock, 1 Year Term

Arm Development Studio, the successor to Arm DS-5, supports all types of C/C++/Assembler software development projects from architecture exploration to the development of real-time applications and coding for edge devices. It accelerates system design and software development enabling you to get higher quality products to market faster and cost-effectively. Included with each copy of Arm Development Studio is a copy of Arm MDK ideal for developing small Cortex-M projects.

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Product Editions

Arm Development Studio is available in three editions - Bronze, Silver & Gold.

Bronze is the entry-level edition and includes a complete toolchain for all Cortex-M projects as well as debug for selected Cortex-A and Cortex-R cores. Includes a copy of Keil MDK Essential. The RTX RTOS is included but no middleware.

Silver contains all the essential tools for debugging, compiling, modelling and performance analysis on Arm cores up to Armv7 architecture in the Cortex-R and Cortex-A families, as well as the entire Cortex-M range. For systems based on Armv8 Cortex-A and/or Cortex-R architecture, this edition also supports debug and performance analysis - which is ideal for those running Linux on these cores. Includes Keil MDK Professional for dedicated MCU development and full middleware.

Gold ideal for those seeking a fully comprehensive toolchain for all software development projects on any Arm CPU and architecture, including Armv8 processors that are still in development. All cores are supported with debuggers, compilers, performance analysis tools and virtual prototypes. Includes Keil MDK Professional for dedicated MCU development and full middleware.

Host Operating Systems

  • Windows 7 SP1 Professional Edition
  • Windows 7 SP1 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 10
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Workstation
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Workstation
  • Ubuntu Desktop Edition 14.04 LTS
  • Ubuntu Desktop Edition 16.04 LTS

Note: Development Studio only supports 64-bit host platforms, Keil MDK is designed for Windows.

Supported Arm CPU Cores

CPU support varies by product edition. To help choose the correct edition for your project please refer to the detailed chart provided by Arm (free sign-up required).
Development Studio: supported processor cores by edition


Two types of licensing are available, Node Locked and Floating.

Node Locked

The software is licensed to a single engineer and may be installed on up to two computers. Ideal for individuals or small teams where one engineer will be responsible for software development and debugging.


A license server is configured to run the license manager and any number of engineers may install the software but simultaneous use is limited to the number of licenses. This is a very flexible option allowing an engineering team to gain the most benefit from the software.

License Term: 1 Year vs 3 Year

The software is licenses for a given period and includes support and maintenance for the entire term providing always up to date software and access to Arm technical support services. Term licensing gives great flexibility to add licenses as needed for a project and then reduce the number once peak development has passed. There is a cost saving of 20% when purchasing a 3 year term over individual 1 year terms.


Key features of Arm Development Studio include:

  • Support for all Arm processors, including early support for Arm IP allowing earlier innovation.
  • Variety of tools for all stages of product development including architecture validation, developing for complex SoC processors, heterogenous multi-processor projects and microcontroller applications.
  • Leverage Arm's industry leading C /C++ compiler, debuggers, optimization tools, simulation models and platform connectivity as well as software packs.
  • Access to a database of over 5,000 devices, royalty free middleware and real-time operating system (RTOS) integration.
  • Standardized software interfaces based on CMSIS for efficient code portability and reuse.
  • Easy-to-use IDEs enabling faster, error-free development.
  • Technical support available from Arm experts.
  • ISO certified development processes.

Arm Compiler 6

Developed alongside the Arm architecture, it enables the design of highly efficient products that best use all features of Arm Cortex processors and architectures, from Armv6-M to Armv8-A 64-bit.

  • Best-in-class code size using link-time optimization and Arm C microlib library
  • Performance tuned for real-world applications, alongside simple benchmarks.
  • Leverage the newest language standards, like C++11 and C++14.


Flexible debug based on CoreSight Debug and Trace technology operates across complex multi-core SoCs to single devices.

  • Pre-configured support for a large range of Arm-based devices
  • Full RTOS aware debug, offering individual run control and complex breakpoints for specific tasks or threads
  • Cycle accurate, non-intrusive instruction and data trace
  • Command line debugger
  • Inspect registers and perform low level bring-up

Performance Analysis

Streamline performance analyzer is a system-wide performance analysis tool that works with Linux, Android and bare-metal embedded systems. Streamline's visualization tools make it easy to find performance bottlenecks in CPU, GPU and other Arm IP. This along with code profiling enables performance tuning of systems and code to the highest degree.

  • System wide performance counter analysis enabling identification of performance bottlenecks, multi-threading issues and inefficient resource usage
  • CPU sampling allows process, thread, function call and line by line granularity of CPU time, which identifies inefficient code
  • Per core visualization of performance metrics and thread activity for optimal code parallelization
  • Linux and bare-metal support allow performance analysis from Cortex-M to the latest Cortex-A CPU
  • Correlate software execution and power consumption data to identify energy inefficiencies

Fixed Virtual Platform Models

Fast and functionally accurate simulation platforms to enable software development in the absence of hardware.

  • Develop bare-metal and Linux software without the need for a hardware target
  • Pre-built platforms (Fixed Virtual Platforms), which include latest Arm processors, memory and peripherals
  • Debug and profile custom virtual platforms based on Arm Fast Models

Bundled Keil MDK

Based on the popular Windows®-based μVision® IDE, Development Studio featuring Keil MDK development suite is the ideal tool for Cortex-M based microcontroller projects.

  • Software packs extend applications with easy-to-use software components
  • Royalty-free real-time operating system (RTOS) integration
  • Event Recorder and Component Viewer to show run-time behaviour of software components
  • Standardized software interfaces based on CMSIS for efficient code portability and reuse.

Ships With

Each copy of Arm Development Studio ships with a copy of Keil MDK.

Arm DS Edition Keil MDK Edition
Bronze Essential
Silver Professional
Gold Professional

Note that the included copy of MDK is for use by the same engineer - it is not considered a separate product and cannot be used by other users.

Required Tools

Accessory Tools


Product Brief/Fact sheet

Arm Development Studio Brochure (pdf)
Keil MDK Brochure (pdf)