ARM processors are found in a very significant majority of 32-bit RISC applications, and are used extensively in consumer electronics, including PDAs, mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers. The ARM core itself is licensed by ARM to other manufacturers. They then integrate the core into their own designs, perhaps adding a range of their own value adding peripherals, gearing the end device of for a particular end market or application. The whole design is then committed to a final wafer, manufactured, packaged and marketed, with the inclusion of the ARM core as a highly visible part of the whole proposition.
ARM’s huge popularity and following has created a strong ecosystem of support for their processors, including the platforms themselves, development tools and debuggers, and operating systems which will run on an ARM – all from a wide circle of suppliers. As such, a large community exists to support ARM development in all kinds of applications. Being a cross-platform “platform” makes ARM really flexible when it comes to making other system choices to add in to your development project.
Introduced in 1994, the ARM7 processor family has been immensely successful, and has helped establish ARM as the architecture of choice in the digital world. Over the years, more than 10 billion ARM7 processor family-based devices have powered a wide variety of cost and power-sensitive applications. While the ARM7 processor family continues to be used today for simple 32-bit devices, newer embedded designs are increasingly making use of latest ARM processors such as theand processors, both of which offer significant technical enhancements over the ARM7 family.
The ARM9 processor family enables single processor solutions for microcontroller, DSP and Java applications, offering savings in chip area and complexity, power consumption, and time-to-market. The ARM9 DSP-enhanced processors are well suited for applications requiring a mix of DSP and microcontroller performance. The ARM9 DSP-enhanced processors are well suited for applications requiring a mix of DSP and microcontroller performance. The ARM9 processor family includes ARM926EJ-S, ARM946E-S and ARM968E-S processors.
The ARM11 processor family provides the engine that powers many smartphones in production today; it is also widely used in consumer, home, and embedded applications. It delivers extreme low power and a range of performance from 350 MHz in small area designs up to 1 GHz in speed optimized designs in 45 and 65 nm. ARM11 processor software is compatible with all previous generations ofprocessors, and introduces 32-bit SIMD for media processing, physically tagged caches to improve OS context switch performance, TrustZone for hardware-enforced security, and tightly coupled memories for real-time applications.
The ARM Cortex-A8 processor is based on the ARMv7 architecture and has the ability to scale in speed from 600MHz to greater than 1GHz. The Cortex-A8 processor can meet the requirements for power-optimized mobile devices needing operation in less than 300mW; and performance-optimized consumer applications requiring 2000 Dhrystone MIPS. The Cortex-A8 high-performance processor is proven in end devices today. From high-end feature phones to netbooks, DTVs, printers and automotive-infotainment, the Cortex-A8 processor offers a proven high-performance solution with millions of units shipped annually.
The ARM Cortex-A9 processor is the power-efficient and popular high performance choice in low power or thermally constrained cost-sensitive devices. It is currently shipping in increasing volumes in smartphones, digital TV, consumer and enterprise applications enabling your connected life. Cortex-A9 is available as a single processor solution offering an overall performance enhancement of well above 50% compared to ARM Cortex-A8 solutions. Cortex-A9 MPCore offers up to 4 processors delivering when needed, on lightweight workload as well as peak performance. Its configurability and flexibility allows Cortex-A9 to scale across a wide variety of markets and applications.
The ARM Cortex-M0 processor is the smallest, lowest power and most energy-efficient ARM processor available. The exceptionally small silicon area, low power and minimal code footprint of the processor enables developers to achieve 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price point, bypassing the step to 16-bit devices. The ultra low gate count of the Cortex-M0 processor also enables it to be deployed in analog and mixed signal devices
The ARM Cortex-M0+ processor is the most energy efficient ARM processor available. It builds on the very successful Cortex-M0 processor, retaining full instruction set and tool compatibility, while further reducing energy consumption and increasing performance. Along with the Cortex-M0 processor, the exceptionally small silicon area, low power and minimal code footprint of these processors enable developers to achieve 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price point, bypassing the step to 16-bit devices. The Cortex-M0+ processor comes with a wide selection of options to provide flexible development.
The ARM Cortex-M3 processor is the industry-leading 32-bit processor for highly deterministic real-time applications, specifically developed to enable partners to develop high-performance low-cost platforms for a broad range of devices including microcontrollers, automotive body systems, industrial control systems and wireless networking and sensors. The processor delivers outstanding computational performance and exceptional system response to events while meeting the challenges of low dynamic and static power constraints. The processor is highly configurable enabling a wide range of implementations from those requiring memory protection and powerful trace technology to cost sensitive devices requiring minimal area.
The ARM Cortex-M4 processor is the latest embedded processor by ARM specifically developed to address digital signal control markets that demand an efficient, easy-to-use blend of control and signal processing capabilities. The combination of high-efficiency signal processing functionality with the low-power, low cost and ease-of-use benefits of the Cortex-M family of processors is designed to satisfy the emerging category of flexible solutions specifically targeting the motor control, automotive, power management, embedded audio and industrial automation markets.
The Cortex-M4 processor comes designed with a large variety of highly efficient signal processing features applicable to digital signal control markets.The Cortex-M4 processor features extended single-cycle multiply-accumulate (MAC) instructions, optimized SIMD arithmetic, saturating arithmetic instructions and an optional single precision Floating Point Unit (FPU).
The Cortex-R4 processor is the first deeply embedded real-time processor based on the ARMv7-R architecture. It is for use in high-volume, deeply embedded System-on-Chip applications, for example, hard disk drive controllers, wireless baseband processors, consumer products and electronic control units for automotive systems.
The Cortex-R4 processor delivers substantially higher performance, real-time responsiveness, reliability and dependability with high error resistance, and offers more features than other processors in its class. This processor offers excellent energy efficiency and cost effectiveness for ASIC, ASSP and MCU embedded applications. The Cortex-R4 processor is very flexible and can be configured at synthesis time to optimize its feature set for a precise match with application requirements.