Cortex A, Cortex M, Cortex R processors

Updated on 2017/06/19 21:40


CORTEX A, CORTEX M, CORTEX R processors series, versions, features and applications

Cortex-A Series Family

Efficient application processors for every level of performance, ARM Cortex-A processors are at the heart of the most powerful and compelling technology products.

They are deployed in mobile devices, networking infrastructure, home and consumer devices, automotive in-vehicle infotainment and driver automation systems, and embedded designs.

High performanceHigh efficiencyUltra-high efficiency
Cortex-A73 64/32-bit ARMv8-A
2017 Premium Mobile, Consumer
Cortex-A53 - 64/32-bit ARMv8-A
Balanced performance and efficiency
Cortex-A35 - 64/32-bit ARMv8-A
Highest efficiency
Cortex-A72 - 64/32-bit ARMv8-A
2016 Premium Mobile, Infrastructure & Auto
Cortex-A9 - ARMv7-A
Well-established mid-range processor used in many markets
Cortex-A32 - 32-bit ARMv8-A
Smallest and lowest power ARMv8-A
Cortex-A57 - 64/32-bit ARMv8-A
Proven high-performance
Cortex-A8 - ARMv7-A
First ARMv7-A processor
Cortex-A7 - ARMv7-A
Most efficient ARMv7-A CPU, higher performance than Cortex-A5
Cortex-A17 - ARMv7-A
High-performance with lower power and smaller area relative to Cortex-A15
 Cortex-A5 - ARMv7-A
Smallest and lowest power ARMv7-A CPU, optimized for single-core
Cortex-A15 - ARMv7-A
High-performance with infrastructure feature set

Cortex-A Features

  • All Cortex-A based processors share a commonly supported architecture and feature set.
  • ARMv7-A processors support a 32-bit instruction set and data path as well as the mixed 16/32-bit Thumb2 instruction set.
  • Cortex-A processors offer support for a range of full Operating Systems including Linux, as well as others requiring a Memory Management Unit such as Android, Chrome and MontaVista.

Cortex-A series processors have been developed to run a number of architecture extensions:

Cortex-A applications

Cortex-A series processors scale efficiently across a range of mobile, consumer, embedded and infrastructure devices. Cortex-A processors have shipped over 11 billion units across markets such as:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets and Readers
  • Automotive and ADAS Systems
  • Set-top and satellite receivers
  • Server and networking
  • Home gateways
  • Wearables
  • Robotics

Cortex-R Series Family

Fast response - optimized for high performance, hard real-time applications
Cortex-R processors are designed for implementation on advanced silicon processes for applications where high-performance, real-time, safe and cost-effective processing is required.

The ARM® Cortex®-R real-time processors offer high-performance computing solutions for embedded systems where reliability, high availability, fault tolerance and/or deterministic real-time responses are needed. Cortex-R processors are used in products where performance requirements and timing deadlines must always be met. In addition, Cortex-R processors are used in electronic systems which must be functionally safe to avoid hazardous situations, for example, in medical applications or autonomous systems.

For functional safety applications ARM offers the Cortex-R5, providing an area and power efficient solution, and the Cortex-R52, offering advanced integrated functional safety features and virtualization support. The Cortex-R7 and Cortex-R8 deliver very high performance and coherency to address the requirements of applications such as modems and storage.

Storage & ModemFunctional Safety
Highest performance 5G modem and storage
Most advanced processor for functional safety
High performance 4G modem and storage
Real-time performance with functional safety
Real-time performance

Cortex-R Features

High performance - rapid execution of complex code and DSP functionality

  • High performance, high clock-frequency, deeply pipelined micro-architecture
  • Multi-processing (AMP/SMP) configurations
  • Hardware SIMD instructions for very high performance DSP and media functions
  • Fast, bounded and deterministic interrupt response
  • Tightly Coupled Memories (TCM) local to the processor for fast-responding code/data
  • Low-Latency Interrupt Mode (LLIM) to accelerate interrupt entry
  • Reliable - detects errors and maintains system operation
  • User and privileged software operating modes with memory protection unit (MPU)
  • ECC and parity error detection/correction for Level-1 memory system and buses
  • Dual-Core Lock-Step (DCLS) redundant core configurations
  • Best-in-class energy and die area/cost efficiency
  • Configuration to include/exclude features to optimize power, performance and area
  • Fast development and testing with configurable debug breakpoints and watchpoints through CoreSight™ debug access port with embedded trace module options

Cortex-R applications

The Cortex-R series processors provide fast time-to-market through proven technology shipped in billions of products, supported by the vast ARM ecosystem. Cortex-R processors have been successfully adopted in many markets including:

  • Cameras
  • Industrial
  • Home
  • Mobile handsets
  • Enterprise
  • Storage
  • Automotive

Cortex-M Series Family

Smallest and lowest power Cortex processors - optimized for deterministic real-time embedded processing and microcontroller applications

The ARM Cortex-M processor family is a range of scalable, energy efficient and easy-to-use processors that meet the needs of tomorrow’s smart and connected embedded applications. The processors are supported by the world’s #1 embedded ecosystem and have already been shipped in tens of billions of devices. Cortex-M processors help developers deliver more features, in less time, at a lower cost, with versatile connectivity, comprehensive code reuse, standard security and state of the art energy efficiency.

ARM offers:

  • Cortex-M0, Cortex M0+, and Cortex-M23 for applications requiring minimal cost, power and area
  • Cortex-M3, Cortex-M4, and Cortex-M33 for all applications where a balance between 32-bit performance and energy efficiency is desirable
  • Cortex-M7 is designed for embedded applications requiring high performance
  • The Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33 include ARM TrustZone technology for solutions that require optimized, efficient security.

The ARM Cortex-M4, Cortex-M7 and Cortex-M33 processors integrate Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and floating point operations for fast and power-efficient algorithm processing of digital signal control applications such as sensor fusion, motor control and power management

Lowest power and area

Performance efficiency

Highest performance

TrustZone in smallest area, lowest power

Flexibility, control and DSP with TrustZone

Maximum performance, control and DSP
Highest energy efficiency

Mainstream control and DSP

Lowest cost, low power
Freely available for design and simulation via DesignStart
Performance efficiency

Cortex-M Features

The ARM Cortex-M processors utilize ARM Thumb-2 technology to offer superior code density compared to 8-bit,16-bit and fixed 32-bit architectures - reducing the memory requirements to maximize the usage of precious on-chip Flash memory. Thumb-2 technology supports a fundamental base of 16-bit Thumb instructions, extended to include more powerful 32-bit instructions. In many cases, a C compiler will use the 16-bit version of the instruction unless the operation can be carried out more efficiently using a 32-bit version.

ARM Cortex-M processors provide:

  • High performance and efficiency
  • Easy software development, as all Cortex-M processors are fully C programmable
  • Compact data footprint, with support for 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit data transfers
  • Fast and power-efficient algorithm processing with DSP extensions in Cortex-M4, Cortex-M7 and Cortex-M33
  • The ARMv8-M based Cortex-M processors also include TrustZone technology. TrustZone has been proven as a security foundation in billions of devices. TrustZone for the Cortex-M profile has been optimized for microcontroller class devices offering deterministic real-time interrupt response, low power and a small area with fast cross-domain calls.

Cortex-M applications

The Cortex-M family is optimized for cost and power-sensitive MCU and mixed-signal SoCs for applications including:

  • Environmental

  • Sensor fusion

  • Connected clothing

  • Smartwatch

  • Medical instrument

  • Smart lighting

  • Smart cities

  • Automotive

  • Industrial

  • Energy grid


Created by Admin on 2017/04/10 08:57