Introduction to ARM processors and its versions

Overview

  • ARM: Advanced RISC Machine (A)
  • Company: ARM Ltd
  • Founded in: November 1990
  • Company HQ: Cambridge, UK
  • Design Center: Cambridge 
  • Sales & Support: All over the world
  • Best known for: Various range of processor cores designs
  • Used in:
    • high end applications involving complex computation
    • Hand held devices 
    • Robotics
    • Automation system
    • Consumer electronics
  • Website: www.arm.com

Features

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  • High performance, low power, small in size (ideal for embedded sys)     
  • Large Register File, Small instruction set, Load-Store instructions
  • Fixed length instructions, Conditional execution of instructions
  • High code density, most instructions executable in single cycle
  • 32-bit in-line barrel shifter, built-in circuit for hardware debugging
  • DSP enhanced instructions, Jazelle (Java byte code extn. 3rd state)
  • TrustZone (SoC approach to security)

Applications

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  • Hard Disk Drives
  • Printers 
  • Tele parking
  • Utility Motors 
  • Digital Sensors
  • Smart Meters
  • Digital exercise Machine
  • Energy Efficient Applications
  • Gaming Devices
  • Washing Machine
  • Digital Television
  • Many more...

ARM Processor Cores

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ARM Processor Cores

ARM is so popular because it supports wide range of capability and functionality (performance). The evolution of the same is shown in above figure.

ARM7-TDMI-S

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  • Was widely adopted by cell phone industries in mid 1990’s onwords.
  • Foundation for ARM’s early success.
  • Still widely available (but ARM no longer licences AMR7-TDMI).

Cortex Processors

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Cortex M  Family

It is intended to use in microcontroller where cost is at premium.

Cortex R Family

  • Provides Very High performance and Throughput 
  • Precise Timing property.
  • Predictable Interrupt Latency.
  • Ideal Embedded core for deeply embedded timing critical applications.
  • eg. Engine Management system.

Cortex A Family

  • It provides scalable High Performance in applications that require platform Operating System. Ie. Linux.
  • It co-operates Memory Management system.
  • Extended instruction set.
  • Supports Multimedia Processing.
  • All processors are available in multi-core designs
  • It balances performance & power consumption in real time.

Development of the ARM Architecture

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Development of the ARM Architecture

 

V4T

V5TE

V6

V7

Half word & signed Half word byte support

Improved ARM/Thumb

Single Instruction Multiple Data

Thumb-2

System mode

Interworking

Multi-processing

NEON

Thumb instruction set

Arithmetic saturation

V6 memory architecture

Trust Zone

 

DSP MLA instructions

Unaligned data support

Virtualization

ARM7TDMI-S

ARM926EJ-S

ARM1136J(F)-S

Architecture profiles:

V7-A (Application)

V7-R(Read time)

V7-M(Microcontroller)

ARM Nomenclature

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A R M {x}{ y}{ z} T D M I E J F S

(Example: ARM7-TDMI-S)

xSeries
yMMU
zCache
TThumb
DDebugger
MMultiplier
IEmbedded In-Circuit Emulator (ICE) macrocell
EEnhanced Instructions for DSP
JJAVA acceleration by Jazelle
FFloating-point
SSynthesizable version

References

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  • ARM website

Last modified: Wednesday, 16 October 2019, 2:24 AM