The ARM architecture supports implementations across a wide range of performance points, establishing it as the leading architecture in many market segments. The ARM architecture supports a very broad range of performance points leading to very small implementations of ARM processors, and very efficient implementations of advanced designs using state of the art micro-architecture techniques. Implementation size, performance, and low power consumption are key attributes of the ARM architecture.
ARM developed architecture extensions to provide support for Java acceleration (Jazelle®), security (TrustZone®), SIMD, and Advanced SIMD (NEON™) technologies. The ARMv8-architecture adds a Cryptographic extension as an optional feature.
The ARM architecture is similar to a Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) architecture, as it incorporates these typical RISC architecture features:
- A uniform register file load/store architecture, where data processing operates only on register contents, not directly on memory contents.
- Simple addressing modes, with all load/store addresses determined from register contents and instruction fields only.
Enhancements to a basic RISC architecture enable ARM processors to achieve a good balance of high performance, small code size, low power consumption and small silicon area.