IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M

The ARM® Internet of Things (IoT) Subsystem for Cortex®-M processors allows design teams to create IoT endpoints faster and with lower risk. ARM simplifies IoT with its hardware and software, power efficiency and wide ecosystem support. The ARM IoT subsystem for ARM Cortex-M processors is optimized for use with ARM’s most efficient processor, mbedOS, radio technologies and physical IP.

The individually licensable subsystem IP block, together with the Cortex-M processor and ARM Cordio® radio IP, forms the basis for an IoT endpoint chip design, allowing partners to integrate sensors and other peripherals to create complete SoCs. Using ARM Artisan® physical IP, the design is optimized for partners low-power process technology with embedded flash memory, and will enable chips with reduced size, cost and power consumption, operating at sub one-volt. 

Internet of Things runs on ARM

ARM’s scalable IP solutions are designed to target all points on the value chain from sensors to servers. This allows our partners to reduce their time to market.





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IoT is about diversity, one size does not fit all – diverse applications, nodes, and sensors lead to diversity in end-node requirements and price points. IoT means billions of connected devices, some of these devices will be addressed by off-the-shelf designs whilst other applications will require customised SoCs and tight integration with sensors.

The ARM subsystem will support IoT market growth by reducing development risk and enabling companies to quickly create products. Companies expected to license the subsystem include analog sensor makers and companies looking to add IoT connectivity to existing designs.


ARM’s IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors with mbed OS is a complete reference system that reduces the complexity and risk of an SoC design for IoT endpoints. The ARM IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors features a range of peripherals and interfaces; including links to TSMC’s embedded flash memory. It is specifically designed for use with Cortex-M processors and optimized for mbedOS and Cordio Bluetooth® Smart radio. It is possible to integrate other radios and wireless networking standards such as Wi-Fi and 802.15.4. The system has been designed to optimise power consumption and bring a high level of security: two key features for IoT solutions.



*ARM IP that supports the IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M Processors. Some IP is interchangable with 3rd party IP.

Main advantages of using the IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M Processors

Low Power consumption

Flash consumes power when reading, but having a cache reduces the number of flash fetches. The IoT Subsystem for Cortex-M processors includes an integrated cache which allows up to 99% flash power consumption reduction.


This reduction does not take into account Radio/Sensors and has been tested in isolation. 

Optimized for ARM Cortex-M Processors

The IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors solution supports the successful ARM Cortex-M processors. The Cortex-M3 is an example processor that the IoT subsystem for Cortex-M processors is optimised for. This industry-leading 32-bit processor offers the performance and efficiency for the most demanding IoT applications.  

ARM Technology Enables and Simplifies IoT


  • Billions of Cortex-M processors widely deployed in IoT applications for low power, highly efficient embedded computing – such as wearables, smart devices and security application
  • Widest ecosystem support

mbed OS 

  • mbed OS – open source device software making IoT application development easy. Built in device and communication security
  • More than 100,000 of mbed developers  and support on  more than 40 platforms

mbed Device Server 

  • ARM mbed Device Server software brings web services to the most demanding enterprise applications in the Internet of Things. It utilizes open source protocols like CoAP/HTTP, MQTT, TLS/TCP, DTLS/UDP and OMA LWM2M for data communication and device management.

Cordio Bluetooth Smart Radio

  • Pre-certified, ultra low power radio 
  • Delivered as a hard macro


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