ARM1156 Processor

ARM1156 Processor Image
The ARM1156™ processors bring ARM11™  performance tuned for high reliability and real-time embedded applications.Based on the ARMv6 instruction set architecture,  ARM1156T2-S and ARM1156T2F-S processors are extended with the same Thumb®-2 enhancements found in the Cortex™ processor family. The ARM1156 processor uses a nine-stage integer pipeline incorporating best in class branch prediction technology to deliver the highest instruction throughput of any ARM11™ class processor.

Considering an ARM1156T2-S processor design?

The ARM1156 processor delivers:

  • An ARM11 family processor for embedded applications
  • First ARM11 family processor with Thumb®-2 technology for code density
  • High DMIPS/area
  • Better utilization of tightly coupled memory
  • High core speeds
  • Real time performance enhancements vs. ARM9 family processors 
  • Soft error resistant
  • Floating point performance
  • Enhanced system connectivity vs. ARM9 family processors 

The ARM1156 is still actively being licensed for embedded real-time SoCs due to its maturity, low level of implementation risk, and low implementation cost. For Partners designing cutting edge real-time embedded SoCs, the Cortex-R4 represents the state of the art and is a better choice than ARM1156. The ARM1156 with its available Thumb-2 instruction set is upwardly code compatible with the latest generation ARM real-time processor, the Cortex-R4, which delivers the highest level of real-time performance in the ARM lineup.

Performance of the ARM1156 processor

  • Clock Speed 
    • 600 MHz TSMC 90G
  • Dhrystone 2.1
    • 1.41 DMIPS/MHz 
    • 846 DMIPS
  • Floating-Point Performance
    • Single and double precision IEEE754 floating point 
    • MFLOPS/MHz
  • Power Consumption
    • 0.42 mW/MHz **
    • Area §1.75 mm2 **

* Strict compilation for Dhrystone 2.1
** Logic only, 600MHz TSMC 90G implementation


Architecture ARMv6
Dhrystone Performance 1.54 DMIPS/MHz
Multicore No - Single processor only
ISA Support
Memory Management Memory Protection Unit
Debug & Trace CoreSight™ ARM11 Design Kit

ARM1156 Key Features

High Performance real-time processor

  • ARMv6 architecture processor
  • 9 stage pipeline for high speed implementation
  • Multiple AMBA® AXI™ ports for high bandwidth to memory
  • Configurable instruction and data caches

Reduced system cost

  • Thumb-2 for optimal instruction memory usage
  • Relaxed timing on Level 1 memory interfaces

Short time to market

  • RTOS compatible memory protection unit
  • JTAG and Trace interfaces for real-time debug
  • Development tools from ARM and 3rd party tools vendors
  • Reference methodologies from major EDA vendors

The ARM1156 is upwardly code compatible with the latest generation ARM Cortex-R4 real-time processor. The Cortex-R4 processor delivers the highest level of real-time performance in the ARM processor portfolio.

Cortex Alternative

The Cortex-R4 processor is a related follow-on product to the ARM1156. Most new SoC designs for embedded real-time applications are being based on the Cortex-R4 processor; however, some SoC designs are starting with ARM1156 where cost, minimal risk, and product maturity are important considerations.

ARM1156 related products

The ARM1156 processor is commonly integrated with many other IP blocks to optimize the SoC for power and performance.

System IP
System IP components are essential for building complex system on chips and by utilizing ARM System IP components developers can significantly reduce development and validation cycles, saving cost and reducing time to market



System IP Components

Advanced AMBA 3 Interconnect IP AXI NIC-301
DMA Controller AXI DMA-330
Dynamic Memory Controller AXI DMC-340
Static Memory Controller AXI SMC-35x
CoreSight™ Design Kit ATB CDK11

Media Processors
The Mali™ family of products combine to provide the complete graphics stack for all embedded graphics needs, enabling device manufacturers and content developers to deliver the highest quality, cutting edge graphics solutions across the broadest range of consumer devices.
Mali-200 GPU High performance graphical processor providing advanced 2D and 3D acceleration. Supports OpenGL ES 2.0
Mali-55 GPU Small, OpenGL ES 1.0 capable GPU

Physical IP
ARM Physical IP Platforms deliver process optimized IP, for best-in-class processor implementations of the ARM1156 at 90 nm, 65 nm and below.
Standard Cell Logic Libraries Available in a variety of different architectures ARM Standard Cell Libraries support a wide performance range for all types of SoC designs. Designers can choose between different libraries and optimize their designs for speed, power and/or area
Memory Compilers and Registers A broad array of silicon proven SRAM, Register File and ROM memory compilers for all types of SoC designs ranging from performance critical to cost sensitive and low power applications.
Interface Libraries A broad portfolio of silicon-proven Interface IP designed to meet varying system architectures and standards. General Purpose I/O, Specialty I/O, High Speed DDR and Serial Interfaces are optimized to deliver high data throughput performance with low pin counts.

Tools Support

ARM RealView® portfolio of development tools, as well as a wide range of third party tools, operating system and EDA vendors support all ARM processors..ARM RealView tools are unique in their ability to provide solutions that span the complete development process from concept to final product deployment.

ARM1156 Powered Products
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