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. ARMv8-A Cortex-A processors add support for a 64-bit data path and the AArch64 execution state while retaining full backward compatibility with ARMv7-A in the AArch32 execution state. This backwards compatibility strengthens the ARM ecosystem and preserves more than a decade worth of ecosystem development.
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:
All ARMv7-A and ARMv8-A based processor cores featured in the current ARM Processor Portfolio support ARM's multicore cache memory architecture:
- Single to quad-core configurations with full hardware coherence
- Supports symmetric and asymmetric OS implementations
- Coherency with external non-cached bus masters via the Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP)
- Coherency with other CPU clusters through AMBA® 4 ACE (AMBA Coherency Extension) and AMBA 5 CHI (Coherent Hub Interface). This enables big.LITTLE designs as well as large core count systems for network infrastructure and the data center.
The success of the Cortex-A processors is built on the innovation of ARM partners who have licensed these processors and developed a wide array of success stories in various markets.
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: