SecurCore Processors

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The ARM SecurCore™ processor family provides powerful 32-bit secure solutions based upon industry leading ARM architecture. By enhancing highly successful ARM processors with security features, SecurCore provides smart card and secure IC developers easy access to the benefits of ARM 32-bit technology such as small die size, energy efficiency, low cost, excellent code density and outstanding performance. SecurCore processors, used in a wide range of security applications, outperform legacy 8-bit or 16-bit secure processors.

Key Smartcard Applications

  • SIM 
  • Banking
  • Pay TV
  • Mass Transit
  • e-Government
  • ID

SecurCore - the industry standard architecture of choice for smart cards

  • Around 20 silicon licensees worldwide
  • Most major smart card silicon vendors and OEMs use SecurCore architecture

Samsung ST Microelectronics NXP Atmel

G+D welcomes […] an open architecture business model in cost-sensitive, high-volume applications, which I am keen to see repeated in the SIM through silicon manufacturers focusing their support on ARM technology-based designs.” Oliver Richter – VP, Telecommunications, Giesecke & Devrient

“ST will address tomorrow's application demands by combining high performance and low power 32bit processing with the most advanced embedded Flash technology.", ST

"We are looking forward to integrating the ARM SecurCore SC300 […], as NXP believes it will emerge as an industry standard for 32bit smart card technology,” Henri Ardevol, GM, Smart Cards, NXP

“Samsung expects to deliver more exciting products to market [that] are designed to significantly reduce time to market for our customers in introducing new smart card applications,” Dr. ChilHee Chung, Senior VP, Samsung



SecurCore - shaping the future of smart cards

As the smart card market continues to grow significantly, it is also moving away from legacy 8/16 bit proprietary architectures towards industry standard architectures such as ARM, which provide the performance and efficiency that is beyond the capabilities of existing solutions.

At the high end, the industry is witnessing a trend towards service consolidation. Mobile phone SIM cards are evolving into devices that can also handle banking payment systems and mass transit ticketing. Dual interface devices are becoming increasingly common. The SecurCore family is ideal to meet the design challenges created by the new requirements.

Design Challenges SecurCore Benefits
Consolidated or multi-interface designs exceed the performance capability of 8/16-bit processors. SecurCore provides powerful 32-bit solutions that can easily handle multiple service applications.
Complex systems often have a large memory space exceeding 16-bit addressing range, but do not wish to sacrifice the code density benefits of 16-bit processors. SecurCore provides full 32-bit memory addressing, while matching or exceeding code densities achieved with 16-bit processors through the Thumb®/Thumb-2 instruction sets.
Advanced security algorithms need powerful compute engines. SecurCore is based upon powerful ARM processors capable of handling computationally intensive algorithms.
Relying on multiple processors to handle various services impacts design complexity, power consumption, cost and risk. Multiple systems also require multiple development tools. A single SecurCore device is capable of meeting the diverse demands of various services such as telecommunications and banking. This reduces system complexity, silicon area and power consumption, leading to faster time to market and massive cost savings.
Smart card industry faces ever-increasing pressure on profit margins. OEMs demand fast time to market and maximum ROI. Adopting the proven industry-standard open processor ARM architecture increases profitability, provides faster time to market and reduces risk.




 The SecurCore family consists of the SC000™, the SC100™ and the SC300™ processors.


  • 32-bit performance at 8/16-bit footprint
  • Outstanding energy-efficiency
  • Ultra low power
  • Highly configurable
  • Upwards binary compatible with SC300 processor
  • Based on popular Cortex-M0 processor


  • First SecurCore Processor by ARM
  • Entry level security solution
  • ARM7TDMI™ based


  • High Performance
  • Power Efficient
  • Highly configurable
  • Ideal for high end applications demanding high security and performance
  • Cortex™-M3 based






Base ARM processor Cortex-M0 (v6-M) ARM7TDMI (v4T) Cortex-M3 (v7-M)
Instruction set Thumb, Thumb-2 ARM, Thumb Thumb, Thumb-2
Memory Control  MPU (optional) MPU MPU (optional)
Interrupts 1 -32 + NMI 2 1-240 + NMI
Interrupt priorities  4 None 1-255                   
Hardware Divide No No Yes
WIC support Yes No Yes
Bus protocol AHB-Lite AHB wrapper AHB Lite, APB
Debug Optional and Configurable Optional Optional and configurable
Breakpoints and watchpoints 4/2, 2/1 2/0 8/4, 2/1
ETM Trace No No Yes
CMSIS support Yes No Yes



Security Features

SecurCore processors, designed primarily for tamper-resistant smart cards, incorporate several security features that make SecurCore an ideal choice for such applications. Further details on the SecurCore security features are available under an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) from ARM.

Key Features


  • Application of 32-bit processing through a compact synthesizable processor
  • Higher system performance
  • Faster time to market
  • Wide range of software development tools available
  • Reduced development costs
  • Multiple sourcing from industry-leading silicon vendors
  • Excellent debug support for SoC designers

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