Cortex-A17 Processor

Cortex-A17 Processor Image (View Larger Cortex-A17 Processor Image)

ARM Cortex-A12 is now also referred to as the ARM Cortex-A17.
Read more about why here.

The ARM® Cortex®-A17 processor is the most efficient mid-range solution targeted at smartphones and tablets and delivers today’s premium user experience in tomorrow’s mid-range mobile and consumer devices.

The Cortex-A17 processor offers premium performance and a high-end feature set making it an ideal fit for every screen – from smartphone to tablet, to Smart TVs and Over-the-top devices. The Cortex-A17 processor is architecturally aligned with the broadly deployed Cortex-A7 processor, enabling next-generation mid-range devices based on big.LITTLE™ technology.

The Cortex-A17 processor is supported by a suite of optimized IP targeted at mid-range solutions bringing highest efficiency levels and ease of integration: ARM Mali-T720 GPU supports latest graphics and GPU computing APIs, Mali-V500 and Mali-DP500 provide a secure and enriched multimedia experience, and ARM POP IP solutions deliver an accelerated time to market.



The Cortex-A17 processor offers 60% performance uplift over the Cortex-A9 processor, the current leader in mid-range mobile market, and best efficiency enabling optimized solutions to address existing and new products. The Cortex-A17 processor is based on the popular ARMv7-A architecture, today’s most successful architecture in the mobile market. With over 1M apps supporting the ARMv7-A architecture, the Cortex-A17 processor is primed to bring the high-end performance levels of 2014 to next generation mid-range devices in 2015, with further increased efficiency for enabling a better user experience.

The Cortex-A17 processor is scalable up to 4 cores, each offering a full out-of-order pipeline delivering peak performance of today’s premium performance levels. A fully integrated, low-latency L2 cache controller, accelerator interfaces to target specific use cases, and high-throughput AMBA®4 ACE Coherent Bus Interface enable the Cortex-A17 processor to be tailored for the right task. Its modern design is best complemented with the latest advanced IP like ARM Mali-T720 GPU, ARM Mali-DP500 DPU, and ARM Mali-V500 VPU and CoreLink™ CCI-400, but is also fully backwards compatible to existing AMBA3 and AMBA4 AXI based systems based on ARM Mali-450 GPU and CoreLink NIC-400 to ease integration and time-to-market.

The Cortex-A17 processor, in combination with its high-efficiency counterpart Cortex-A7 processor, provides an ideal solution for mobile devices in 2015 and beyond, bringing the heterogeneous processing benefits of big.LITTLE Global Task Switching (GTS) to the mid-range market. Coupled with CoreLink System IP components like the CoreLink CCI-400 interconnect, Cortex-A17 and Cortex-A7 processors are the foundation for upcoming devices that are more efficient and higher performance than any solution in this class before.


Key target markets: 

  • Mobile (Smartphones and Tablets)
  • Smart-TVs
  • Over-the-top devices
  • Automotive infotainment
  • Other consumer oriented markets

The Cortex-A17 processor is optimized for highest performance within thermally restricted devices making it a leading solution ideally suited for compact form factors like smartphones and tablets. The sweet spot of performance and efficiency make the Cortex-A17 processor well suited for consumer devices that continue to demand more performance, and yet are also increasingly area constrained, such as like Smart-TVs and Set-top-boxes.

The Cortex-A17 processor is optimized for maximum performance for mobile mid-range power budgets. The Cortex-A17 processor reaches a single thread performance of 60% over the Cortex-A9 processor, making it the fastest mid-range solution available.

With expected frequencies beyond 2.0+ GHz in 28nm, the Cortex-A17 processor allows to scale into many applications. Topologies are expected to vary depending on the use case, some examples are shown below:

Smartphones & Tablets



Example Topologies:

  • Ultimate Mid-range Mobile 2015+ big.LITTLE
    • 2GHz+ Quad-core Cortex-A17 processor with Quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
    • 2Ghz+ Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor with Quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
  • Mid-range Mobile 2015+ big.LITTLE
    • 1.5GHz – 2GHz Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and Quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
    • 1.5GHz – 2GHz Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and Dual-core Cortex-A7 processor
  • Mid-range Mobile 2015
    • 1.0 – 2.0 GHz Quad-core Cortex-A17 solutions
Smart TVs & Over-the-top Devices


Example Topologies:

  • 1.5GHz – 2GHz Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and Dual-core Cortex-A7 big.LITTLE
  • 1.0 – 2.0 GHz Quad, Dual and Single-core Cortex-A17 solutions
Industrial & Automotive Infotainment

smart car

Example Topologies:

  • 2GHz+ Quad-core Cortex-A17 processor with Quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
  • 2Ghz+ Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor with Quad-core Cortex-A7 processor
  • 1.5GHz – 2GHz Dual-core Cortex-A17 processor and Dual-core Cortex-A7 big.LITTLE
  • 1.0 – 2.0 GHz Quad, Dual and Single-core Cortex-A17 solutions

Cortex-A17 Processor


Cortex ARMv7-A processor

  • Out-of-order CPUs with a 11+ stage pipeline


  • 1-4X SMP within a single processor cluster
  • Multiple coherent SMP processor clusters using AMBA® 4 ACE technology
  • Compatible with CCI-400 for up to two clusters

ISA Support

  • ARM and Thumb-2
  • TrustZone® security technology
  • NEON Advanced SIMD
  • DSP & SIMD extensions
  • VFPv4 Floating point
  • Hardware virtualization support
  • Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE)
  • Integer Divide
  • Fused MAC
  • Hypervisor debug instructions

Memory Management


  • Support for large physical memory and virtualization

Debug & Trace

CoreSight™ SoC

Cortex-A17 Processor Key Features

Thumb-2 Technology

Delivers the peak performance of traditional ARM code while also providing up to a 30% reduction in memory required to store instructions

TrustZone Technology

Ensures reliable implementation of security applications ranging from digital rights management to electronic payment. Broad support from technology and industry partners


NEON technology can accelerate multimedia and signal processing algorithms such as video encode/decode, 2D/3D graphics, gaming, audio and speech processing, image processing, telephony, and sound synthesis

DSP & SIMD Extensions

Increase the DSP processing capability of ARM solutions in high-performance applications, while offering the low power consumption required by portable, battery-powered devices. The DSP extensions are optimized for a broad range of software applications including servo motor control, Voice over IP (VOIP) and video & audio codecs.

Floating Point

Cortex-A17 processor provides a high-performance FPU including hardware support for floating point operations in half-, single- and double-precision floating point arithmetic.

Hardware Virtualization

Highly efficient hardware support for data management and arbitration, whereby multiple software environments and their applications are able to access simultaneously the system capabilities. This enables the realization of devices that are robust, with virtual environments that are well isolated from each other.

Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE)

The introduction of Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE) enables the processor to access up to 1TB of memory.

Optimized Level 1 Caches

Performance and power optimized L1 caches combine minimal access latency techniques to maximize performance and minimize power consumption. Cortex-A17 processor offers configurable caches with sizes between 32kB and 64kB for instruction and 32kB for data.

Integrated, Configurable Size Level 2 Cache Controller

Providing low latency and high bandwidth access to up to 8MB of cached memory in high frequency designs, or design needing to reduce the power consumption associated with off chip memory access.

AMBA® 4 CoreLink CCI-400 Cache Coherent

CoreLink CCI-400 provides AMBA4 ACE ports for full coherency between multiple MPCore processors, enabling use cases like big.LITTLE. CCI-400 is essential for systems requiring high-performance like mobile and other consumer oriented workloads. Combined with ARM CoreLink memory controller IP, the CCI increases system performance and power efficiency.

Supporting Technology

The Cortex-A17 processor is supported by a suite of optimized IP targeted at the mid-range and bringing highest efficiency levels and ease of integration: ARM Mali-T720 GPU supports latest graphics and GPU computing APIs, ARM Mali-V500 and Mali-DP500 provide a secure and enriched multimedia experience and ARM POP IP solutions for accelerated time to market.

Cortex-A17 Processor Companion IP

AMBA 4 Cache Coherent Interconnect (CCI-400)

  • The CCI-400 provides AMBA® 4 AXI Coherency Extensions (ACE) compliant ports for full coherency for the Cortex-A17 processor and other Cortex processors, better utilizing caches and simplifying software development. This feature is essential for high bandwidth applications including future mobile SoCs that require clusters of coherent processors or GPUs. Combined with other available ARM CoreLink System IP, the CCI-400 increases system performance and power efficiency.
  • CoreLink CCI-400 Cache Coherent Interconnect provides system coherency with Cortex processors and an IO Coherent channel with Mali IP and opens up a number of possibilities for offload and acceleration of tasks. When combined with a Cortex-A7 processor, CCI-400 allows big.LITTLE operation with full L2 cache coherency between the Cortex-A17 and Cortex-A7 processors.

Efficient voltage scaling and power management is enabled with the CoreLink ADB-400 unlocking DVFS control of the Cortex-A17 processor. Further 'extension' of the DVFS curve also comes when used with the Cortex-A7 processor.

AMBA Generic Interrupt Controller (GIC-400)

AMBA Interrupt Controllers like the GIC-400 provide an efficient implementation of the ARM Generic Interrupt Specification to work in multi-processor systems. They are highly configurable to provide the ultimate flexibility in handling a wide range of interrupt sources that can control a single CPU or multiple CPUs.

AMBA 4 CoreLink MMU-500

CoreLink MMU-500 provides a, hardware accelerated, common memory view for all SoC components and minimizes software overhead for virtual machines to get on with other system management functions.

CoreLink TZC-400

The Cortex-A17 processor implements a secure, optimized path to memory to further enhance its market leading performance with the aid of CoreLink TZC-400 TrustZone® address space controller

CoreLink DMC-400

All interconnect components and the ARM DMC guarantee bandwidth and latency requirements by utilizing in-built dynamic QoS mechanisms.

CoreSight™ SoC-400

ARM CoreSight SoC debug and trace hardware is used to profile and optimize the system software running through-out from driver to OS level.

Artisan POP IP

Cortex-A17 processor is supported through advanced Physical POP IP for accelerated time to market.


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