ARM Significantly Reduces Time-To-Market For AMBA 3 AXI Interconnect-Based SoC Designs

04 October 2005

Complete ARM Cortex-A8 processing solution comprises a broad portfolio of ARM technology to reduce time-to-market

CAMBRIDGE, UK - Oct. 4, 2005 - ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMHY)] today announced its new Cortex™-A8 processor which will revolutionize consumer and low-power mobile devices, enabling the delivery of higher levels of entertainment and innovation to end users. Launched at the second annual ARM® Developers' Conference, in Santa Clara, California, the ARM Cortex-A8 processor delivers up to 2,000 DMIPS making it ideal for demanding consumer products running multi-channel video, audio, and gaming applications. For next-generation mobile devices, the ARM Cortex-A8  processor delivers industry-leading performance and power efficiency while using less than 300 mW in 65nm technology. For the first time, low-cost, high-volume products will have access to desktop levels of performance using the Cortex-A8 processor.

The exceptional speed and power efficiency of the Cortex-A8 processor is enabled by new ARM Artisan® libraries supporting Intelligent Energy Manager (IEM)  technology and implementing advanced leakage control. The processor is supported by a wide range of ARM technologies for rapid system design including RealView® DEVELOPER software development tools; RealView ARCHITECT ESL tools and models; CoreSight™ debug and trace technology; and software library support through the OpenMAX multimedia processing standard.

ARM has already secured five licensees for the Cortex-A8 processor, including Freescale, Matsushita, Samsung and Texas Instruments, and future support from major EDA and Operating System vendors.

"With the Cortex-A8 processor, ARM has demonstrated its commitment to enabling the next generation of advanced cell phones, media players and new portable devices requiring robust digital signal processing and control capabilities," said Will Strauss, president and principal analyst of market watcher Forward Concepts. "The performance specifications are truly stunning and I expect that the Cortex-A8 processor will ensure ARM's continued leadership in the portable electronics market."

The Cortex-A8 processor is the first applications processor based on the next-generation ARMv7 architecture, and features Thumb®-2 technology for greater performance, energy efficiency, and code density. It includes the first implementation of the powerful NEON™ signal processing extensions to accelerate media codecs such as H.264 and MP3. The Cortex-A8 solution also includes Jazelle®-RCT Java acceleration technology  to optimize Just In Time (JIT) and Dynamic Adaptive Compilation (DAC), and reduces memory footprint by up to three times. Additionally, the new processor features TrustZone® technology for secure transactions and Digital Rights Management (DRM), and IEM capability for low power.

"The rapid convergence of digital entertainment and mobile communications technology requires new levels of system performance and security within a tight cost and power footprint," said Mike Inglis, EVP, Marketing ARM. "The new ARM Cortex-A8 processor and supporting technologies brings unprecedented levels of performance and energy efficiency to the home and mobile markets and will result in innovative new devices with media-rich applications coming to the consumer."

The Cortex-A8 processor features an advanced superscalar pipeline which can execute multiple instructions at the same time and deliver more than 2.0 DMIPS per MHz. The processor integrates a size configurable level 2 cache which works in conjunction with fast 16K or 32K level 1 caches to minimize access time and maximize throughput. The Cortex-A8 processor uses advanced branch prediction techniques and has dedicated NEON integer and floating-point pipelines for media and signal processing. The Cortex-A8 processor will run at more than 600 MHz in low-power 65nm processes with the core using less than 4 mm2 of silicon (excluding NEON, Trace technology and L2 cache). High-performance consumer designs will run the Cortex-A8 processor at up to 1 GHz in high-performance 90nm and 65nm processes.

ARM has developed a full range of supporting technology around the new processor to reduce design time and accelerate time-to-market. This complete system solution includes development and debug tools, modeling technology and physical cell libraries:

  • The ARM RealView ARCHITECT series of ESL Tools, including MaxSim™ technology, enables rapid prototyping and architectural exploration of Cortex-A8 processor-based systems as well as providing a target for application software development before the hardware is available. This enables designers to deliver full platform solutions tuned to specific market requirements with time-to-market improvements of up to 40 percent.
  • The new AMBA® Designer design automation tool, based around MaxSim technology, provides design flow automation for advanced AMBA interconnect sub-systems, further reducing implementation and time-to-market (See "ARM Significantly Reduces Time-to-Market for AMBA 3 AXI Interconnect-Based SoC Designs", Oct. 4, 2005).
  • The ARM RealView DEVELOPER series includes the RealView Development Suite which includes advanced code generation tools with Cortex-A8 processor-specific enhancements to deliver exceptional performance and unmatched code density. The tools also support the NEON media and signal processing extensions, enabling developers to achieve product and project cost reductions through the elimination of separate DSPs and their associated development tools. In addition, the Development Suite will support all the features included in the new processor.
  • The Cortex-A8 processor supports ARM CoreSight technology  to speed complex debug and reduce time-to-market. The processor includes Embedded Trace Macrocell™  technology and implements the ARMv7 architecture-compliant debug interface to enable tools standardization and higher debug performance. The available CoreSight DK-A8 design kit extends the debug and trace capability to cover the entire system-on-chip including multiple ARM processors, DSPs, and intelligent peripherals. CoreSight trace technology is widely licensed and supported by ARM RealView development tools.
  • ARM's new Artisan Advantage-CE library for the Cortex-A8 processor enables both high-speed operation and low static and dynamic power consumption. With more than one thousand cells, many specifically designed for the new processor, the library is designed to meet the high-density routing requirements of high-performance processors. Leakage power reduction is achieved through power gating MT-CMOS cells and retention flip-flops to support sleep and standby modes.

The ARM Cortex-A8 processor is available for licensing now, along with the majority of the supporting technology. First availability for the Advantage-CE library in leading 65nm technologies will be 1Q06.

About ARM
ARM designs the technology that lies at the heart of advanced digital products, from wireless, networking and consumer entertainment solutions to imaging, automotive, security and storage devices. ARM's comprehensive product offering includes 16/32-bit RISC microprocessors, data engines, 3D processors, digital libraries, embedded memories, peripherals, software and development tools, as well as analog functions and high-speed connectivity products. Combined with the company's broad Partner community, they provide a total system solution that offers a fast, reliable path to market for leading electronics companies. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com.


ARM, Thumb, Jazelle, AMBA, TrustZone and RealView are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex, CoreSight, Embedded Trace Macrocell, MaxSim and NEON are trademarks of ARM Limited. Artisan is a registered trademark of ARM Physical IP, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of ARM.  All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc; its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC.; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd.; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; AXYS Design Automation Inc.; AXYS GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; and ARM Physical IP, Inc.
Partner Quotes
"Our 10+ years of collaboration with ARM spanning services, verification, custom and now digital design provides the broadest possible of array of technology and support available today for ARM Partners using the new Cortex-A8 processor," said Jan Willis, senior vice president of Industry Alliances at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. "We're committed to enhancing the flexibility and ease of designing for this advanced capability through a new jointly funded program that combines engineering and development resources."

"Freescale prides itself on our longstanding relationship with ARM and on our lead partner role at both the strategic and technical levels in developing Cortex," said Berardino Baratta, director, Multimedia Applications Division, Freescale. "This new applications processor highlights the breadth and depth of the pioneering technology that Freescale and ARM bring to our partnership."

"We believe that we can anticipate future consumer trends and will maintain a strong industry position by incorporating innovative technology like that from ARM, into Panasonic's integrated platform for digital consumer electronics," said Mr. Osamu Nishijima, executive officer and vice president of Semiconductor Company, Matsushita Electric Industrial. "We are working closely with ARM to offer leading-edge solutions that meet the needs of system developers worldwide."

"With the mobile phone now establishing itself as the de facto all-in-one enterprise device, the industry must look at ways to improve the overall experience, which means faster and power-sensitive innovation that ultimately leads to greater productivity," said Jonas Hasselberg, group product manager with the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft Corp. "The ARM Cortex-A8 processor will be a key ingredient for developers to tap into the lucrative market of mobile information workers that demand PC-like performance."

"Quality of service is key to the success of M-Commerce, whether this means device performance, operating system usability, or content appeal," said Peder Ulander, vice president of marketing at MontaVista Software. "ARM has always supported all leading industry standards and the ARM Cortex-A8 processor represents an opportunity for every part of the electronics design chain, as it offers massive step up in power, performance and power-efficiency, which can easily be accessed by the ARM Connected Community."

"The average mobile phone user has more technology know-how than ever before. Very soon, the man-on-the-street will simultaneously be able to use higher-end mobile phone features like video editing, Java-based applications and MP3 players," said Sung-bae Park, vice president of SoC R&D Center at Samsung Electronics' System LSI Division. "We believe the ARM Cortex-A8 processor brings the level of performance needed to support these demands, while enabling handset vendors to keep the sleek and power efficient designs the consumer expects."

"As Symbian prepares for pushing Symbian OS - the most technologically advanced mobile OS - into the mass market, it relies on key industry leading partners such as ARM to develop reliable and robust technologies that will support the high performance of tomorrow's powerful mobile phones," said Jorgen Behrens, vice president, Product Management and Strategy, Symbian. "The ARM Cortex-A8 processor is the first of a new generation of mobile technologies, which will boost the consumer's mobile experience to the point that the mobile users will start relying heavily on their mobile phones for communication, entertainment, business and m-commerce."

"Consumer electronics design continues to drive the need for higher performance, lower power processors delivered to market in the shortest possible time," said Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager, Synopsys. "Synopsys is working with ARM to address these design requirements by using Synopsys' Galaxy™ Design and Discovery™ Verification platforms. Our collaboration with ARM on a high performance design flow for the Cortex-A8 processor demonstrates our on-going commitment to increase design performance and power efficiency, and to enable our mutual customers to achieve their product goals in more efficient ways."

"TI and ARM have enjoyed a long-standing, unique business collaboration, from the first ARM core for which TI was the first licensee, to numerous TI DSP and ARM design-ins, to the Cortex A-8 today," said Alain Mutricy, TI's vice president and general manager of Cellular Systems, Wireless Terminals Business Unit. "Through this collaboration, we've combined TI's deep wireless knowledge with ARM processors and open instruction sets to support a range of wireless applications and industry firsts, including the first single-chip digital baseband, the first single-chip solution for mobile phones, and OMAP™ 2, which was built on the industry-leading OMAP platform and is the industry's first ARM-11-based architecture. It is TI's hope that over the coming years ARM and the Cortex-A8 will enjoy even greater levels of success."

"The performance and power enhancements of ARM Cortex-A8 push the boundaries of current semiconductor design" said John Fanelli, vice president Product Planning and Management, Wind River. "Wind River can leverage these capabilities to deliver a compelling software platform that's highly optimized for the underlying hardware."


We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site you consent to our cookies.

Change Settings

Find out more about the cookies we set