ARM Delivers The Internet Everywhere With Most Power-Efficient and Cost-Effective Multicore Processor

21 October 2009

Processor reinforces clear leadership position in highest-volume and highest-value connected consumer, embedded and industrial applications

CAMBRIDGE, UK – Oct. 21, 2009 – ARM [(LSE: ARM); (Nasdaq: ARMH)] today announces the launch of the ARM® Cortex™-A5 MPCore™ processor, the smallest, lowest power ARM multicore processor capable of delivering the Internet to the widest possible range of devices, from ultra low cost handsets, feature phones and smart mobile devices, to pervasive embedded, consumer and industrial devices. Available as an extremely area- and power-efficient uniprocessor or up to a 4x multicore processor, the Cortex-A5 processor unleashes the outstanding performance and power scalability required for the compelling usage scenarios demanded by each of these markets. This extraordinary combination of performance, functionality, and efficiency reinforces ARM’s clear leadership position in the highest-value and highest-volume application segments.

The Cortex-A5 uniprocessor provides a high-value migration path for the large number of existing ARM926EJ-S™ and ARM1176JZ-S™ processor licensees. By delivering better performance than the ARM1176JZ-S processor within the raw power and silicon area footprint of the ARM926EJ-S processor, the Cortex-A5 uniprocessor offers nearly twice the power-efficiency relative to these earlier and extremely popular predecessors. This increases the quality of the user experience while reducing costs and end-user device size.

This performance is further enhanced by the Cortex-A5 multicore processor which utilizes the successful ARM MPCore technology. The widely-adopted ARM MPCore technology increases performance scalability and control over power consumption to exceed the performance of today’s comparable high-performance devices while remaining within the tight mobile power constraints. To date ARM MPCore processors have been licensed by more than 15 leading semiconductor companies including Broadcom Corporation, NEC Electronics (Europe) GmbHNVIDIARenesas Technology America, Inc.Toshiba America Electronic Components and Sarnoff Corporation, and have been implemented in numerous applications on the market today. This technology greatly expands the addressable application spectrum while enabling new and more efficient modes of operation. 

The Cortex-A5 processor includes TrustZone® security technology along with a NEON™ multimedia processing engine first introduced with the Cortex-A8 processor. NEON technology is a 128-bit SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) architecture extension for the Cortex-A series processors, providing flexible and compelling acceleration for intensive multimedia applications.

The Cortex-A5 processor is fully application compatible with the Cortex-A8  and Cortex-A9 processors. This enables immediate access to an established developer and software ecosystem including Android, Adobe Flash, Java Platform Standard Edition (Java SE), JavaFX, Linux, Microsoft Windows Embedded, Symbian and Ubuntu, along with more than 600 ARM Connected Community™ members.

Speaking at the 18th World Wide Web conference earlier this year, Google’s vice president and chief internet evangelist and one of the founders of the internet, Vinton “Vint” Cerf predicted: “More people in the world will have their first interaction with the internet with mobile than with laptop.” He continued: “We will have more internet, larger numbers of users, more mobile access, more speed, more things online and more appliances we can control over the internet.”

 “The Cortex-A5 processor signals a significant acceleration in the future of internet connectivity,” said Eric Schorn, vice president of marketing, Processor Division, ARM. “Internet accessibility has long been a critical social opportunity and with the launch of the Cortex-A5 processor we are providing the pervasive internet with unprecedented power-efficiency and cost-effectiveness. The Cortex-A5 processor scales from ultra low cost handsets and lifestyle internet devices all the way to consumer, embedded, and industrial devices - anything that can be connected to the internet. We are truly delivering the internet everywhere.”

“The launch of the Cortex-A5 processor reinforces ARM’s leadership in innovation and technology, and sets a new standard for cost-effectiveness and power-efficiency in entry-level mobile devices,” said Nathan Brookwood, research fellow at Insight 64. “The performance of the Cortex-A5 processor, when combined with Adobe’s recently-announced support for Cortex-A profile processors in Flash Player 10.1, will allow users of ARM processor-based systems to view the same internet video content previously accessible only to users of x86-based systems.”

The processor has been licensed by numerous ARM Partners including Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd, a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies.

"Samsung has enjoyed a strong partnership with ARM and has achieved considerable success utilizing ARM CPU cores in many of our industry leading System-On-Chip (SOC) products," said Yiwan Wong, Vice president, Strategic Marketing Team, System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. "This new Cortex-A5 processor from ARM will allow us to further broaden the range of SOC products we can offer to our customers to address the needs of the expanding mobile device market space."

Supporting Technology
The Cortex-A5 processor incorporates, and is supported by, a broad range of ARM technology to provide ARM Partners with a smooth path through the development, verification and production of full function, compelling devices while significantly reducing time-to-market.

The new processor is supported by the immediate availability of a High Performance Optimization Package of physical IP to enable leadership implementations in a 40nm process.  This optimization package comprises ARM low leakage, high performance logic libraries featuring multi-channel design along with optimized memory instances engineered specifically for the Cortex-A5 processor architecture.   The optimized package is available initially for the TSMC 40LP process and further performance benefits can be achieved through the use of multi-Vt and overdrive implementation techniques.

The ARM AMBA® and CoreSight™ system development IP and tools products address the critical challenges of efficiently moving, storing and observing data between cores and memory to optimize the system performance and power consumption of ARM Cortex processor-based SoC designs. The AMBA system development components enable system designers to maximise the utilization of system bandwidth, reduce latency and cut time to market of high-performance SoC designs, while the ARM CoreSight technology provides complete on-chip debug and real-time trace visibility, reducing risk and speeding development of high quality system software. 

For systems that demand high-quality graphics and video processing the extremely power- and area-efficient Mali™ Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and Mali-VE Video Engines provide ideal solutions. The Cortex-A5 processor when combined with the Mali-200, Mali-400MP GPUs and the Mali-VE3, Mali-VE6 Video Engines ensure highly efficient and flexible designs that scale with requirements to deliver the rich multimedia user experience necessary for success in the highly competitive market for consumer products.

ARM also provides a complete range of complementary software tools to enable software development, optimization and test ahead of silicon availability, significantly reducing application time-to-market and ensuring the highest degree of software quality. Tools available at launch include Fast Models, instruction-accurate models ideal for creating, running and optimizing software in simulation, RealView® Development Suite (RVDS) 4.0 Pro, incorporating the best-in-class ARM Compiler and market-leading ARM Profiler, enabling applications to easily achieve both high performance and optimal code size.

 In addition, the ARM Active Assist training and on-site system-design advisory service enables licensees to efficiently integrate the Cortex-A5 processor into their design to realize maximum system performance with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

Licensing and Availability
The Cortex-A5 processor has multiple lead licensees developing leadership mass-market silicon today, is now available for general licensing, and will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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 32-bit RISC microprocessors, graphics processors, enabling software, cell libraries, embedded memories, high-speed connectivity products, peripherals and development tools. Combined with comprehensive design services, training, support and maintenance, and 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, AMBA, RealView and TrustZone are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex, MPCore, ARM926EJ-S, ARM1176JZ(F)-S, CoreSight, Mali , NEON and Connected Community are trademarks of ARM Limited.  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 Limited.; ARM Taiwan Limited; ARM France SAS; ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.; ARM Belgium N.V.; ARM Germany GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; ARM Norway, AS and ARM Sweden AB

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“ARM continues to meet increasing architectural efficiency and performance demands with innovative multiprocessor capable cores,” said John Bruggeman, chief marketing officer at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. “By adding our unique expanded multiprocessor design capabilities, Cadence will enable faster implementation and verification of the Sparrow multicore processor using the Encounter Digital Implementation System and Incisive Verification environments.”

“In the past few years, eSOL has pioneered in the RTOS and development tools for multicore processors with extensive support in ARM Cortex-A8 and ARM11 MPCore processors to date,” said Nobuyuki Ueyama, the Executive Vice President of eSOL Co., Ltd. “We congratulate ARM for making another breakthrough with the new Cortex-A5 MPCore processors, and eSOL will strive to offer the eCROS platform that includes a multi-profiled, scalable real-time operating system (RTOS), middleware, and development tools, all of which have been seamlessly integrated and offered as a development platform for the new processor along with Cortex-A9 processor."

“ARM has produced another pioneering product which will deliver an attractive migration path from its highly successful ARM926EJ-S™ and ARM1176JZ(F)-S™ processors,” said William E Lamie, CEO and president, Express Logic, Inc. “Our ThreadX RTOS, which is already deployed in hundreds of millions of ARM Powered® devices, offers designers working with the Cortex™-A5 processor, a responsive, high-performance, low-memory footprint solution for producing compelling products in today’s challenging market.” 

“The ARM® Cortex-A5 processor provides an impressive blend of power and memory efficiency while delivering outstanding multicore performance,” said David Kleidermacher, CTO at Green Hills Software. “Green Hills’ technologies, including INTEGRITY Secure Virtualization (ISV) and TrustZone® security solutions, combine with the Cortex-A5 processor to give OEMs and developers a compelling platform for sophisticated designs while meeting stringent reliability and cost requirements.”

“Today’s portable devices are increasingly challenged to deliver long battery life, while still being able to deliver the internet on go, all at a low cost,” said Shantanu Jha, Vice President Media Processing at Ittiam. “The ARM Cortex-A5 processor is a compelling architecture to address this mix of requirements. Additionally, software compatibility with the Cortex-A family ensures readily available, high performance, low power multimedia functions. Ittiam is proud that our strong partnership with ARM has resulted in the benchmarking of our audio and video codecs as an off the shelf solution, enabling fast time to market for mobile multimedia and connectivity products. This is in keeping with Ittiam’s commitment to providing proven, best-in-class ARM processor-based software for the multimedia and Internet world.”

 “The Cortex-A5 processor is an exciting addition to the ARM Cortex family of scalable multicore processors, targeting a wide variety of devices including low-cost handsets and other consumer electronic devices,” said Stephan Lauterbach, general manager, Lauterbach GmbH. “Lauterbach’s  PowerDebug and PowerTrace range of development tools provide support across the whole family of ARM processors and we work closely with ARM to ensure that developers have the tools required to bring innovative products to market in a timely and cost-effective manner.”

“A common challenge for many of our customers is minimizing design area and power consumption without sacrificing performance,” said Bob Smith, vice president, Product Marketing, Magma. “We will continue to collaborate with ARM to enable our mutual customers to leverage the integrated and automated low-power design capabilities of Magma’s Talus 1.1 IC design platform and the new Cortex-A5 multiprocessor architecture to achieve these objectives.”

“The ARM Cortex-A5 processor is the ideal solution for fast, efficient multicore systems so it is a perfect complement to Mentor’s Multi-OS on multicore embedded software solutions,” said Glenn Perry, Mentor Graphics embedded systems division general manager. “Customers will benefit from being able to seamlessly run their existing Cortex-A9 processor-based Nucleus RTOS, Linux and Android applications unchanged on this new processor.”

“The Cortex-A5 scalable multiprocessor represents an ideal opportunity for developers and OEMs to move to the ARMv7 architecture and to a multicore design,” said Kroy Chang-Zeviar, Business Alliance manager, QNX Software Systems. “The QNX Neutrino RTOS provides an SMP-capable, networked and memory-protected real-time operating system that already runs across a variety of ARM Cortex processors.”

“The power and performance characteristics of the Cortex-A5 processor enables JavaFX to bring visually compelling user experiences to consumer, commercial, and embedded devices,” said Eric Klein, vice president of Java Platform Marketing at Sun Microsystems.  “Java's strong multicore support and the Cortex-A5 processor's compatibility with the Cortex-A8 and Cortex-A9 processors mean that the rich programming and display capabilities of Java SE and JavaFX will be available to developers on these amazing processors.”

“The Symbian platform and the ARM Cortex-A5 processor will enable the delivery of advanced, always-on multimedia use cases, while respecting the power and memory constraints of mobile devices,” said Shaun Puckrin, head of Community Support, Symbian Foundation.  “Symbian and ARM work in close collaboration to deliver high-performance converged mobile devices and our history of collaboration has seen the Symbian platform scale across all ARM processor architectures. The multiprocessor variants of the Cortex-A5 processor will bring even greater performance and power efficiency to internet-enabled mobile devices, through the use of the Symbian platform’s class-leading support for Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP).”

“The ARM Cortex-A5 processor takes advantages of the latest design and semiconductor technology advances to enable a true ‘Internet Everywhere’ experience,’” said John Chilton, senior vice president, marketing & strategic development at Synopsys. “ARM and Synopsys have collaborated extensively to deliver performance and energy optimized design enablement with the Galaxy™ Implementation Platform for ARM processors; by adding support in Synopsys’ Lynx Design System for the ARM Cortex-A5 processor and enhanced 40LP physical IP, we will provide designers a complete, optimized production-ready IC development platform for next-generation, internet-enabled devices.”


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