ARM Expands Unmatched Real-Time Cortex Processor Portfolio for use in Mobile Baseband, Mass Storage And Automotive Applications

31 January 2011

Cortex-R5 and the Cortex-R7 MPCore processors further extend the de facto adoption of Cortex-R processors

Cambridge, UK – 31 Jan 2011 – ARM today announced the launch of the ARM® Cortex™-R5 MPCore™ and the Cortex-R7 MPCore processors for use in 3G and 4G mobile baseband, mass storage, automotive and industrial markets. The move further extends the company’s leading real-time processor portfolio by providing scalable solutions for a broad range of high-performance, real-time embedded applications. The provision of a roadmap of Cortex R-Series processors also allows ARM Partners to future-proof their designs based on a single consistent architecture.

  • Mobile baseband: The real-time features of the two new Cortex-R series processors are particularly suited to advanced mobile baseband applications, such as LTE and LTE-Advanced, and includes support for high frequency interrupts along with fast and deterministic control of data transmission between cellular base-stations and mobile devices.
  • Storage: For HDD and SSD mass storage systems the Cortex-R series processors provide the optimum balance between processor performance, reliability and real-time response, along with ease of development and advanced CoreSight™ debug to support current and future system chip architectures that address this fast-moving market.
  • Industrial, automotive and medical: For embedded applications requiring high performance combined with high reliability, the new processors provide a suite of safety-critical features, including both soft and hard error management, redundant dual-core systems using two processors in lock-step, and error correcting codes (ECC) on all external buses.

Both the Cortex-R5 MPCore and Cortex-R7 MPCore processors can be implemented as either single or dual cores. However, the Cortex-R7 MPCore processor features proven SMP multicore technology, including new real-time enhancements, enabling performance scalability and energy efficiency to be optimized for the intended application. These processors continue to demonstrate the effectiveness of the ARM architecture by delivering the most effective power-efficient solutions for mobile and portable products.

The binary compatibility of the Cortex-R series processors enables system designers to select the processor and features most appropriate for their current application. It also provides them with the security of a migration path as existing designs develop, while preserving significant software investment. In mobile baseband this will enable developers to transition from current ARM processor-based solutions, which power over 90 percent of current 3G baseband products, to the Cortex-R5 processor for LTE, and on to the Cortex-R7 processor for future LTE-Advanced designs.  As performance requirements increase, the scalable roadmap also provides mass storage device developers with a migration path, as they address issues associated with the demand for higher capacity and faster data rates in hard drive controllers.

“The simultaneous launch of the Cortex-R5 MPCore and Cortex-R7 MPCore processors clearly delineates our leadership position as the architecture of choice for current and future mobile baseband and advanced storage applications, as well as building on our unparalleled position in the wider embedded market,” said Eric Schorn, VP Processor Marketing, ARM. “These two advanced processors bring together more than 20 years of ARM expertise in low-power design with a host of new high-performance and real-time technologies which enables our Partners to future-proof their designs based on a single consistent architecture.”

The Cortex-R5 processor extends the feature set of the Cortex-R4 processor to enable higher levels of system performance, increased efficiency and reliability, and enhanced error management in dependable real-time systems. These system-level features include a high priority Low-Latency Peripheral Port (LLPP) for fast peripheral reads and writes, and an Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP) providing cache coherency for increased data transfer efficiency and more reliable firmware.

The Cortex-R7 processor greatly extends the performance levels of the Cortex-R series beyond any existing capabilities. This is made possible through the introduction of new technology, including out-of-order execution, dynamic register renaming combined with improved branch prediction, superscalar execution and faster hardware support for divide, floating point and other functions. This significant development in real-time performance and responsiveness meets the increasing demand for fast data processing and control in the next generation of mobile and storage devices that will be implemented on advanced low-power 28nm semiconductor processes.  

Both processors are available for licensing today and four tier one licensees in the mass storage, automotive and mobile baseband markets already have designs underway.

Complete ARM Solution
To assist ARM Partners to achieve rapid time to silicon for smart, highly integrated and efficient Cortex-R processor-based SoC designs, ARM provides a broad and fully integrated range of supporting IP.  This technology includes the AMBA® 3 CoreLink™ interconnect and memory system IP, CoreSight debug and trace, and a robust set of development tools including ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5™) and Fast Models™ virtual platforms. ARM also provides the widest implementation support in the industry with numerous 40nm and 28nm Artisan™ Physical IP solutions, delivering advanced design options for performance, low power, and density to support a broad range of end market applications. This ARM technology is complemented by a portfolio of third party SoC and software design solutions, tools and services from the ARM Connected Community® ecosystem.

Together, this support provides ARM Partners with a smooth path through the development, verification and production of full-function, compelling devices while significantly reducing time-to-market.

For further details on the new features and capabilities of the new Cortex-R processors and the supporting technology go to http://www.arm.com/products/processors/cortex-r 


Editors Note: Images available from: http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/media-resources/image-downloads.php

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, video engines, 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. Find out more about ARM by following these links:

ARM, Connected Community  and AMBA are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. Cortex, CoreLink, CoreSight, and MPCore 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 Services BVBA; ARM Germany GmbH; ARM Embedded Technologies Pvt. Ltd.; ARM Norway, AS and ARM Sweden ABPR


Alan Tringham
+44 1223 400947

Andy Phillips
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Supporting Partner Quotes

“Constant pressure on the silicon design chain to do more in less time naturally puts pressure on system quality, which is why the scalability of the Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors is so important,” said Larry A Traylor, CEO, Arium. “Our Partnership with ARM will maximise the advantages of the Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors by offering JTAG emulators and debuggers tailor-made to their design.”

Express Logic
“ARM has always pioneered new industry trends and the ARM Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors represent an opportunity for the embedded design ecosystem”, said William E Lamie, CEO and President, Express Logic, Inc. “Our ThreadX RTOS, which is already deployed in over 830 million devices (the majority ARM-based systems), will offer Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processor designers an intuitive and highly functional platform for development with a small memory footprint. ARM’s new Cortex R5 and Cortex-R7 offer incredible flexibility in single- and dual-core configurations, which will easily be accessible through ThreadX.”

Green Hills Software
“The ARM Cortex-R processor family with its ARMv7 ISA already provides an impressive performance to footprint ratio, which will be further enhanced by the arrival of the Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors” said David Kleidermacher, CTO  at Green Hills Software. “The combination of these processors with the Green Hills' compilers, IDE, and RTOSs that are already ported and running on Cortex family processors provide a compelling solution for developers and OEMs.”

IAR Systems
“The Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors mark a significant step in the evolution of the embedded market by providing scalable, single-core and dual-core solutions ranging from mobile baseband to mass storage and automotive applications,” said Anders Lundgren, ARM Product Manager, IAR Systems.  “As a leading independent software tools vendor for deeply embedded systems, IAR Systems has a tradition of enthusiastically supporting ARM processors, with already established support for ARM Cortex-R family processors to its Embedded Workbench for ARM (EWARM).” 

Lauterbach GmbH
“In the embedded market, silicon designers must respond to demands for smaller and more powerful designs across a range of different applications and configurations.” said Stephan Lauterbach, General Manager,Lauterbach GmbH. “The ARM Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors will be key in meeting this challenge. We are working closely with ARM to offer our PowerDebug and PowerTrace development tools compatible with the Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors that meet the evolving needs of system developers.”

Mentor Graphics
“The latest embedded designs, including 3G and LTE applications, continue to drive the need for higher performance, lower power and reliable processors delivered to market in the shortest possible time,” said Glenn Perry, General Manager, Embedded Software Division, Mentor Graphics. “Mentor Embedded is working closely with ARM to address these design requirements for its entire range of processors, including the new Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 MPCore processors. Our collaboration with ARM demonstrates our on-going commitment to the ARMv7 architecture, enabling our mutual customers to achieve their product goals efficiently with Mentor Embedded Linux®  and ReadyStartTM for Nucleus®, a tight integration of CodeSourcery and EDGETM tools, single and multi-core Nucleus RTOS which has been deployed in more than 2.4 billion cell phones, and InflexionTM UI.”

The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from LMI, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis.    


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