ARM Offers Free Access to Cortex-M0 Processor IP to Streamline Embedded SoC Design

October 13, 2015

ARM® DesignStart™portal now offers SoC designers free ARM Cortex®-M0 processor IP for design, simulation and prototyping, and a low-cost simplified licensing package for commercialization.

Cambridge, UK, Oct. 13, 2015 – ARM is making it far easier to design, prototype and produce system-on-a-chip (SoC) components by offering free pre-commercialization use of ARM Cortex-M0 processor IP and low-cost FPGA prototyping. The package is available through the ARM DesignStart portal and includes:

  • A Cortex-M0 processor and System Design Kit (SDK), featuring system IP, peripherals, test bench and software
  • A free 90 day license for the full suite of ARM Keil® MDK development tools.

The package will enable the design, simulation and testing of new SoCs using a pre-configured Cortex-M0 processor without incurring the capital costs typically associated with up-front licensing. There is an option to move to the prototyping stage with a $995 ARM Versatile™ Express FPGA development board.

Developers wishing to enter full commercial production can then purchase a simplified and standardized $40,000 fast track license. This includes commercial use of ARM Cortex-M0 processor IP, SDK, and Keil MDK development tools, along with ARM technical support.

The upgraded DesignStart portal makes ARM technology available to the broadest range of SoC developers, from startups to established vendors, and makes the path to full commercial production easier and faster than ever.

"The DesignStart portal is available to all SoC designers, but will be particularly valuable to companies that are incorporating ARM technology for the first time," said Nandan Nayampally, vice president of marketing, CPU group, ARM. "We want to enable startups, makers and other entrants into IoT as well as embedded applications to accelerate their development path with an excellent starting point around which to build their technology and rapidly achieve commercially viable solutions. The new portal package achieves this by offering an easy route to design and production with industry-leading ARM technology, backed by the broadest embedded software ecosystem."

"By offering the Cortex-M0 processor IP in a low cost package, ARM is making it far easier for companies to create their own SoCs," said Dermot Barry, vice president, semiconductor solutions, S3 Group. "By using proven mixed signal IP from S3 Group and ARM processor IP, our customers have already reduced their bill of materials by up to 90 percent."

"There are multiple product benefits that can be delivered by custom SoCs, such as lower power demands, improved functionality, smaller chip size and a reduced bill of materials," said Dr. Zhongjie Wu, President and CEO, Mindmotion. "We applaud ARM's move to provide many more companies with the ability to develop custom SoCs."

"We anticipate a significant move to custom SoC development, particularly for Internet of Things applications," said Julian Kingsbury, vice president, Asia Pacific, Sondrel. "ARM is the low-power processor of choice for IoT and we are delighted to work with them to help bring the benefits of custom SoCs to startups and OEMs alike."

"There is an increasing trend in China for custom SoCs in IoT, mixed signal and general embedded applications," said Jerry Ardizzone, senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing, Brite Semiconductor. "This move by ARM, along with Brite's IoT platform expertise will help ensure that more developers can easily access ARM processors with the broadest ecosystem of IP, software and tools, to better address the market that fabless customers are targeting."

The updated DesignStart portal, which also gives access to a broad range of ARM Artisan® physical IP, is available for immediate use at


Notes to Editors

The Cortex-M0 evaluation package is available for download as a pre-configured Verilog netlist and is an update to a previous Cortex-M0 DesignStart package. The package includes an FPGA prototyping option with full debug capabilities (requiring the purchase of an ARM-supplied FPGA board).

About ARM DesignStart Online Portal

The ARM DesignStart portal provides easy and comprehensive online access to a broad range of physical and processor IP from ARM. As well as the ARM Cortex-M0 kit, the portal also includes an extensive selection of ARM Artisan logic, memory and interface IP. DesignStart IP provides a silicon proven path to accelerate ARM processor-based SoC designs. See

About the ARM Cortex-M0 Processor

The Cortex-M0 core is ARM's most licensed processor and is the smallest 32-bit ARM processor. The exceptional small gate count, low power and minimal code footprint of the processor makes it ideal for low power MCU and mixed signal applications, providing 32-bit performance and efficiency in an 8/16-bit footprint. ARM Cortex-M0 also offers a broad ecosystem, software development tools support and a future proof solution through upward compatibility with the Cortex-M family. As the entry-level ARM processor, it is ideal for those who need low cost access to industry standard processor IP.


Andy Winstanley
+44 1223 405244/ +44 7788 249712
Director of Corporate PR, ARM  

About ARM

ARM (LSE: ARM, NASDAQ: ARMH.US) designs technology at the heart of the World's most advanced digital products. We are enabling the development of new markets and transformation of industries and society, invisibly creating opportunity for a globally connected population. Our scalable, energy-efficient processor designs and related technologies deliver intelligence wherever computing happens, ranging from sensors to servers, including smartphones, tablets, digital TVs, enterprise infrastructure and the Internet of Things.

Our innovative technology is licensed by ARM Partners who have shipped more than 65 billion System on Chip (SoCs) containing our intellectual property. Together with our Connected Community, we are breaking down barriers to innovation for developers, designers and engineers, ensuring a fast, reliable route to market for leading electronics companies. Learn more and join the conversation at

ARM, Artisan, Cortex and Keil are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All rights reserved. DesignStart is a trademark of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries) in the EU and/or elsewhere. All other brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. "ARM" refers to ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and NASDAQ: ARMH) and members of its corporate group as constituted from time to time.

None of the information contained in this document may be adapted, republished, or reproduced in any form except with the prior written permission of the copyright holder, but links may be posted directly to this document from other websites, and the whole of the document correctly attributed and unmodified may be shared freely, unless the copyright holder at any time withdraws these permissions. This document is intended only to provide information to the reader about the relevant product(s) described or mentioned. All information is provided "as is" and without warranty. ARM makes no representation as to the product(s), and ARM shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising from the use of any information in this document or any error or omission in such information.

About Arm

Arm technology is building the future of computing. Our energy-efficient processor designs and software platforms have enabled advanced computing in more than 250 billion chips and our technologies securely power products from the sensor to the smartphone and the supercomputer. Together with 1,000+ technology partners, we are enabling artificial intelligence to work everywhere, and in cybersecurity, we are delivering the foundation for trust in the digital world – from chip to cloud. The future is being built on Arm.

All information is provided "as is" and without warranty or representation. This document may be shared freely, attributed and unmodified. Arm is a registered trademark of Arm Limited (or its subsidiaries). All brands or product names are the property of their respective holders. © 1995-2023 Arm Group.