General-Purpose, Deterministic 32-Bit Performance

The Cortex-M processor series is designed to enable developers to create cost-sensitive and power-constrained solutions for a broad range of devices. The optimal balance between area, performance, and power makes Cortex-M3 ideal for products such as microcontrollers, automotive body systems, and wireless networking and sensors.

Features and Benefits

Widely Supported 

Reduce time to market and achieve first-time success by using one of the most trusted processors. It is deployed in billions of devices across a broad set of embedded applications and backed by the richest ecosystem of software, tools, and knowledge.

 Low Power Consumption

Achieve more with Cortex-M3, which features exceptional 32-bit performance with low dynamic power. It also delivers leading system energy efficiency, thanks to integrated software-controlled sleep modes, extensive clock gating, and optional state retention.

Deploy on FPGA

Available at $0 for use in FPGA designs, for prototypes and commercial projects.

Block Diagram on Cortex-M3.


The Cortex-M3 processor is specifically developed for high-performance, low-cost platforms for a broad range of devices including microcontrollers, automotive body systems, industrial control systems and wireless networking and sensors.

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Key Documentation

Cortex-M3 Technical Reference Manual
Cortex-M3 Processor Datasheet
Cortex-M3 Devices Generic User Guide
Compare the specifications of Cortex-M processors:
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Use Cases

Where Innovation and Ideas Come to Life

Smart Home Devices

Increasingly smart devices and advanced levels of interaction demand 32-bit performance, without compromising on cost or power. Cortex-M3 is used across many smart home devices, providing the perfect balance of performance, cost, and ease of programming required in smart home devices.

Internet of Things (IoT) Applications

The Cortex-M3 processor provides the ideal balance between performance and power consumption to enable a range of Internet-connected devices.

Fundamentals of System-on-Chip Design on Arm Cortex-M Microcontrollers
Fundamentals of System-on-Chip Design on Arm Cortex-M Microcontrollers

Access a comprehensive guide to embedded systems built around Arm Cortex-M processor cores, from a high-level hardware and software perspective to the fundamentals of microcontroller architectures and SoC-based designs.

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Talk with an Expert

Find out how the Arm Cortex-M3 processor can improve power efficiency in your smallest applications.

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Available in Arm Flexible Access

For unlimited design access to this product and other useful Arm IP, visit Arm Flexible Access. Start your project off the right way with the world’s leading SoC design portfolio. This CPU IP is available in Arm Flexible Access at $0.

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