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.

No Upfront Fee and Lower Risk

Cortex-M3 is available without a license fee via DesignStart, providing designers with proven technology, risk-free. You can also access the Arm SDK-100 System Design Kit, including the SSE-050 subsystem to integrate the Cortex-M3, in order to reduce development effort and risk.

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.

Talk with an Expert

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

Contact Us
Related Products and Services
Explore More Options and Features
Mbed IoT Device Platform

Pelion IoT Platform

Building on Arm’s proven leadership as the trusted silicon architect, we are transforming the way IoT creates and captures value for global enterprises. Arm Pelion IoT Platform is the only IoT solution for any device, any data, any cloud.

DS-5 Development Studio

DS-5 Development Studio

DS-5 Development Studio is a suite of tools for embedded C/C++ software development on any Arm-based SoC, featuring editor, compilers, debugger, and system profiler. This set of tools helps make sure your critical software works efficiently and reliably.

SDK-100 System Design Kit

SDK-100 System Design Kit

The Arm SDK-100 System Design Kit helps you get your system to market even faster, with pre-verified modifiable subsystems that pre-integrate the processor and foundation system components.


Take a fast, simple, no-risk route to proven IP for custom silicon
success. DesignStart allows you to create a custom SoC with
Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors and system IP, with
a success-based royalty model and no upfront license fee.

Learn More
Architecture and Technologies
A Foundation of Silicon Success  

Arm-based chips, device architectures, and technologies orchestrate the performance of everything that makes modern life possible — from smartphones to agricultural sensors and from medical instruments to servers.

Cortex-M3 Resources

Everything you need to know to make the right decision for your project. Includes technical documentation, industry insights, and where to go for expert advice.





Industry News

Visit Arm Developer

emberlight is an attachment that screws into an existing light fitting
and can be used with any dimmable bulb. It connects directly to a
home’s wireless network, which allows control through a smartphone

Learn More