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ARM extends unmatched real-time Cortex processor line-up

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

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.

Eric Schorn, VP Processor Marketing, ARM, said:

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. 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.

Source: ARM

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