ARM has unveiled a new 32-bit processor for embedded applications that is claimed to offer double the compute and digital signal processing (DSP) performance of existing products. It is targeting a variety of high-end applications, especially those involving the Internet of Things (IoT).
Available now to ARM licensees such as Atmel, Freescale and ST Microelectronics, the Cortex-M7 is likely to find its way into shipping devices by the end of 2015, according to the firm.
The processor is claimed by ARM as the highest-performance member of its energy-efficient Cortex-M processor family. It combines a six-stage superscalar pipeline, capable of delivering 2000 Coremarks at 400MHz, delivering high integer, floating point and DSP performance, ARM said.
It also features flexible system and memory interfaces including the Advanced eXtensible Interface (AXI) and Advanced High-performance Bus (AHB) to link with other hardware and peripherals.
"The addition of the Cortex-M7 processor to the Cortex-M series allows ARM and its partners to offer the most scalable and software-compatible solutions possible for the connected world," said Noel Hurley, general manager for ARM's CPU group.
With double the performance of today's most powerful ARM-based embedded designs, the Cortex-M7 is set to deliver a combination of high performance and digital signal control functionality that will enable ARM's silicon vendor partners to target demanding embedded applications while keeping development costs low.
Expected applications for chips based on the Cortex-M7 include motor control, industrial automation, advanced audio, image processing, connected vehicles and other applications involving the Internet of Things.
The new processor provides the same C-friendly programming model and is binary compatible with current Cortex-M processors, easing migration from any existing design to the new Cortex-M7, according to ARM.
Because of its software compatibility, the Cortex-M7 is also supported by third-party real-time operating systems (RTOS) and other software from vendors including Express Logic, FreeRTOS, IAR Systems, Atollic, DSP Concepts, Mentor Graphics, Micrium and Segger.
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