Home Products Documents links News Events Tech Info

Advanced RISC Machines announces
the ARM7 Technology High Performance
with ICE and DSP Extensions

Advanced RISC Machines Ltd. (ARM), the Cambridge, UK headquartered designer and licensor of high performance, low power consumption 32bit RISC microprocessors, has announced its next generation of core technology at the Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, California. The announcement comes just two years after the launch of the ARM6 technology, which has achieved considerable success in a number of emerging consumer markets.

In conjunction with its Semiconductor Partners, VLSI Technology, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, SHARP Corporation and Texas Instruments, ARM is announcing a family of products to be launched during 1993 and early 1994 based around the ARM7 architecture. The ARM7 RISC CPU offers the user higher performance and reduced power consumption as well as both 3V and 5V operation.

In addition the ARM7 offers system designers a range of optional architectural extensions to the CPU core which significantly improve the debugging of systems and digital signal processing (DSP) support.

Target markets for the ARM7 family include the emerging application areas found at the convergence of consumer, computing and communications electronics. Examples include PDAs, interactive multimedia, advanced cellular phones, smart cards, ATM, virtual reality, automotive control and global positioning by satellite.

In keeping with the "small is beautiful" philosophy of the ARM family, the compact ARM7 core contains just 35,610 transistors and measures 3.1mm x 1.9mm on a 0.8 micron 2-layer metal CMOS process. This offers users significant benefits in terms of ease of integration and low cost.

Running at 20MHz on a 3V supply, the ARM7 consumes just 33mW at 1pF load, and at 33MHz on a 5V supply it consumes 165mW at 1pF load, making it the lowest power consumption 32-bit RISC architecture available on the market. It offers over 53k Dhrystone 2.1 (55k Dhrystone 1.1) at the higher speed (33MHz) and voltage (5V) and over 31k Dhrystone 2.1 (33k Dhrystone 1.1) at the 3V, 20 MHz operation. The ARM7 design has extended ARM's lead in balancing the conflicting requirements of high performance, low power consumption and small size, making it an ideal choice for the target applications that require these criteria.

Additionally, the ARM7 core offers two extensions to meet the specific needs of particular users - embedded ICE (in-circuit emulation) capability and DSP functionality.

The ARM7D is a core extension to ease the process of debugging systems by solving the problem of how to connect an ICE to a deeply embedded CPU without the need for any additional system hardware. The ARM ICE solution incorporates the ARM7D and the ARM ICEbreakerTM and BlackICETM devices to give complete ICE functionality within a fully integrated software and hardware environment.

The ARM7DM offers, in addition to the ICE capability, DSP functions to enable users to run DSP-style applications at much higher speeds. Previously many DSP system designers adopted a dual processor approach - using both specialised DSP hardware as well as a general microprocessor for control purposes. The ARM7DM architecture combines both functions on a single device offering benefits in terms of cost, footprint and faster development cycle allowing rapid introduction of more competitive products.

ARM7 family members will be launched in the oncoming months by ARM's semiconductor partners with the first ARM7 based product, the ARM700, available today from GEC Plessey Semiconductors. The ARM700 microprocessor combines the ARM7 core with 8 kbytes of cache, a Memory Management Unit, Write Buffer and a Coprocessor Interface running at up to 33MHz clock operation.

Advanced RISC Machines Ltd (ARM) was founded in 1990 by Acorn Computers, Apple Computer and VLSI Technology. In April of 1993 Nippon Investment and Finance (NIF), a Daiwa Securities Company, became ARM's fourth investor. ARM designs and licenses high performance, low cost, low power consumption 32bit RISC processors for embedded control, computing, digital signal processing and portable applications. ARM also designs peripherals, supporting software and hardware tools. ARM has licensed its broad technology to four semiconductor manufacturers, (semiconductor product partners) VLSI Technology, GEC Plessey Semiconductors, Sharp Corporation and Texas Instruments. All manufacture and sell ARM products worldwide. ARM also provides design services, consultancy, feasibility studies, and training to its partners and key users of its technology. ARM's corporate goal is to become the volume RISC standard in the emerging market at the crossroads of communications, computing and consumer electronics.

* * * E N D S * * *

ARM, ARM Powered, ICEbreaker and BlackICE are trademarks of Advanced RISC Machines Ltd.

The above is a Press release from ARM Limited, 20/10/93