Cortex-R7 Processor

Cortex-R7 Processor Image (View Larger Cortex-R7 Processor Image)
The ARM® Cortex®-R7 processor provides a high-performance dual-core, real-time solution for a wide range of deeply embedded applications. The Cortex-R7 processor brings much higher levels of performance to the Cortex-R series of processors through the introduction of new technology including out-of-order instruction execution and dynamic register re-naming, combined with improved branch prediction, superscalar execution capability and faster hardware support for divide, DSP and floating point functions.

The Cortex-R7 processor is the highest performing Cortex-R series processor

The Cortex-R7 processor, designed for implementation on advanced silicon processes with an emphasis on improved energy efficiency, real-time responsiveness, advanced features and ease of system design.

The processor provides a flexible local memory system that supports Tightly Coupled Memory (TCM) local shared memory and a peripheral port, enabling SoC designers to reach demanding hard real time requirements within constrained silicon resources.

Summary of Cortex-R7 Key Features

  • 11-stage superscalar out-of-order pipeline:
    • Advanced dynamic and static branch prediction with loop instruction buffer
    • Dynamic register re-naming
    • Non-blocking Load-Store Unit
  • Flexible Multi-Processor Core (MPCore) configurations:
    • Lockstep configuration with redundant processor
    • Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP)
    • Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP)
  • Integrated GIC, Snoop Control Unit (SCU) and timers:
    • Quality of Service features
    • Full coherency support for SMP:
    • Hardware accelerated data cache operation with Tag RAM copies in SCU
  • Dedicated Low Latency Peripheral and Memory Ports for hard real-time work
  • Advanced error management and handling for safety-critical tasks
  • Flexible and configurable Floating Point Unit (FPU) (Optional)
  • CoreSight™ SoC Debug and Trace
  • Optional Embedded Trace Macrocell  ETMv4


Cortex-R7 Performance Power and Area

Processor area, frequency and power consumption are highly dependent on process, libraries and optimizations. The table below estimates a typical single processor implementation of the Cortex-R7 processor on mainstream high performance for mobile process technology (28nm HPM) with high-density, standard-performance cell libraries and 32KB instruction cache and 32KB data cache.

Single processor systems 28nm HPM
Maximum Clock frequency Above 1.5 GHz
Performance 2.50 / 2.90 / 3.77 DMIPS/MHz *
4.35 CoreMark/MHz
Total area (Including Core+RAM+Routing) From 0.33 mm2
Efficiency From 46 DMIPS/mW

* The first result abides by all of the 'ground rules' laid out in the Dhrystone documentation, the second permits inlining of functions (not just the permitted C string libraries) while the third additionally permits simultaneous multifile complilation. All are with the original (K&R) v2.1 of Dhrystone.


Cortex-R7 Processor



Microarchitecture Eleven-stage pipeline with instruction pre-fetch, branch prediction, superscalar and out of order execution and register renaming Parallel execution paths for load-store, MAC, shift-ALU, divide and floating-point 2.53 Dhrystone MIPS/MHz. Hardware divider Binary compatibility with the ARM9, ARM11, Cortex-R4 and Cortex-R5 embedded processors
Instruction Set ARMv7-R architecture with Thumb®-2 and Thumb. DSP extensions. Optional floating point unit.
Cache controllers Harvard memory architecture with optional integrated Instruction and Data cache controllers. Cache sizes configurable from 4 to 64 KB. Cache lines are write-through.
Tightly-Coupled Memories Optional Tightly-Coupled Memory interfaces. TCMs are for highly deterministic or low-latency applications that may not respond well to caching, e.g. instruction code for interrupt service routines and data that requires intense processing. Instruction and/or data TCMs. TCM size can be up to 128 KB.
Interrupt interface Standard interrupt, IRQ, non-maskable fast interrupt, and FIQ inputs are provided together with a fully integrated Generic Interrupt Controller (GIC) supporting complex priority-based interrupt handling. The processor includes low-latency interrupt technology that allows long multi-cycle instructions to interrupted and restarted. Deferral of lengthy memory accesses occurs in certain circumstances. Worst-case interrupt response can be as low as 20-cycles.
Memory Protection Unit Optional MPU configures attributes for sixteen regions, each with resolution down to 32 Bytes. Regions can overlap, and the highest numbered region has highest priority.
Floating Point Unit Optional Floating Point Unit (FPU) implements the ARM Vector Floating Point architecture VFPv3 with 16 double-precision registers, compliant with IEEE754. There is support for two FPU options: either a single precision-only or both single and double precision. The FPU performance is optimized for both single and double precision calculations. Operations include add, subtract, multiply, divide, multiply and accumulate, square root, conversions between fixed and floating-point, and floating-point constant instructions.
ECC Optional single-bit error correction and two-bit error detection for cache and/or TCM memories and all interfaces with ECC bits. Single-bit soft errors are automatically corrected by the processor. In addition full and flexible support for managing hard errors.
Master AMBA AXI bus 64-bit AMBA® AXI bus master for Level-2 memory and peripheral access.
Low latency memory port A 64-bit AMBA AXI master port designed specifically to connect to local memory. This local memory provides many of the benefits of TCM and in addition can be slower and lower power and also easily shared between coherent peripherals and the one or two Cortex-R7 processor cores.
Low Latency Peripheral Port (LLPP) A dedicated 32-bit AMBA AXI port to integrate latency-sensitive peripherals more tightly with the processor.
Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP) A 64-bit AMBA AXI slave port to enable for coherency between the processor(s) and external intelligent peripherals such as DMA controllers, Ethernet or Flexray interfaces.
Slave AXI bus Optional 64-bit AMBA AXI bus slave port allows DMA masters to access the TCMs for high speed streaming of data in and out of the processor.
Debug Debug Access Port is provided. Its functionality can be extended using CoreSight SoC-400.
Trace An interface suitable for connection to CoreSight Embedded Trace Module is present.
Dual core lock step support A redundant Cortex-R7 CPU in lock step has support for fault tolerant/fault detecting dependable systems. Configuration Synthesizable Verilog RTL with facility to configure options for synthesis.

ARM System IP, Development Tools and Physical IP provide a complete implementation of Cortex-R7 processor-based systems.

CoreLink™ and CoreSight™ System IP

NIC-400 Configurable hierarchic low latency interconnect for AMBA 3 AXI, AHB-Lite and APB components. Configurations can range from a single bridge component, such as an AHB to AXI protocol bridge, to a large infrastructure of 128 masters and 64 slaves in combinations of different AMBA protocols.
QOS-400 Added to NIC-400 to minimize average latency and guarantee worst-case latency and bandwidth of critical interfaces such as DDR memory.
DMC-34x Dynamic memory controllers providing highly efficient interfaces to DRAM by leveraging AXI interconnect features to optimize memory request scheduling and using built-in Quality of Service controls to manage the initiator's latency and bandwidth requirements. Memory types supported include SDR, DDR, LPDDR (Mobile DDR), eDRAM, DDR2 and LPDDR2 (Mobile DDR2).
SMC-35x Static memory controllers interface AXI interconnects to a range of non-volatile memories with highly configurable parameters. Memory types supported include SRAM, NAND Flash and NOR Flash.
L2C-310 Level-2 cache controller designed to boost performance while reducing overall traffic to system memory and therefore SoC energy consumption. Reducing demands on off-chip memory bandwidth frees up resources for other masters.
DMA-330 A highly flexible micro-programmable Direct Memory Access controller for high-end high-performance energy-efficient AMBA AXI-based processing systems.
PL192 An AMBA AHB advanced Vectored Interrupt Controller (VIC) supporting up to 32 vectored interrupts with programmable priority level and masking.
GIC400 An AMBA AHB and AXI scalable, configurable, low gate count Interrupt Controller that stores vector addresses in memory. Options include multi-processor and TrustZone support.
ETM-R7 The Embedded Trace Macrocell provides real-time instruction and data trace and configured to capture information before and after a specified sequence of events with the processor at full speed.
CoreSight SoC-400 A comprehensive debug & trace design tool consisting of the CoreSight SoC components (Debug Access Port, Cross-Trigger logic, Trace Interfaces etc.) together with a design and verification environment for fast and powerful system design and implementation.

Development Tools for Cortex-R7

ARM DS-5 Development Studio, as well as a wide range of third party tools, operating systems and EDA flows fully support all Cortex-R processors. ARM DS-5 software development tools are unique in their ability to provide solutions that take full advantage of the complete ARM technology portfolio. Tools specific to Cortex-R7 are:

ARM DS-5 ARM Compiler 5 with Thumb-2 optimized for Cortex-R7.  JTAG debug and ETM trace support.
Fast Models With ARM Fast Models, software development can begin prior to silicon availability. These extensively validated programmer’s view models provide access to ARM-based systems suitable for early software development.
Versatile Express The Versatile Express family of development platforms provides the right environment for prototyping the next generation of system-on-chip designs.
Soft Macrocell Model A Soft Macrocell Model (SMM) is an FPGA implementation of an ARM processor, built with ARM development boards

Physical IP

ARM optimized Physical IP platforms for best-in-class implementations of Cortex-R7 on leading semiconductor process technologies.

Standard cell logic libraries Available in a variety of different architectures, ARM Standard Cell Libraries support a wide performance range for all types of SoC designs. Designers can choose between different libraries and optimize their designs for speed, power and/or area.
Memory compilers and registers A broad array of silicon proven SRAM, Register File and ROM memory compilers for all types of SoC designs ranging from performance critical to cost sensitive and low power applications.
Interface IP A broad portfolio of silicon-proven Interface IP designed to meet varying system architectures and standards. General Purpose I/O, Specialty I/O, High Speed DDR and Serial Interfaces optimized to deliver high data throughput performance with low pin counts.



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