Processors Image
ARM is the industry's leading supplier of microprocessor technology, offering the widest range of microprocessor cores to address the performance, power and cost requirements for almost all application markets. Combining a vibrant ecosystem with over 1,000 partners delivering silicon, development tools and software, and more than 50 billion processors sold, ARM truly is “The Architecture for the Digital World®".

Download the ARM Cortex Processors Public Portfolio


Cortex Infographic Overview

ARM Cortex Application Processors
  • Cortex-A Series- High performance processors for feature rich Operating Systems 

All of our Cortex-A processors deliver exceptional 32-bit performance for high-end computing, with the new Cortex-A57 and Cortex-A53 processors delivering combined 32-bit and 64-bit performance, enabling next-generation mobile, networking and server products. The processors are available in single-core and multi-core varieties, delivering up to four processing units with the ability to integrate NEON™ multimedia processing blocks and advanced Floating Point execution units.

Applications include:

ARM Cortex Real-time Embedded Processors

Cortex Real-time Embedded processors have been developed for deeply embedded real-time applications where the need for low power and good interrupt behaviour are balanced with exceptional performance and strong compatibility with existing platforms.

Applications include:
  • Automotive braking systems
  • Powertrain solutions
  • Mass storage controller
  • Networking & Printing
ARM Cortex Embedded Processors
  • Cortex-M Series - Cost-sensitive solutions for deterministic microcontroller applications

Cortex-M series processors have been developed primarily for the microcontroller domain where the need for fast, highly deterministic, interrupt management is coupled with the desire for extremely low gate count and lowest possible power consumption.

Applications include:

ARM Specialist Processors

ARM Specialist Processors are designed to meet the demanding needs of specific markets. SecurCore processors are utilized within the security markets for mobile SIMs and identification applications and integrate numerous technologies to detect and avoid security attacks while delivering outstanding performance.

ARM also develops processors for FPGA fabrics, enabling users to rapidly reach market while maintaining compatibility with traditional ARM devices. Additionally the fabric independent nature of these processors enables developers to choose the target device which is right for their application rather than be locked to a specific vendor.

Cortex-A infographic

ARM Application Processors

Application Processors are defined by the processor's ability to execute complex operating systems, including Linux, Android, Chrome OS, Tizen, Microsoft Windows (CE/Embedded) and others. This class of processors integrates a Memory Management Unit (MMU) to manage the memory requirements of complex OSs and enable the download and execution of third party software.

Applications for this class of processor include:

A wide choice of application processors is available enabling partners to choose the solution that fits the specific criteria of their application based on desired performance, die area, size, dynamic and static power, and other considerations. All of these processors are binary compatible enabling the development of highly portable applications that, by promoting code reuse, can significantly reduce engineering costs, and speed applications to market.

Single and multicore processors, such as the Cortex-A5, Cortex-A7, Cortex-A9, Cortex-A15, Cortex-A17, Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors deliver extended performance and scalability by enabling up to four cores to be implemented in a single symmetric or asymmetric system, alongside a global interrupt handler and snoop control units. The Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors extend the performance of the Cortex-A series with the ability to execute 64-bit instructions as well as maintaining backwards compatibility to 32-bit instructions.


The performance and energy efficiency of ARM Cortex-A series processors is enhanced by ARM big.LITTLE technology. By pairing a high-performance processor with an energy-efficient processor, tasks are instantaneously migrated between them, ensuring that the right processor is selected for the right job. Current big.LITTLE configurations pair the Cortex-A7 with either the Cortex-A15 or Cortex-A17 processors, and the Cortex-A53 with the Cortex-A57 processor.

Cortex-R infographic

ARM Embedded Real-time Processors

Embedded Real-time processors are primarily focused on delivering highly deterministic real-time behavior in a wide range of power sensitive applications. These processors often execute a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) alongside user-developed application code requiring only a Memory Protection Unit (MPU) as opposed to the MMU available in the Application Processors.

Applications for this class of processors include:

  • Automotive Control Systems
  • Wireless and Wired Sensor Networks
  • Wireless basestation infrastructure
  • Mass Storage Controllers
  • Printers
  • Network Devices

A wide choice of embedded processors is available enabling Partners to choose the solution that fits the specific criteria of their application based on desired performance, determinacy, die area, size, dynamic and static power, and other considerations. The Cortex-R processor series delivers a roadmap of processors from the single core Cortex-R4, to the Cortex-R5 and Cortex-R7 processors, enabling existing applications to be easily ported to a higher performance platform as application demands progress.

Cortex-M infographic

ARM Embedded Processors

Cortex-M processors are the optimal solution for low-power embedded computing applications. The 32-bit Cortex-M processor family is the key to transforming all sorts of embedded systems into smart and connected systems. Often provided as a “black box” with pre-loaded applications, they have limited capability to expand hardware functionality and in most cases no screen.  

Applications for this class of processors include:

  • Merchant MCUs
  • Automotive Control Systems
  • Motor Control Systems
  • White Goods controllers
  • Smart Meters
  • Sensors
  • Internet of Things

The Cortex-M processor series has been designed to deliver industry-leading deterministic behavior, lowest sleep and dynamic power, and smallest area possible while maintaining high processing efficiency. The series comprises of Cortex-M0+ procesor for ultra-low-power performance, the low power Cortex-M0, the general purpose Cortex-M3 processor, and Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M7 processors for digital Signal control applications.

SecurCore processors

ARM Secure Processors

SecurCore applications include:

  • SIMs
  • Smart Cards
  • Advanced Payment Systems
  • Electronic Passports
  • Electronic Ticketing
  • Transportation

A number of SecurCore™ processors are available enabling Partners to choose the solution that fits the specific criteria of their application based on desired performance, die area, size, dynamic and static power, and other considerations. The SC000™ processor is based on the ultra-low-power Cortex-M0 processor. The SC100™ processor is based on the popular ARM7TDMI® processor. The SC300™ is based on the modern Cortex-M3 processor, making it ideal for interrupt driven and power sensitive applications. 



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