Connectivity & Modem

ARM is the world’s leading provider of physical semiconductor intellectual property (IP) for the design of complex System on Chip (SoC) integrated circuits. ARM is at the heart of wireless connectivity solutions with over 90% market share in cellular and a market leading position in Bluetooth. ARM's processors and Physical IP platforms, which consist of Logic IPEmbedded Memory IP and Interface IP that are optimized for a specific foundry process, combine to deliver the real time performance, small code size and efficient protocol stack code.  
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Optimized ARM Connectivity Block Diagram


From Zigbee to LTE-A, ARM provides solutions that match the processing requirements of the standard with energy efficient Processors, System IPPhysical IP and development tools. Since debug and test is such a large part of getting a wireless modem to market ARM Trace and debug solutions play a significant role in development. ARM DS-5 Development Studio provides a complete set of software tools, including the ARM compiler, DS-5 debugger and Streamline performance analyzer to build efficient code with unparalleled code density. As many modems are now targeting Thumb-2 ISA, it has become increasingly important to select the latest ARM compiler and debug tools. From small controllers buried in the Layer 1 logic replacing state machines to highly efficient controllers capable of running a LTE-A protocol stack, ARM has the right solution.


LTE and LTE-A provide high data rates and need fast control. Talk to our FAE team about Cortex-R4 and the roadmap for modem processors. Small cores such as Cortex-M0Cortex-M3 and ARM968E can provide additional flexible processing for Layer1 without increasing silicon cost. To keep system frequencies low, multiple controllers can be used and debugged using Coresight.


Highly efficient processors such as Cortex-R4 and ARM1156T2 can reduce frequency and enable use of low leakage cells and lower system voltage. By using advanced controllers, savings in power and die area can be made. Further improvements in power, performance and area, made in careful selection of cell library to balance the performance required with low leakage and minimum area memories and logic.Bluetooth & Zigbee

Cortex-M3 provides an excellent match to requirements for connectivity standards. The efficiency gains of a modern controller, using Thumb-2 and fast interrupt handling means reduced system frequencies with consequent reductions in power. Small code size assists in keeping costs down and in hosted systems, even smaller Cortex-M0 solutions are possible.

  • The ARM Cortex-R4 real-time processor provides class-leading power efficiency for the increasingly complex modem control code used to implement LTE, HSPA, UMTS and GSM/GPRS modems
  • The Cortex-M0 processor, ARM smallest processor, is an ideal controller for state machine replacement in Layer1
  • The Cortex-M3 is an excellent choice for scheduler and interrupt  handler
  • ARM AMBA Interconnect maximizes the ARM CPU performance by providing a low-latency path to memory whilst its QoS (quality-of-service) feature guarantees operation of real-time blocks like the modem and LCD controller
  • The ARM PrimeCell M-DDR and LP-DDR2 memory controllers provide the bandwidth for sophisticated graphics and video and the performance for today’s high-performance CPUs at low-enough power to enable days of battery-life
  • The ARM Physical IP DDR PHY enables robust off-chip memory interface performance at high clock-speed
  • Physical IP Memory Compilers create the dozens of on-chip memories typical of today’s complex system-on-chip designs
  • Physical IP Standard Cell libraries are available on technology nodes down to 28nm and a wide range of foundries including Common Platform, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and TSMC.
  • Coresight debug offers the ability to see into complex multicore systems and analyze what is going on helping you to get to market quickly.

There is a huge community of designers who have selected ARM for their connectivity project.   If you have access to a recent ARM processor we suggest you consider Thumb-2 ISA to get 32-bit performance with 16-bit code size.





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