ARM links and resources

This page is dedicated to collect information on the ARM 32-bit RISC processor family.

A brief history

ARM is a medium-sized English company situated in Cambridge. It's main product line is the ARM 32-bit RISC processor core family. These are IP cores, meaning no chip is manufactured by ARM itself. Instead thay license their technology to silicon vendors who turn their design into actual chips. They often integrate other things on the chip like memory, cache, peripherials.

Most of current products based mainly on the ARM7 or ARM7TDMI core. More and more new chips come out with the ARM9 or ARM9TMDI core. I haven't seen any silicons built around the ARM10 core but they will show up probably soon.

There is another strange branch of the ARM family: the StrongARM. It was first developed by Digital (licensing only the instruction-set from ARM) and recently acquired by Intel.

ARM processors excels in power cosumtion and thus basically used for protable, battery-powered products. The introduction of the THUMB instruction-set (available in the TDMI cores) provides best-in-class code density. That's another advantage for portable application where memory size is a critical factor.

Chips

If you planning to build something around ARM CPU-s, the following verdors provides you with high quality integrated solutions:

There are others too but chips from these vendors are actually available for non-OEM use. If you know of any other companys, please let me know!

Development tools

The ARM processors are supported by the GNU C/C++ compiler in both 32-bit, and 16-bit THUMB mode. I've prepared pre-compiled versions of the GNU compiler version 3.3.1 and 3.4.0 for the ARM targets with some additional support packages. These are available here: DOWNLOAD. The Microsoft Visual C++ embedded edition can also generate code for the ARM cores. ARM has it's own development system, too. In-circuit emulators and debugging environments completes the picture.

OS support

There's a wide range of OS support for the ARM processors. The eCos embedded development environment from Cygnus (alias RedHat) supports ARM cores especialy the Maverick series from Cirrus Logic. The Linux operating system was also ported to ARM platform and many other commercialy available RTOSes support ARM processors. ARM is one of the platforms supported by WindowsCE. QNX and Symbian are also available for this target.

Other ARM-related sites

There are several pages devoted to ARM based design or ARM related information. Here are some of them:
© 2004 Andras Tantos