In March ARM introduced its Cortex-M1 processor, the first ARM soft-core designed from the ground up specifically for FPGAs, and announced Actel Corp. as its lead FPGA partner. Now, ARM is announcing its second FPGA partner with the ARM Cortex-M1 Development Kit, a complete ARM design solution optimized for Altera's Cyclone III FPGAs. The Cortex-M1 has been integrated into Altera's Quartus II design software and the core is configurable as a component in Altera's SOPC Builder tool. The kit also includes the RealView Microcontroller tool chain for ARM code development.
The Cortex-M1 is a 32-bit, 3-stage, RISC processor designed as a low-cost, flexible solution for embedded designers working with FPGAs. It features the Thumb-2 16/32-bit instruction set— with predominantly 16-bit instructions for code density— and is object code compatible with ARM7TDMI (ARM7) processors. The core has been optimized for use with Cyclone III FPGAs and achieves a clock rate of 100 MHz—Cortex-M1 clock rates for FPGAs other than Cyclone III range from 70-200 MHz.
The existing base of ARM developers is huge. With the Cortex-M1 Development Kit, ARM aims to give developers already familiar with ARM development tools the flexibility to create low cost solutions for the growing number of embedded applications implemented on low-cost FPGAs like the Cyclone III.
The Cortex-M1 Development Kit will be commercially available in the United States and Europe in Q4 2007 through Arrow Electronics. Demonstrations of the Cortex-M1 Development Kit can be viewed at the ARM Developers' Conference in Santa Clara , Calif. , October 2-4. For further information about ARM solutions in FPGA visit http://www.arm.com/fpga.
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