The ARM Cortex-R5 MPCore and the Cortex-R7 MPCore processors have been launched for use in 3G and 4G mobile baseband, mass storage, automotive and industrial markets. A roadmap for the Cortex R-Series processors also enables ARM's customers to future-proof their designs based on a single consistent architecture.
ARM says the real-time features of the two new Cortex-R series processors are particularly suited to advanced mobile baseband applications, such as LTE and LTE-Advanced, and includes support for high frequency interrupts along with fast and deterministic control of data transmission between cellular base-stations and mobile devices.
For HDD and SSD mass storage systems the Cortex-R series processors provide a balance between processor performance, reliability and real-time response, along with ease of development and advanced CoreSight debug to support current and future system chip architectures.
For embedded applications requiring high performance combined with high reliability such industrial, automotive and medical, the processors provide a suite of safety-critical features, including both soft and hard error management, redundant dual-core systems using two processors in lock-step, and error correcting codes (ECC) on all external buses.
Both the Cortex-R5 MPCore and Cortex-R7 MPCore processors can be implemented as either single or dual cores. However, the Cortex-R7 MPCore processor features proven SMP multicore technology, including new real-time enhancements, enabling performance scalability and energy efficiency to be optimized for the intended application.
The binary compatibility of the Cortex-R series processors enables system designers to select the processor and features most appropriate for their current application. It also provides them with the security of a migration path as existing designs develop, while preserving significant software investment. In mobile baseband this will enable developers to transition from current ARM processor-based solutions, which power over 90 percent of current 3G baseband products, to the Cortex-R5 processor for LTE, and on to the Cortex-R7 processor for future LTE-Advanced designs.
As performance requirements increase, the scalable roadmap also provides mass storage device developers with a migration path, as they address issues associated with the demand for higher capacity and faster data rates in hard drive controllers.
The Cortex-R processor technology
The Cortex-R5 processor extends the feature set of the Cortex-R4 processor to enable higher levels of system performance, increased efficiency and reliability, and enhanced error management in dependable real-time systems. These system-level features include a high priority low-latency peripheral port (LLPP) for fast peripheral reads and writes, and an Accelerator Coherency Port (ACP) providing cache coherency for increased data transfer efficiency and more reliable firmware.
New technology in the cores includes out-of-order execution, dynamic register renaming combined with improved branch prediction, superscalar execution and faster hardware support for divide, floating point and other functions.
Both processors are available for licensing today and four tier one licensees in the mass storage, automotive and mobile baseband markets already have designs underway.