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NXP shows first Cortex-M0 silicon

Posted: 25 Mar 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Cortex-M0 processor  processor core  32bit processors  ARM tool chains 

NXP Semiconductors will present at next week's Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) what it claims is the first functional ARM Cortex-M0 silicon.

NXP plans to introduce the Cortex-M0 processor-based LPC1100 series at the beginning of 2010. The LPC1100 will target battery applications, e-metering, consumer peripherals, remote sensors and virtually all 16bit applications.

The processor core—announced late last month and previously codenamed Swift—has just 12,000 gates and has been designed specifically for low power consumption and could find many other applications, although ARM is by no means the first company to offer a low gate-count processor core.

While the Cortex-M0 core is behind the established Cortex-M3 core both in terms of performance and complexity, the reduced complexity is said to have the benefit of producing a low-cost and potentially very low-power implementation of the ARM 32bit processor architecture.

NXP said the demonstration at the ESC shows the Cortex-M0 processor's energy efficiency and dramatic code density improvement.

"The Cortex-M0 processor takes the complexity out of using 32bit processors. Customers can take full advantage of their existing ARM tool chains and preserve their software investment," said Geoff Lees, VP and general manager of the microcontroller division at NXP.

Lees added ARM and NXP are working together to offer free Cortex-M0 architecture and software training.

Mike Inglis, EVP and general manager of processors division at ARM, commented: "The introduction of the first Cortex-M0 processor silicon just weeks after its public release is a fantastic achievement by NXP."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

Get ARM-related application note from NXP Semiconductors here.

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