ARM Cortex



The ARM Cortex™-M3 processor, the first of the Cortex generation of processors released by the ARM in 2006, was primarily designed to target the 32-bit microcontroller market. The Cortex-M3 processor provides excellent performance at low gate count and comes with many new features previously available only in high-end processors.


The Cortex-M3 addresses the requirements for the 32-bit embedded processor market in the following ways:

Greater performance efficiency: allowing more work to be done without increasing the frequency or power requirements
Low power consumption: enabling longer battery life, especially critical in portable products including wireless networking applications

Enhanced determinism: guaranteeing that critical tasks and interrupts are serviced as quickly as possible and in a known number of cycles
Improved code density: ensuring that code fits in even the smallest memory footprints
Ease of use: providing easier programmability and debugging for the growing number of 8-bit and 16-bit users migrating to 32 bits
Lower cost solutions: reducing 32-bit-based system costs close to those of legacy 8-bit and 16-bit devices and enabling low-end, 32-bit microcontrollers to be priced at less than US$1 for the first time
Wide choice of development tools: from low-cost or free compilers to full-featured development suites from many development tool vendors

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