ARM Cortex-M4 core MCUs


ARM Cortex-M4 core MCUs

NXP’s new Digital Signal Control (DSC) processors, based on the ARM® Cortex™-M4 microcontroller core, bring high-performance signal processing capabilities within the reach of the typical MCU programmer. These new DSC processors combine the industry leading MCU capabilities of the Cortex-M family with specialized DSP instructions and capabilities including:

  • Single-cycle, Multiply-ACcumulate (MAC) instructions,
  • Optimized, Single-Instruction, Multiple-Data (SIMD) instructions,
  • Saturated, arithmetic instructions, and
  • A single-precision Floating Point Unit (FPU)

NXP was a lead licensee of the Cortex-M4 and the first manufacturer to show working silicon at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Silicon Valley in April, 2010.

NXP’s Cortex-M4 MCUs specifically address digital-signal-control markets that demand an efficient, easy-to-use blend of control and signal processing capabilities. These products are an ideal single-chip solution for applications such as motor control, power conversion, audio, and communications. These DSC processors offer a high level of system integration, reducing system design cost and complexity, while simplifying the design cycle using a single tool chain. Additionally, our Cortex-M4 based-products will be upwardly code compatible from existing Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M0 processors.

Key Features and Benefits

The ARM Cortex-M4 processor offers significant benefits to system and software developers:

  • Thumb-2 technology
  • DSP and SIMD extensions
  • Single-cycle MAC (up to 32 x 32 + 64 -> 64)
  • Single-precision FPU
  • Integrated, configurable NVIC
  • Compatible with Cortex-M3
  • Configurable for ultra-low power including Deep Sleep Mode and Wakeup Interrupt Controller

The NXP Cortex-M4 family will be an important part of NXP’s High Performance Mixed Signal portfolio, providing embedded system designers with easy-to-program 32-bit DSCs which are code- and tool-compatible with other NXP ARM-based MCU products. Implemented using an ultra low-leakage 90-nm process technology, the family will be the most energy efficient 32-bit embedded processors for digital signal controllers. NXP’s Cortex-M4 processor-based family is planned to be introduced to the broad market at end of 2010.