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  Date: 27/10/2016

ARM launches Cortex-M23 and M33 cores for secured cloud based IoT with

Secure processing and cloud connectivity trends drive IOT design. The main piece of IoT that need to support secure processing and cloud connectivity is the processor core. ARM has launched new processor cores for embedded microcontroller chips with focus on security and cloud connectivity.

ARM has added two new Microcontroller IP to its family of ARM Cortex -M Series to target cloud connected secure IoT market. The two added products are ARM Cortex-M23 and Cortex-M33. They are the first embedded processors based on the ARMv8-M architecture. The ARMv8-M architecture adds fast and simpler hardware based security extensions with ARM TrustZone. Memory protection, separation of secure code, providing access to secure memory and I/O only to trusted software only, are some of the features of ARMv8-M architecture.

ARM has said the majority of microcontroller makers have already licensed one or both of these processors . Analog Devices, Microchip, Nuvoton, NXP semiconductors, Renesas, Silicon Labs and STMicroelectronics are the companies who said to have licensed these cores. The ARM Cortex-M33 is designed to be versatile with lot of configuration features such as coprocessor interface, Digital Signal Processor and floating point computation.

"As IoT technologies become more pervasive, it is time for a complete solution that secures data from the sensor to the service," said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups, ARM. "ARM partners shipped a record 15 billion chips last year, many destined for smart embedded applications. The IoT already runs on ARM but the goal now is scale, which we are enabling today through a uniquely comprehensive set of technologies and services built to work together seamlessly."

The Cortex-M23 offers high performance and efficiency compared to Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4, according to ARM.

The ARM Cortex M23 basically takes security to the next level further from what has been offered in CortexM-0+.Cortex-M23 takes much space on silicon.

The both new Cortex M processors are backward compatible with ARMv6-M and ARMv7-M architectures for direct and fast porting, accelerating product development.

ARM is also offering ARM system IP; ARM CoreLink SIE-200, which is already licensed by many of its partners. ARM CoreLink SIE-200 provides interconnects and controllers that extend TrustZone to the systems. The ARM CoreLink SSE-200 IoT subsystem is offered to bring down design time by 6-12 months by integrating Cortex-M33, CryptoCell and Cordio radio along with software drivers, secure libraries, protocol stack and mbed OS.

To support enhanced connectivity in IoT, ARM is offering ARM Cordio radio IP with Bluetooth 5 and 802.15.4-based standards ZigBee and Thread. The Cordio architecture supports ARM and third-party RF. The Bluetooth 5 allows faster data rates and extends a range within existing ultra-low-power envelops. The 802.15.4 ensures compatibility within the expanding ZigBee and Thread device market.

Bluetooth and 802.15.4 based standards can be implemented individually or together. On the physical implementation side, ARM is offering Artisan IoT POP IP which is available for TSMC 40ULP process technology. ARM Artisan IoT POP IP can enable low-power designs optimized for IoT. These IPs offers logic and memory architecture to increase the performance while keeping the footprint and the dynamic power less. This IPs seamlessly work with Cortex-M33 and integrate with CoreLink SSE-200 IoT subsystem.

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