Arm DesignStart Program Expands With Fast Access to Cortex-A5 CPU


The program now provides fast, easy access to the Cortex-A5 processor through a web portal and a simplified contract, speeding up time to market

Acknowledging  developer community’s request, Arm Technology has expanded its DesignStart program to include Cortex-A5 – its lowest-power, Linux-capable application processor – to help them deliver advanced designs at the lowest cost in the fastest time possible.

With the addition of Cortex-A5 to the program, developers can now accelerate rich-featured embedded and IoT SoC design for applications including medical, smart home, gateways and wearables.

The Cortex-A5 package in DesignStart includes flexible system IP for area and power-optimized SoC development.

The program provides the lowest-cost route to Linux-capable SoCs through the combination of affordable IP, and access to the wide array of middleware and applications that run on Arm.

“We are taking the program to the next level with the Cortex-A5 – a high-performance, feature-rich processor shipped in over two billion devices to date and chosen by top cloud vendors as the entry point for edge IoT processing,” the company said.

The DesignStart program now provides fast, easy access to the Cortex-A5 processor through a web portal and a simplified contract, speeding up time to market. Its small footprint (<0.3mm when implemented on a 40nm process) and ultra-high efficiency (~100uW/MHz active power when implemented on a 40nm process) allows for reduced fabrication costs and the lowest idle power among Cortex-A CPUs.

It offers between 70% and 80% of the performance of Cortex-A7, Cortex-A9, and Cortex-A32 processors.  It can be configured as a fully coherent quad-core design with advanced SIMD data processing, and a high-performance accelerator port for fast connection to machine learning or other custom processors.

Other benefits of including Cortex-A5

The Cortex-A5 will also enable advanced machine learning applications with Arm’s Neural Network inference engine, which is part of Linaro’s Machine Learning Initiative, providing wide ecosystem support.

In addition to this, Arm’s recently launched Mbed Linux OS, which builds on Mbed OS solution – the leading IoT platform OS with more than 350,000 developers. This enables secure and rapid development and device management through the Pelion IoT Platform of IoT devices based on Cortex-A for the first time.

Earlier this month, Arm had announced that DesignStart is offering Cortex-M processors without any license fee or royalty on Xilinx FPGAs.

By expanding the program to offer Cortex-A5, the company hopes to support innovation across the entire design spectrum of embedded and IoT devices, catering to the diverse requirements of this dynamic market.