New Thumb-2 extensions for the ARM architecture blend 16- and 32-bit instructions to enable higher performance, greater energy efficiency and lower memory costs
CAMBRIDGE, UK – June 16, 2003 – ARM [(LSE:ARM) (Nasdaq:ARMHY)], the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions, today introduced at Embedded Processor Forum, San Jose, Calif., Thumb®-2 core technology, a new instruction set for the ARM® architecture, which provides enhanced levels of performance, energy efficiency, and code density for a wide range of embedded applications. Thumb-2 core technology builds upon the existing ARM instruction set architecture, maintaining full compatibility with existing software investments and development toolchains.
"The ARM architecture has been widely adopted in the embedded market and is now the market leader in 32-bit unit shipments," said Tony Massimini, chief of Technology, Semico Research. "The ARM Thumb-2 core technology raises the bar in terms of code density and performance optimization. With this new technology, ARM offers its Partners strong growth potential in cost critical embedded applications."
The new Thumb-2 core technology is built on the foundation of ARM's industry leading Thumb code compression technology, retaining all of the exceptional compact code qualities and complete code compatibility with existing ARM solutions, while providing increased performance and energy efficiency from compact code. Thumb-2 is a new blended instruction set combining both 16-bit and 32-bit instructions designed to deliver the best balance of density and performance enabling new embedded and mobile devices that support feature-rich applications with longer battery life.
"Performance, energy efficiency, and memory footprint are the most important considerations for designers of embedded systems, such as automotive, and mass storage applications, and especially for portable applications such as mobile phones and PDAs," said Richard Phelan, Embedded CPU manager, ARM. "One of the most difficult challenges in embedded software system design is the trade-off between code density, features and performance, which all have an effect on system energy consumption. Thumb-2 core technology gives the developer the optimum balance of code density and performance, providing system designers with the freedom to create an entirely new generation of power efficient, and feature rich embedded devices."
Thumb-2 core technology provides best in class code density for embedded software applications providing savings in overall memory costs. This is particularly significant for the high-speed memory close to the microprocessor core, efficient use of which is vital in high-performance systems where small savings in memory can result in large improvements in performance and power savings for the system.
"Thumb-2 core technology uses 26 percent less memory than pure 32-bit code to reduce system cost, and at the same time, Thumb-2 core technology delivers 25 percent better performance than 16-bit code alone enabling designers to save power by reducing clock speed. The benefits of Thumb 2 core technology are clear - it saves designers time and complexity, while delivering even better results," added Phelan.
The Thumb-2 core technology will be a component of future ARM cores currently in development.
ARM is the industry's leading provider of 16/32-bit embedded RISC microprocessor solutions. The company licenses its high-performance, low-cost, power-efficient RISC processors, peripherals, and system-chip designs to leading international electronics companies. ARM also provides comprehensive support required in developing a complete system. ARM's microprocessor cores are rapidly becoming a volume RISC standard in such markets as portable communications, hand-held computing, multimedia digital consumer and embedded solutions. More information on ARM is available at http://www.arm.com
ARM and Thumb are registered trademarks of ARM Limited. "ARM" is used to represent ARM Holdings plc (LSE: ARM and Nasdaq: ARMHY); its operating company ARM Limited; and the regional subsidiaries ARM INC; ARM KK; ARM Korea Ltd; ARM Taiwan; ARM France SAS; and ARM Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.