There are a number of the thesaurus alternatives for the word ‘plus’ (try it). You will find adjectives including desirable; positive; advantageous and good, nouns including advantage; bonus; benefit; good thing and boon. With the possible exception of the last, all are very good alternatives to the plain old ‘plus’ but could possibly have caused headaches for the ARM branding department when coming up with a name for the new CortexTM-M series processor. Imagine the ARM Cortex-M0 Good Thing processor!
So for the sake of simplicity ARM settled for the Cortex-M0+ processor. Despite the simple name the new processor features a number of ground-breaking ‘good things’ which promise to enable many new opportunities for ARM and our Partners, including the Internet of Things.
Enabling the Internet of Things
Much has been spoken and written about the Internet of Things (also known as M2M or Industrial Internet) and how it will revolutionize the way in which we interact with objects around us, and vice versa. The benefits of low-power smart sensors and devices which are able to communicate seamlessly with one another through distributed sensor and control nodes, are vast. They have the potential to deliver a range of energy-saving and life-enhancing applications from sensors; to wirelessly analyze the performance and control of domestic or industrial buildings and devices; to battery-operated body sensors wirelessly connected to health monitoring equipment.
One of the gating factors holding back the Internet of Things revolution has been the lack of intelligent, ultra low power, low-cost MCUs. These are needed to be integrated into these intelligent sensors and smart control systems across a broad range of applications including home appliances, white goods, medical monitoring, e-metering, lighting and power and motor control devices.
The Cortex-M0 Good Thing, sorry the Cortex-M0+ processor provides developers with the ability to create just such intelligent, ultra low power MCUs.
Third of the energy and higher performance than 8- or 16-bit processors
But it is not just in the Internet of Things that the new low power processor promises opportunities for the industry. The Cortex-M0+ consumes around a third of the energy of any 8- or 16-bit processor on the market today with higher performance and an equivalent footprint, effectively removing the justification for beginning a new design on an 8- or 16-bit processor.
Getting developers up and running faster
ARM has begun to focus on assisting those developers not familiar with 32-bit or ARM to migrate their next design projects. Products such as the Cortex-M System Design Kit enable chip designers who are integrating ARM Cortex-M processors for the first time to get to silicon faster, and DesignStart implementations of the Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors, available through DesignStart, the world's premier IP access portal containing comprehensive online access to ARM IP are just two examples.
The new processor has been licensed by Freescale and NXP. Watch the video interviews with Freescale and NXP below.
Freescale promises to have working silicon available by the end of March and will be demoing their Cortex-M0+ core at the Design West event in San Jose on March 27th!
The Cortex-M series processors have seen enormous growth since the first Cortex-M3 processor was launched in 2004. It appears that the embedded industry has agreed that the Cortex-M architecture is a very good thing.
Alan Tringham, Senior Corporate Marketing Manager, ARM, Since joining ARM in 2000 Alan has been responsible for marketing communications for the company’s processor division, and more recently its expansion into the embedded space where the ARM processor architecture, and its growing number of supporters, looks poised to consolidate the market.
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