ARM9 is a group of older 32-bit RISC ARM processor cores licensed by ARM Holdings for microcontroller use.[1] The ARM9 core family consists of ARM9TDMI, ARM940T, ARM9E-S, ARM966E-S, ARM920T, ARM922T, ARM946E-S, ARM9EJ-S, ARM926EJ-S, ARM968E-S, ARM996HS. Since ARM9 cores were released from 1998 to 2006, they are no longer recommended for new IC designs, instead ARM Cortex-A, ARM Cortex-M , ARM Cortex-R cores are preferred.[1]

Designed byARM Holdings
Instruction setARM (32-bit),
Thumb (16-bit)
Instruction setARM (32-bit),
Thumb (16-bit)
Instruction setARM (32-bit),
Thumb (16-bit),
Jazelle (8-bit)


With this design generation, ARM moved from a von Neumann architecture (Princeton architecture) to a (modified; meaning split cache) Harvard architecture with separate instruction and data buses (and caches), significantly increasing its potential speed.[2] Most silicon chips integrating these cores will package them as modified Harvard architecture chips, combining the two address buses on the other side of separated CPU caches and tightly coupled memories.

There are two subfamilies, implementing different ARM architecture versions.

Differences from ARM7 cores

Key improvements over ARM7 cores, enabled by spending more transistors, include:[3]

  • Decreased heat production and lower overheating risk.
  • Clock frequency improvements. Shifting from a three-stage pipeline to a five-stage one lets the clock speed be approximately doubled, on the same silicon fabrication process.
  • Cycle count improvements. Many unmodified ARM7 binaries were measured as taking about 30% fewer cycles to execute on ARM9 cores. Key improvements include:
    • Faster loads and stores; many instructions now cost just one cycle. This is helped by both the modified Harvard architecture (reducing bus and cache contention) and the new pipeline stages.
    • Exposing pipeline interlocks, enabling compiler optimizations to reduce blockage between stages.

Additionally, some ARM9 cores incorporate "Enhanced DSP" instructions, such as a multiply-accumulate, to support more efficient implementations of digital signal processing algorithms.

Switching to from a von Neumann architecture entailed a non-unified cache, so that instruction fetches do not evict data (and vice versa). ARM9 cores have separate data and address bus signals, which chip designers use in various ways. In most cases they connect at least part of the address space in von Neumann style, used for both instructions and data, usually to an AHB interconnect connecting to a DRAM interface and an External Bus Interface usable with NOR flash memory. Such hybrids are no longer pure Harvard architecture processors.

ARM license

ARM Holdings neither manufactures nor sells CPU devices based on its own designs, but rather licenses the processor architecture to interested parties. ARM offers a variety of licensing terms, varying in cost and deliverables. To all licensees, ARM provides an integratable hardware description of the ARM core, as well as complete software development toolset and the right to sell manufactured silicon containing the ARM CPU.

Silicon customization

Integrated device manufacturers (IDM) receive the ARM Processor IP as synthesizable RTL (written in Verilog). In this form, they have the ability to perform architectural level optimizations and extensions. This allows the manufacturer to achieve custom design goals, such as higher clock speed, very low power consumption, instruction set extensions, optimizations for size, debug support, etc. To determine which components have been included in a particular ARM CPU chip, consult the manufacturer datasheet and related documentation.


Year ARM9 Cores
1998 ARM940T
1999 ARM9E-S
1999 ARM966E-S
2000 ARM920T
2000 ARM922T
2000 ARM946E-S
2001 ARM9EJ-S
2001 ARM926EJ-S
2004 ARM968E-S
2006 ARM996HS

The ARM MPCore family of multicore processors support software written using either the asymmetric (AMP) or symmetric (SMP) multiprocessor programming paradigms. For AMP development, each central processing unit within the MPCore may be viewed as an independent processor and as such can follow traditional single processor development strategies.[4]


ARM9TDMI is a successor to the popular ARM7TDMI core, and is also based on the ARMv4T architecture. Cores based on it support both 32-bit ARM and 16-bit Thumb instruction sets and include:

  • ARM920T with 16 KB each of I/D cache and an MMU
  • ARM922T with 8 KB each of I/D cache and an MMU
  • ARM940T with cache and a Memory Protection Unit (MPU)


ARM9E, and its ARM9EJ sibling, implement the basic ARM9TDMI pipeline, but add support for the ARMv5TE architecture, which includes some DSP-esque instruction set extensions. In addition, the multiplier unit width has been doubled, halving the time required for most multiplication operations. They support 32-bit, 16-bit, and sometimes 8-bit instruction sets.

  • ARM926EJ-S with ARM Jazelle technology, which enables the direct execution of 8-bit Java bytecode in hardware, and an MMU
  • ARM946
  • ARM966
  • ARM968


DSi pcb front
Nintendo DSi has a chip with an ARM9 and ARM7 core
Lego Mindstorms EV3 brick
Lego Mindstorms EV3 brick has an ARM9 TI Sitara AM1x
Unreferenced ARM9 core


The amount of documentation for all ARM chips is daunting, especially for newcomers. The documentation for microcontrollers from past decades would easily be inclusive in a single document, but as chips have evolved so has the documentation grown. The total documentation is especially hard to grasp for all ARM chips since it consists of documents from the IC manufacturer and documents from CPU core vendor (ARM Holdings).

A typical top-down documentation tree is: high-level marketing slides, datasheet for the exact physical chip, a detailed reference manual that describes common peripherals and other aspects of physical chips within the same series, reference manual for the exact ARM core processor within the chip, reference manual for the ARM architecture of the core which includes detailed description of all instruction sets.

Documentation tree (top to bottom)
  1. IC manufacturer marketing slides.
  2. IC manufacturer datasheets.
  3. IC manufacturer reference manuals.
  4. ARM core reference manuals.
  5. ARM architecture reference manuals.

IC manufacturer has additional documents, including: evaluation board user manuals, application notes, getting started with development software, software library documents, errata, and more.

See also


  1. ^ a b ARM9 Family Webpage; ARM Holdings.
  2. ^ Furber, Steve. ARM System-on-Chip Architecture. p. 344. ISBN 0201675196.
  3. ^ "Performance of the ARM9TDMI and ARM9E-S cores compared to the ARM7TDMI core", Issue 1.0, dated 9 February 2000, ARM Ltd.
  4. ^ "MPCore Sample Code". Archived from the original on 11 April 2015.
  5. ^ a b Atmel Legacy ARM-Based Solutions; Atmel.
  6. ^ SAM9G ARM9 Microcontrollers; Atmel.
  7. ^ SAM9M ARM9 Microcontrollers; Microchip.
  8. ^ SAM9N/CN ARM9 Microcontrollers; Atmel.
  9. ^ SAM9R/RL ARM9 Microcontrollers; Atmel.
  10. ^ SAM9X ARM9 Microcontrollers; Atmel.
  11. ^ SAM9XE ARM9 Microcontrollers; Atmel.
  12. ^ i.MX28 Applications Processors; NXP.
  13. ^ "LPC3100/200 Series: Arm9™-based microcontrollers|NXP". Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  14. ^
  15. ^ STR9 ARM9 Microcontrollers; STMicroelectronics.
  16. ^ "NS9210/NS9215 32-bit NET+ARM Processor Family" (PDF). Digi International.

External links

ARM9 official documents
Quick Reference Cards
  • Instructions: Thumb (1), ARM and Thumb-2 (2), Vector Floating Point (3)
  • Opcodes: Thumb (1, 2), ARM (3, 4), GNU Assembler Directives 5.

ARM11 is a group of older 32-bit RISC ARM processor cores licensed by ARM Holdings. The ARM11 core family consists of ARM1136J(F)-S, ARM1156T2(F)-S, ARM1176JZ(F)-S, and ARM11MPCore. Since ARM11 cores were released from 2002 to 2005, they are no longer recommended for new IC designs, instead ARM Cortex-A and ARM Cortex-R cores are preferred.


AT91CAP (AT91CAP Customizable Atmel Microcontrollers) is a family of Atmel microcontrollers based on the 32-bit RISC microprocessors from ARM. They include a block of metal-programmable logic gates (MP Block) that can be personalized by the application developer. The MP Block can contain one or more additional processor cores, additional peripherals or interfaces, or application-specific logic such as a GPS correlator.

CAP products feature embedded SRAM and ROM memories and an external bus for additional memories including flash memory, together with a number of peripherals and standard communications and networking interfaces. This qualifies them as system-on-a-chip devices.

External interfaces include USB, CAN, Ethernet, SPI, USART and ADC. A DMA controller provides direct communication channels between external interfaces and memories, increasing data throughput with minimal processor intervention.

Peripherals include counter/timers, power-on reset generators, voltage regulators and advanced interrupt controller. This enhances the real time performance of the processor. A power management controller keeps power consumption to a minimum by powering down unused peripherals and interfaces, and enabling the processor to be put in standby mode.

The AT91CAP comes in both ARM7 and ARM9 versions.

The CAP design flow emphasizes parallel hardware/software development. An FPGA-based emulation board enables the hardware and software of the application under development to be thoroughly tested at close to full operational speed in order to validate the functionality of the device.

Comparison of handheld game consoles

This is a comparison of the features of various handheld game consoles.

Comparison of real-time operating systems

This is a list of real-time operating systems. An RTOS is an operating system in which the time taken to process an input stimulus is less than the time lapsed until the next input stimulus of the same type.


The Hawkboard is a low-power, low-cost Single-board computer based on the Texas Instruments OMAP-L138. Along with the usage of the OMAP ARM9 processor, it also has a floating point DSP. It is a community supported development platform.

As of date, Hawkboard project is closed because of common hardware issue.


The i.MX range is a family of Freescale Semiconductor (now part of NXP) proprietary microcontrollers for multimedia applications based on the ARM architecture and focused on low-power consumption. The i.MX application processors are SoCs (System-on-Chip), that integrate many processing units into one die, like the main CPU, a video processing unit and a graphics processing unit for instance. The i.MX products are qualified for automotive, industrial and consumer markets. Most of them are guaranteed for a production lifetime of 10 to 15 years.Many devices use i.MX processors, such as Ford Sync, Kobo eReader, Amazon Kindle, Zune (except for Zune HD), Sony Reader, Onyx Boox readers/tablets, SolidRun SOM's (including CuBox), some Logitech Harmony remote controls and Squeezebox radio, some Toshiba Gigabeat mp4 players. The i.MX range was previously known as the "DragonBall MX" family, the fifth generation of DragonBall microcontrollers. i.MX originally stood for "innovative Multimedia eXtension".

The i.MX solutions consist of hardware (processors and development boards) and software optimized for the processor.

List of Samsung system-on-a-chips

Samsung has a long history of designing and producing systems on chip (SoCs) and has been manufacturing SoCs for its own devices as well as for sale to other manufacturers. The first Samsung SoC, the S3C44B0, was built around an ARM7 CPU which operated at 66 MHz clock frequency. Later, several SoCs (S3C2xxx) containing an ARM9 CPU were produced. For more information on Samsung's current SoCs see Exynos.


Huawei LiteOS is a lightweight real-time operating system. It is an open source operating system for IoT smart terminals. It supports ARM (M0/3/4/7, A7/17/53, ARM9/11), X86,RISC-V, Microcontrollers of different architectures, follow the BSD 3. It supports 50+ development boards. Huawei LiteOS is part of Huawei's "1+2+1" Internet of Things solution. It has launched a number of open source development kits and industry solutions. Huawei hopes LiteOS to create an Android-like IoT operating system through open source.

Huawei LiteOS features lightweight, low-power, fast-response, multi-sensor collaboration, multi-protocol interconnect connectivity, enabling IoT terminals to quickly access the network. Huawei LiteOS will make intelligent hardware development easier. Thereby accelerating the realization of the interconnection of all things.

The latest version is V2.1, which was released in May 2018.


MSM7000 is a series system-on-a-chip manufactured by Qualcomm for handheld devices, especially smartphones.

These SOCs have multiple processing cores but unlike the contemporary processor chips (e.g. AMD's Athlon/Phenom and Intel's Core series) these multiple cores are not available in the OS to run applications with symmetric multiprocessing properties, there is only one core to run the OS and user applications.

Generally these SOCs have the following 4 cores:

Applications processor, ARM1136J-S, running Windows Mobile / Android / GNU/Linux / etc.

Applications DSP, QDSP5000, does coding/decoding for media.

Baseband processor, ARM9, running a real-time OS and the GSM stack

Baseband DSP, QDSP4000, does coding/decoding for telephonyApart from the CPU cores the chips contain such hardware as 2D graphics hardware, 3D (OpenGL ES 1.1) graphics hardware, media acceleration hardware (for video decode etc.), and various interfaces (keyboard, display / MDDI, USB, camera, TV, ...). They also contain an AXI controller, a kind of memory control unit.

They are widely used in smartphones produced by HTC Corporation (including both Windows Mobile and Android devices), Sony Ericsson, LG Group, Samsung, ZTE, and also other devices like the Zeebo.


Nomadik is a family of microprocessors for multimedia applications from STMicroelectronics. It is based on ARM9 ARM architecture and was designed specifically for mobile devices.

On December 12, 2002, STMicroelectronics and Texas Instruments jointly announced an initiative for Open Mobile Application Processor Interfaces (OMAPI) intended to be used with 2.5 and 3G mobile phones, that were going to be produced during 2003. (This was later merged into a larger initiative and renamed the MIPI alliance.) The Nomadik was STMicroelectronics' implementation of this standard.

Nomadik was first presented on October 7, 2003 in the CEATEC show in Tokyo, and later that year the Nomadik won the Microprocessor Report Analysts' Choice Award for application processors.The family was aimed at 2.5G/3G mobile phones, personal digital assistants and other portable wireless products with multimedia capability. In addition it was suitable for automotive multimedia applications. The most known device using the Nomadik processor was the Nokia N96 which used the STn8815 version of the chip. When the N96 debuted in 2008, the absence of a GPU was noticed.

Samsung Minikit

The Samsung Minikit is a Linux-based smartphone. It bundles together a video camera, SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) digital camera, an MP3 player, voice recorder, memory stick and Web cam. It comes with uClinux, an ARM9-based Soc and comes in three models—with internal storage capacities of 256 MB, 512 MB and 1 GB. Models weigh as little as 147 grams.

Sitara ARM Processor

The Sitara Arm Processor family, developed by Texas Instruments, features ARM9, ARM Cortex-A8, ARM Cortex-A9, and ARM Cortex-A15 technology to serve a broad base of applications. Development using Sitara Processors is supported by the open source Beagle community as well as Texas Instruments' open source development community.

Sony Ericsson P800

The Sony Ericsson P800 is a smartphone introduced in 2002 based upon UIQ version 2.0 (which itself is based upon Symbian OS v7.0) from Sony Ericsson. The P800 is considered the successor of the Ericsson R380, and initial design work was done within Ericsson, but it was produced after Sony & Ericsson merged their mobile phone businesses.

The P800 uses the UIQ (version 2.0) user interface and has a touch screen much like a PDA. It is powered by an ARM9 processor running at 156MHz, which was also used for the successive models Sony Ericsson P900, Sony Ericsson P910. It came with a 16MB Memory Stick Duo but supports up to 128MB. The touchscreen displays 4,096 colours (12-bit colour depth). It was succeeded in 2003 by the Sony Ericsson P900.

A long awaited updated version of the "P" series phones, the Sony Ericsson P990 was launched at the Symbian Smartphone Show in September 2005. It is based upon the UIQ3 platform (utilizing Symbian OS v9.1).

The latest successor is the Sony Ericsson P1, announced on 8 May 2007. Whilst using the same UIQ platform as the P990, it has a smaller form factor based on the Sony Ericsson M600 and updated hardware.

Sony Ericsson P900

The Sony Ericsson P900 is a Symbian OS v7.0 based smartphone from Sony Ericsson.

It was introduced in 2003 and is the successor of the Sony Ericsson P800, and, like the P800 uses the UIQ platform.

Like other Symbian-based smartphones (of its time, unlike Ericsson R380, the P900 is an open phone, which means that it is possible to develop and install third party applications without restrictions. A UIQ 2.1 SDK based upon Symbian C++ is freely available from the Sony Ericsson developer website. Additionally, the P900 supports applications written in Java. Because of this openness, many third-party applications exist that can be used on the P900 and other UIQ phones (such as the Motorola A1000 and BenQ P30). Many are shareware and freeware.

As the P900 uses UIQ version 2.1 it is backwards compatible with UIQ 2.0 as found in the P800. Applications made for the P800 will normally work on a P900 as well. It, like the P800 and P910i, has an ARM9 processor clocked at 156 MHz.

The P900 can be used without the flip as well, acting more like a PDA, but still usable as a phone. The P900 supports Memory Stick Duo cards (but not Memory Stick Pro Duo) up to 128 MB in size, as does the P800. However, it has been confirmed that this 128 MB limit is just a software restriction.

The P900 was well received and is sometimes considered one of the best Symbian OS devices to have been released.An updated version of the P900, the Sony Ericsson P910i was released in July 2004. It features a small QWERTY keyboard and enhanced software, but was reported to be less battery-efficient. The P910i has double the P900's memory (64 MB, versus the P900's 32 MB) and supports Memory Stick Pro Duo, allowing the phone up to 4 GB of storage on a single card.

The P900 is the first Sony Ericsson product for which Research in Motion's BlackBerry wireless email service will be available.

Some of the specifications of the P900 are:

Triband GSM – 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

Dimensions – 115 × 57 × 24 mm

Weight – 150 g (with flip), 140 g (without flip)

Internal camera: VGA (display resolution up to 640 × 480 pixels)

Connectivity: Bluetooth, Infrared, USB dock

GPRS (WAP 2.0)

Messaging: SMS, EMS, MMS, POP3, IMAP, SMTP

Sony Ericsson P910

The Sony Ericsson P910 is a smartphone by Sony Ericsson introduced in 3Q, 2004 and the successor of the Sony Ericsson P900. The P910 has a full QWERTY keyboard on the back of the flip (the flip can also be removed completely, allowing for a 'traditional' PDA form-factor). The biggest change from the P900 to the P910 is that the P910 supports Memory Stick PRO Duo and the phone's internal memory has been upped from 16 MB to 64 MB. Although Memory Stick PRO Duo comes in larger capacities, the maximum supported by the P910i is 2 GB. It is powered by an ARM9 processor clocked at 156 MHz and runs the Symbian OS with the UIQ graphical user interface. Also, the touchscreen displays 262,144 colours (an 18-bit colour depth), as opposed to the P900's 65,536 (16-bit). It comes in three versions:

P910i (GSM 900/1800/1900)

P910c (GSM 900/1800/1900 for China mainland)

P910a (GSM 850/1800/1900 for North America and Latin America)One of the key aspects of the P910 is its ability to input text via several methods: multi-tap and T9 text input using the numerical keypad, hand-writing recognition with the pre-installed Jot-Pro software and touchscreen, virtual keyboard on screen and the new QWERTY keyboard on the inside of the flip.

Other enhancements (compared to the P900) include support for HTML browsing, a new numerical keypad with larger keys and a slightly changed outer casing.

Its closest competitors are the palmOne Treo 650, and the Nokia 9500 Communicator. Other competitors include several PDA-phones powered by Windows and manufactured by Taiwan-based HTC.

Sony Ericsson released the successor to the P910 in early 2006. It is called the Sony Ericsson P990.

Sony Ericsson P990

Sony Ericsson P990 is a smartphone and the successor of Sony Ericsson P910. The phone uses the UIQ 3 software platform, which is based upon Symbian OS 9.1. It was introduced on 11 October 2005, but had a long delayed market release only in August 2006.

The P990 has a numeric keypad that flips open to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard below the display, on the phone itself. This is a change from P910, where the keyboard is on the flip. The flip itself can be attached or detached using the screw and screwdriver found in the box. The phone is a UMTS (3G) and tri-band GSM phone supporting video calls through its front VGA camera. The touchscreen displays 262,114 colours (18-bit colour depth) with a resolution of 240x320 pixels. It also comes with a 2.0 Megapixel camera featuring autofocus and an FM/RDS radio. The P990 runs the Nexperia PNX4008 ARM9 208 MHz processor from Philips. The screen despite a smaller length (2.8 inch) than its predecessors is actually larger in area because of the increased resolution. The phone also improves over the P910 by including support for Wi-Fi, allowing users to connect to 802.11b wireless networks. You can browse the Web using the built in Opera browser. Additional features includes RSS feeds, online video streaming, Java ME support and Handwriting recognition.

Texas Instruments DaVinci

The Texas Instruments DaVinci is a family of system on a chip processors that are primarily used in embedded video and vision applications. Many of the processors in the family combine a DSP core based on the TMS320 C6000 VLIW DSP family and an ARM CPU core into a single system on chip. By using both a general-purpose processor and a DSP, the control and media portions can both be executed by processors that excel at their respective tasks.

Later chips in the family included DSP only and ARM only processors. All the later chips integrate several accelerators to offload commodity application specific processing from the processor cores to dedicated accelerators. Most notable among these are HDVICP, an H.264, SVC and MPEG-4 compression and decompression engine, ISP, an accelerator engine with sophisticated methods for enhancing video, primarily input from camera sensors and an OSD engine for display acceleration. Some of the newest processors also integrate a vision coprocessor in the SoC.


Zilog, Inc. is an American manufacturer of 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers. Its most famous product is the Z80 series of 8-bit microprocessors that were compatible with the Intel 8080 but significantly cheaper. The Z80 was widely used during the 1980s in many popular home computers such as the TRS-80 and the ZX Spectrum, as well as arcade games such as Pac-Man. The company also made 16- and 32-bit processors, but these did not see widespread use. From the 1990s, the company focused primarily on the microcontroller market.

The name (pronounced with a long "i") is an acronym of Z integrated logic, also thought of as "Z for the last word of Integrated Logic".

Zilog Encore! 32

Zilog Encore! 32 is an ARM9-based microcontroller by Zilog, Inc. It was the company's second attempt to produce ARM-based controllers.

This system-on-a-chip includes an integrated memory controller, interfaces such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), liquid crystal display (LCD) and Serial Peripheral Interface Bus (SPI).

Variants include version supporting magnetic stripe reader or smart card reader.

Toolkit also includes Linux support.

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