ARM Cortex-R8 processor aims for 5G

February 19, 2016 // By Julien Happich
The ARM Cortex-R8 processor unveiled by the Cambridge-based IP company is expected to help chip designers double the performance of ARM-based modem and mass storage device SoCs.

A quad-core configuration dramatically boosts the total Cortex-R8 performance, which when combined with its real time features and extended low-latency memory makes Cortex-R8 the highest performing processor in its class, says the company.

The Cortex-R8 can be configured as single, dual, triple or quad coherent cores, which when combined with Cortex-R8's other advanced features more than double its performance compared to the Cortex-R7. It enables significantly larger tightly coupled memories (TCMs), up to 1MB of instruction TCM and 1MB of data TCM per core. The IP can be configured with 12, 16, 20 or 24 memory protection unit regions.

Cortex-R8 includes out-of-order instruction execution and dynamic register re-naming, combined with advanced branch prediction, superscalar execution capability and fast hardware support for divide, DSP and floating-point functions. This makes the device suitable for the highest LTE categories, supporting modems that manage multiple carriers and achieve the very high throughputs, and provides a solid path to deliver 5G modems.

ARM silicon partners have already begun design work and SoCs based on the Cortex-R8 targeting the mass storage market segment are likely to be available in 2016. Modem designs using Cortex-R8 processors will support the rollout of the new LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G standards.

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