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1.3. Processor

A processor is implemented to comply with a defined version of the architecture. For example, ARM926EJ-S™ implements ARMv5 with the TEJ extensions, and Cortex™-A9 implements ARMv7-A with the multiprocessing extensions.

The Technical Reference Manual (TRM) of a processor describes all the features and implementation choices for the processor that are implementation-defined in its architecture specification.

Typically, there are many different implementations of the same architecture version. For example, the ARM7TDMI™ and ARM920T™ processors both implement ARMv4T, but the implementations differ in many ways.

Table 1.1 shows some recent ARM processors and the version and variant of the architecture they implement.

Table 1.1. Recent ARM processors and their architectures
ImplementationArchitecture versionArchitecture variant
ARM11™ MPCore™ARMv6ARMv6K, Improved multiprocessing support
ARM1156T2F-S™ARMv6ARMv6T2, Thumb-2 technology
ARM1176JZF-S™ARMv6ARMv6Z, ARMv6K with Security Extensions
Cortex-A9ARMv7-A 
Cortex-R4ARMv7-R 
Cortex-M3ARMv7-M 

You can download ARM TRMs from http://infocenter.arm.com.

If ARM markets different versions of a processor, with and without functional extensions, it might provide separate TRMs for the processor and for the extensions. For example, the Cortex-A9 processor has separate TRMs for the:

  • processor

  • MPCore features

  • Floating Point Unit

  • NEON unit.

Contact the architecture implementer for documentation or support related to third-party implementations of the ARM architecture.

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