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Chapter 9. The ABI for ARM 64-bit Architecture

The Application Binary Interface (ABI) for the ARM Architecture specifies fundamental rules to which all executable native code modules must adhere so that they can work correctly together. These fundamental rules are supplemented by additional rules for specific programming languages (for example, C++). Individual operating systems or execution environments (for example, Linux) may specify additional rules to meet their own specific requirements, beyond those rules specified by the ARM ABI.

There are a number of components to the ABI for the AArch64 architecture:

Executable and Linkable Format (ELF)

ELF for the ARM 64-bit Architecture (AArch64) specifies the object and executable format.

Procedure Call Standard (PCS)

Procedure Call Standard for the ARM 64-bit Architecture (AArch64) ABI release specifies how subroutines can be separately written, compiled and assembled to work together. It specifies the contract between a calling routine and a callee, or between a routine and its execution environment, for example, the obligations when calling a routine or stack layout.


This is a widely used standardized debugging data format. AArch64 DWARF is based on DWARF 3.0, but with some additional rules. See DWARF for the ARM 64-bit Architecture (AArch64) for details.

C and C++ libraries

ARM Compiler ARM C and C++ Libraries and Floating-Point Support User Guide describes the ARM C and C++ libraries.


C++ Application Binary Interface Standard for the ARM 64-bit Architecture describes the generic C++ ABI.

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