Models for software development
Models allow you to run code without needing hardware. Some models are just the architecture, for example the Arm Ecosystem Models. Other models include device-specific features and are configurable to match the hardware. Fast Models are ideal for programmers, because they execute quickly, but they do not provide performance data. Cycle Models execute more slowly. However, because Cycle Models are derived from the design data (RTL), they can be used for performance analysis and extend to include features like performance counters.
Cortex-R processors are mostly used in deeply embedded products. This means that it is harder to find development silicon if you want something to build or test software on. For Cortex-R52, you can use the MPS3 development board. Another option, which is available for other Arm cores too, is to use a model for software development work.