Cortex-A7

The ARM Cortex-A7 processor is the most efficient ARMv7-A processor.

Overview

The Cortex-A7 processor provides up to 20% more single thread performance than the Cortex-A5 and incorporates all features of the high-performance Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A17 processors, including virtualization support in hardware, Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE), NEON, and 128-bit AMBA 4 AXI bus interface.


Key benefits

  • ARMv7-A architectural extensions (40-bit physical addressing, hardware virtualization support).

  • More than 20% improvement in single thread integer performance when compared to Cortex-A5.

  • Integrated L2 cache subsystem provides improved area efficiency and up to 43% improvements in memory streaming performance.

  • Proven successful design, suited to the needs of wearable mobile devices and other UI-based consumer products.


Highlights

Architecture ARMv7-A
Multicore 1-4 cores. Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) within a single processor cluster, and multiple coherent SMP processor clusters through AMBA 4 technology
ISA Support
Memory Management Unit (MMU)
ARMv7 Memory Management Unit
Debug & Trace
CoreSight™ SoC-400

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Applications

The Cortex-A7 is designed for use in a wide range of devices with differing requirements, particularly rich UI based wearables, which demand a balance between power and performance.

Smartwatch

Single board computers (SBCs)

Wearables

 

Wired and wireless networking

IoT - rich nodes

Network infrastructure


Key features

In-order 8 stage pipeline

Improved dual issue, branch prediction and memory system performance. It features 64-bit load-store path, 128-bit AMBA 4 AXI buses and increased TLB size (256 entry).


Integrated, Configurable Size Level 2 Cache Controller

Provides low-latency and high-bandwidth access to up to 1MB of cached memory in high-frequency designs, or designs needing to reduce the power consumption associated with off-chip memory access. The L2 cache is optional on Cortex-A7.


Support ARMv7-A extensions

Hardware Virtualization and Large Physical Address Extensions (LPAE) enables the processor to access up to 1TB of memory.


big.LITTLE technology

First LITTLE processor architecturally compatible with compatible with Cortex-A15 and Cortex-A17 for various big.LITTLE processor combinations.


Characteristics

The Cortex-A7 processor builds on the energy-efficient 8-stage pipeline of the Cortex-A5 processor. It also benefits from an integrated L2 cache designed for low-power, with lower transaction latencies and improved OS support for cache maintenance. On top of this there is improved branch prediction and an improved memory system performance, with 64-bit load-store path, 128-bit AMBA 4 AXI buses and increased TLB size (256 entry, up from 128 entry for Cortex-A9 and Cortex-A5), increasing performance for large workloads such as web browsing.

In a 28nm process, the Cortex-A7 can run at 1.2-1.6GHz, has an area of 0.45mm2 (with Floating-Point Unit, NEON and a 32KB L1 cache) and requires less than 100mW of total power in typical conditions. This lowest performance profile makes it an ideal standalone processor for a range of mobile devices, and means the Cortex-A7 can ultimately deliver similar performance to the Cortex-A9 processor at much higher levels of power efficiency.


Related IP

The Cortex-A7 processor can be incorporated into an SoC using a broad range of ARM technology including Graphics IP, System IP, and Physical IP. The Cortex-A7 processor is fully supported by ARM development tools. Related IP includes:

 

Graphic IP
Other IP
Tools

ARM Mali™-T622 (GPU)

Mali-DP500 (Display Processor)

Mali-V500 (Video Processor)

ARM CoreLink™ CCIs (Cache Coherent Interconnect)

CoreLink GIC-400 (Interrupt Controller)

CoreLink MMU-500 (System Memory Management Unit)

CoreLink TZC-400 (ARM TrustZone® Controller)

CoreLink DMC-400 (Dynamic Memory Controller)

ARM CoreSight™ SoC-400 (Debug and Trace)

ARM POP™ (Physical IP)

ARM DS-5 Development Studio

Fixed Virtual Platforms

ARM Versatile™ Express

ARM Compiler 6

ARM Fast Models

Support

ARM training courses and Active Assist on-site system-design advisory services enable licensees to efficiently integrate the Cortex-A7 processor into their design to realize maximum system performance with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

  • Cortex-A7 Technical Reference Manual

    For system designers and software engineers, the Cortex-A7 manual provides information on implementing and programming Cortex-A7 based devices.

    Technical Reference Manual
  • Cortex-A Series Programmer's Guide for ARMv7-A

    Common to all Cortex-A series processors, this programmer's guide is useful for assembly and C language application development for ARMv7-A.

    Get the Guide
  • Development Tools for Cortex-A

    ARM and our partners provide specialist code generation, debug and analysis tools for software development on Cortex-A series processors, such as DS-5 Development Studio

    Development Tools

  • Design support with Active Assist

    Active Assist on-site design review service gives licensees confidence that their Cortex-A7 CPU is implemented efficiently, to provide maximum system performance, with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

    Explore design services
  • Questions? Request more information

    Learn more about Cortex-A7, ARM’s most efficient ARMv7-A processor. Contact us to speak with our technical team.



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