The ARM Cortex-M0 processor is the smallest ARM processor available. 


The exceptionally small silicon area, low power and minimal code footprint of the processor enables developers to achieve 32-bit performance at an 8-bit price point, bypassing the step to 16-bit devices.

The ultra-low gate count of the Cortex-M0 processor also enables its deployment in analog and mixed signal devices. ARM DesignStart provides the fastest, simplest, no-risk route to custom silicon success. Get free access to design and license the Cortex-M0 and free forum support to accelerate custom SoC development.

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Key benefits

  • Smallest footprint ARM processor with a total floorplan area of 0.007 mm2 in a 40nm technology process.

  • Simple and quick development. With just 56 instructions, it is possible to quickly master the entire Cortex-M0 instruction set and its C-friendly architecture.

  • A low-cost and simplified fast-track license option is available for the Cortex-M0 through the ARM DesignStart™ portal.


ISA Support Thumb®/Thumb-2 subset


Bit Manipulation
Bit banding region can be implemented with Cortex-M System Design Kit
Interrupts Non-maskable Interrupt (NMI) + 1 to 32 physical interrupts
Enhanced Instructions
Hardware single-cycle (32x32) multiply option
Sleep Modes
Integrated WFI and WFE Instructions and Sleep On Exit capability
Sleep & Deep Sleep Signals
Optional Retention Mode with ARM Power Management Kit
Optional JTAG & Serial-Wire Debug Ports. Up to 8 Breakpoints and 4 Watchpoints.

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The Cortex-M0 processor brings 32-bit performance to even the simplest and most cost-sensitive devices.


Analogue mixed signal devices including MEMS sensors



Motor Control


Finite State Machines


Wearable Health Monitors



Power Management



Environmental Monitoring

Related IP

The Cortex-M0 processor can be incorporated into a SoC using a broad range of ARM technology including System IP, and Physical IP. It is fully supported by ARM development tools. Related IP includes:


Compatible IP

Cortex-M System Design Kit (Complimentary System IP for MCU designs)


ARM DMA Controllers (Direct Memory Access Controllers)

ARM DS-5 Development Studio

ARM Keil® MDK software development tool

Cortex-M Prototyping System

Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard

ARM mbed™ IoT Device Platform

Key Features

Exceptional code density

On average, the mix between 16bit and 32bit instructions yields a better code density when compared to 8bit and 16bit architectures. This has significant advantages in terms of reduced memory requirements and maximizing the usage of precious on-chip Flash memory.

Binary upward compatible with all other Cortex-M processors

The Cortex-M0 has mainly 16bit Thumb-2 instructions and few 32bit ones. These instructions are also present on all the other Cortex-M processors. Hence all code written  for the Cortex-M0 will run as is on the other processors.

Built-in low-power features

Sleep, deep sleep and state retention are three low power modes available to the user. 

Optional Debug Access Port and Serial Wire Debug

For devices where every pin counts the serial wire debug port uses only two pins.


ARM training courses and Active Assist on-site system-design advisory services enable licensees to efficiently integrate the Cortex-M0 processor into their design to realize maximum system performance with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

  • Cortex-M0 Technical Reference Manual

    In-depth material for system designers, integrators and verification engineers. An important resource for software developers who want to make use of the Cortex-M0.

    Technical Reference Manual
  • White Paper: Cortex-M for beginners

    This White Paper compares the features of various Cortex-M processors and describes how to select the right processor for the application.

    Get the White Paper
  • Embedded Development Tools for Cortex-M Series

    ARM and its ecosystem partners provide a wide range of tools for embedded software development on ARM Cortex-M processors.

    Software Tools for Cortex-M

  • Design support with Active Assist

    Active Assist on-site design review service gives licensees confidence that their Cortex-M0 CPU is implemented efficiently, to provide maximum system performance, with lowest risk and fastest time-to-market.

    Explore design services
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