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 free access to design and license the Cortex-M0, and free forum support to accelerate custom SoC development. It is the fastest, simplest, no-risk route to custom silicon success.

Download this whitepaper for tips and tools to creating an SoC proof-of-concept, free and fast!

Fast access to Cortex-M0

Design and produce a custom SoC with the widely-deployed Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors, with no upfront license fee.

Information on Cortex-M0.

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 and Serial Wire Debug ports. Up to 8 Breakpoints and 4 Watchpoints.

Looking for more information on Arm Cortex-M0?

Get in touch to speak with one of our technical experts.

Read our blog

Machine Learning on Cortex-M


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

Analogue mixed signal devices including MEMS sensors

Finite State Machines

Power Management

Motor Control

Wearable Health Monitors

Environmental Monitoring

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.

Cortex-M0 Characteristics

Performance Efficiency 2.33 CoreMarks/MHz* and 0.89/1.02/1.27 DMIPS**.

Arm Cortex-M0 Implementation Data***

(7-track, typical 1.8v, 25°C) 
(7-track, typical 1.2v, 25°C)
(9-track, typical 1.1v, 25°C)
Dynamic Power




Floor planned Area

0.11 mm2

0.03 mm2

0.008 mm2

* See:

** The first result abides by all of the “ground rules” laid out in the Dhrystone documentation, the second permits inlining of functions, not just the permitted C string libraries, while the third additionally permits simultaneous (”multi- le”) compilation. All are with the original (K&R) v2.1 of Dhrystone 

*** Configuration with full ISA support and Interrupt Controller, includes 1 IRQ + NMI, excludes ETM, MPU and debug


Arm training courses and 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.

Arm training courses Arm Design Reviews

  • Manual containing technical information.
  • 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.

    Read here
  • A program that is running on a desktop.
  • 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.

    Read here
  • a ulink, a board, a desktop.
  • 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.

    Learn more
  • A system design kit for apps.
  • Cortex-M System Design Kit (CMSDK)

    CMSDK is a comprehensive system solution designed to work seamlessly with Cortex-M processors out-of-the-box.

    Learn more

  • Product due to be released to  market.
  • Arm Design Reviews

    Arm's 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.

    Learn more
  • The top half of a human.
  • Questions? Request more information

    Learn more about Cortex-M0, Arm’s  smallest processor available. Contact us to speak with our technical team.

    Find out more