The Cortex-M23 processor is the smallest and most energy efficient implementation of the Armv8-M architecture.


The Cortex-M23 processor is a very compact, two-stage pipelined processor that supports the Armv8-M baseline instruction set. The Cortex-M23 with TrustZone is the ideal processor for the most constrained embedded applications where security is a key requirement. 

TrustZone for Armv8-M provides hardware-enforced isolation between the trusted and the untrusted resources on the Cortex-M23 device, while maintaining the efficient exception handling and determinism that have been the hallmark of all Cortex-M processors. 

Everything you need to know about TrustZone for Armv8-M is here.

Block Diagram on Cortex-M23.

Key Features

  • Trusted execution even in the smallest, lowest-power and most constrained embedded devices.

  • Low power that enables security in energy harvesting IoT nodes.

  • Reduced development costs by leveraging the vast ecosystem of 3rd party tools, operating systems and software.

  • An entry point to the Armv8-M based processor family, approximately one third the size of Cortex-M33 and more than twice its energy efficiency. It is upward code compatible to the Cortex-M33.


Architecture Armv8-M Baseline (Von Neumann)
ISA Support Thumb/Thumb-2 subset
Pipeline Two-stage
TrustZone Optional TrustZone for Armv8-M
Memory Protection Optional Memory Protection Unit (MPU) with up to 16 regions per security state
Interrupts Non-maskable Interrupt (NMI) and up to 240 physical interrupts with 4 priority levels
Wake-up Interrupt Controller Optional for waking up the processor from state retention power gating or when all clocks are stopped
Sleep Modes Integrated WFI and WFE Instructions and Sleep On Exit capability
Sleep & Deep Sleep Signals
Enhanced Instructions Hardware single-cycle (32x32) multiply and fast (32/32) divide option
Debug Optional JTAG or Serial Wire Debug ports, up to 4 Breakpoints and 4 Watchpoints
Trace Optional Micro Trace Buffer (MTB) or Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM)

Latest news

Microchip release first Arm Cortex-M23 based chip bringing new levels of security for constrained IoT devices

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The Cortex-M23 processor brings the highest energy-efficiency to cost-sensitive devices where security is a key requirement.

Smart sensors

Energy harvesting IoT nodes

Digital motor control

Biometric authentication

Medical nanorobots

Asset tracking services

Key features

TrustZone for Armv8-M

A foundation for security for embedded devices. TrustZone offers software isolation to code, memory and I/O while retaining the requirements of embedded applications: real-time deterministic response, minimal switching overhead, and ease of software development.

Interested in learning how to program Secure and Non-secure domains on a processor with TrustZone?

Everything you need to know about TrustZone for Armv8-M is here.

Energy efficient two-stage pipeline processor

The smallest of Arm processors with TrustZone technology.  Brings compactness and energy efficiency while providing support for the full Armv8-M baseline instruction set.

Memory Protection Unit (MPU)

Software reliability improves when each module is allowed access to specific areas of memory required for it to operate.  This protection prevents unexpected access that may overwrite critical data.  Each security zone can have a dedicated MPU.

Integrated Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC)

There is no need for a standalone external interrupt controller.  Interrupt handling is taken care of by the NVIC removing the complexity of managing interrupts manually via the processor.

Powerful debug and non-instrusive real-time trace

Comprehensive debug and trace features dramatically improve developer productivity.  It is extremely efficient to develop embedded software with proper debug.  Optional MTB and ETM.


Performance efficiency 2.50 CoreMark/MHz* and 0.98 DMIPS/Mhz**.

Arm Cortex-M23 implementation data at 40LP (9-track, typical 1.1v, 25°C)
  No TrustZone
With TrustZone
Dynamic Power
Please contact Arm
Please contact Arm
Floorplanned Area
Please contact Arm Please contact Arm

* Preliminary data.
** Preliminary data, abides by all of the ground rules laid out in the Dhrystone documentation.

Related IP

The Cortex-M23 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

AMBA System Controllers

CoreLink SIE-200

TrustZone CryptoCell-312

Arm CoreLink CG092

AHB flash cache

Physical IP

DS-5 Development Studio

Arm Keil MDK software development tool

Arm Compiler

Cortex-M Prototyping System

Fast Models

TrustZone for Armv8-M

Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard

Arm Mbed Pelion Device Platform


Arm training courses and on-site system-design advisory services enable licensees to efficiently integrate the Cortex-M23 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-M23 Technical Reference Manual

    For system designers, integrators and testers, the Technical Reference Manual (TRM) provides details of the Cortex-M23 processor.

    Read here
  • A program that is running on a desktop.
  • White Paper: Armv8-M Architecture

    Download this White Paper to get a technical overview of the Armv8-M architecture and an introduction to TrustZone security technology.

    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

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

    Arm's on-site design review service gives licensees confidence that their Cortex-M23 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-M23, Arm’s smallest and most energy efficient implementation of the Armv8-M architecture. Contact us to speak with our technical team.

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