The ARM Cortex-M4 processor is ARM’s high performance embedded processor developed to address digital signal control markets that demand an efficient, easy-to-use blend of control and signal processing capabilities.
The combination of high-efficiency signal processing functionality with the low-power, low cost and ease-of-use benefits of the Cortex-M family of processors is designed to satisfy the emerging category of flexible solutions specifically targeting the motor control, automotive, power management, embedded audio and industrial automation markets.
Cortex-M4 Technical Reference Manual
For system designers, integrators and software programmers building or writing software for systems containing a Cortex-M4.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 SeriesARM and its ecosystem partners provide a wide range of tools for embedded software development on ARM Cortex-M processors.
Software Tools for Cortex-M
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 about CMSDK
|ISA Support||Thumb® / Thumb-2|
|DSP Extensions||Single cycle 16/32-bit MAC
Single cycle dual 16-bit MAC
8/16-bit SIMD arithmetic
Hardware Divide (2-12 Cycles)
|Floating Point Unit||Single precision floating point unit
IEEE 754 compliant
|Pipeline||3-stage + branch speculation|
|Memory Protection||Optional 8 region MPU with sub regions and background region|
|Interrupts||Non-maskable Interrupt (NMI) + 1 to 240 physical interrupts|
|Interrupt Priority Levels||8 to 256 priority levels|
|Wake-up Interrupt Controller||Up to 240 Wake-up Interrupts|
|Sleep Modes||Integrated WFI and WFE Instructions and Sleep On Exit capability.
Sleep & Deep Sleep Signals.
Optional Retention Mode with ARM Power Management Kit
|Bit Manipulation||Integrated Instructions & Bit Banding|
|Debug||Optional JTAG & Serial-Wire Debug Ports. Up to 8 Breakpoints and 4 Watchpoints.|
|Trace||Optional Instruction Trace (ETM), Data Trace (DWT), and Instrumentation Trace (ITM)|
SIMD, saturating arithmetic, fast MAC
Powerful instruction set for accelerating DSP applications, built right into the processor. A highly optimised DSP library built using these instructions is available free-of-charge from the ARM website.
Powerful debug and non-obtrusive real-time trace
Comprehensive debug and trace features dramatically improve developer productivity. It is extremely efficient to develop embedded software with proper debug.
Memory Protection Unit (MPU)
Software reliability improves when each module is allowed access only to specific areas of memory required for it to operate. This protection prevents unexpected access that may overwrite critical data.
Integrated nested vectored interrupt controller (NVIC)
here 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.
Thumb-2 code density
On average, the mix between 16bit and 32bit instructions yields 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.
Performance Efficiency: 3.40 CoreMark/MHz* and without FPU: 1.25 / 1.52 / 1.91 DMIPS/MHz**, With FPU: 1.27 / 1.55 / 1.95 DMIPS/MHz**
|ARM Cortex-M4 Implementation Data***|
(7-track, typical 1.8v, 25C)
(7-track, typical 1.2v, 25C)
(9-track, typical 1.1v, 85C)
|Dynamic Power||151 µW/MHz||32.82 µW/MHz||12.26 µW/MHz|
|Floorplanned Area||0.44 mm2||0.119 mm2||0.028 mm2|
** 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-file”) compilation. All are with the original (K&R) v2.1 of Dhrystone
*** Base usable configuration includes DSP extensions, 1 IRQ + NMI, excludes ETM, MPU, FPU and debug