DSP extensions

Trusted Arm processors with signal processing


As we see spectacular growth in the number of autonomous, intelligent, and connected devices (particularly for the Internet of Things, or IoT), which are required to operate in a low-power environment. In response, manufacturers are increasingly turning to place the Arm Cortex processors at the heart of these devices. In addition to industry-leading IP, Arm offers the world’s #1 ecosystem, in which partners provide software libraries and a large set of software and development tools.

Advantages of powerful DSP extensions in Cortex processors

Some of the key benefits of DSP extensions in Cortex processors are:
  • Significant savings on the BOM (bill of materials, i.e. cost of products), by replacing two processors with one.
  • Reduced system-level complexity by removing the need for shared memory and DSP communication, complex multiprocessor bus architectures, and other custom ‘glue’ logic between the processor and DSP.
  • Reduced software development costs, because the entire project can be supported using a single compiler/debugger/IDE, and is programmable in a high-level programming language such as C or C++, rather than the handcrafted assembler often used for a proprietary DSP.

Whatever your requirements for signal processing, Arm offers the right solution for the right application.

Your need Arm solution
Highest performance: Cortex-A + NEON 
Hard real-time:  Cortex-R + DSP, Cortex-R52 + NEON
Energy efficiency: Cortex-M + DSP

See our DSP ecosystem partners

DSP extensions are optimized for a broad range of software applications, including servo motor control, Voice over IP (VOIP) and video & audio codecs, where the extensions increase the DSP performance to enable efficient processing of the required tasks.

Learn more about our Arm DSP ecosystem partners who support our technology and your product development.

Arm technology powers DSP applications in the smart home

Applications and industries

The Arm DSP instruction set extensions increase the DSP processing capability of Arm solutions in high-performance applications, while offering the low-power consumption required by portable, battery-powered devices.

Due to its flexibility, Arm DSP technology touches a wide range of applications and industries, from the smart home (as seen above) to networking, to automotive, to wearables, and much more.

Explore how Arm technology powers these everyday applications.


For more help and information, see these resources:

Hands-On DSP Teaching Using Inexpensive Arm Cortex-M4 Microcontrollers

Cortex-M in DSP applications – Why not?

White papers
DSP capabilities of Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M7

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