ARM launches Cortex M7, eyes to make IoT smarter at end points

The Cortex M7 is designed for everything from appliances to edge routers to automotive, sensor hubs and industrial controls.

ARM on Tuesday launched its Cortex M7 processor, which is designed to bring more computing power to embedded devices and could bring more intelligence to Internet of things end points.

The Cortex M7 is designed for everything from appliances to edge routers to automotive, sensor hubs and industrial controls.

ARM has its processors in numerous sensors and end points throughout nodes of the Internet of things. ARM has shipped 8 billion units of its Cortex M processes, has more than 240 licenses out and 3,000 catalog parts.

Nandan Nyampally, vice president of market at ARM's CPU group, said a more powerful Cortex M7 can enable more rich user interfaces and operating systems in embedded devices. "Devices will be able to marry a small footprint with compute and long battery life," said Nyampally.

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Various technology vendors ranging from Cisco to Intel's Wind River to Freescale are all aiming to bring intelligence to the Internet of things. This intelligence, however, will depend on a mix of processing at end points, hubs near those sensors and application layers surrounding them.

If end points can get smarter with better image and voice processing, battery life, connectivity and reliability a wide range of applications can be enabled. The obvious ones will be more screens and sensors in the smart home as well as better controls in multiple devices.

The key points:

  • The Cortex M7 has a 64-bit interconnect with two levels of cache for efficient memory operations.
  • More responsiveness for better controls to power things like drones.
  • Twice the performance of the Cortex M4.
  • The M7 is competitive with popular digital signal processors.
  • A migration path from the M4 and application ecosystem with a bevy of partners. Nyampally said that ARM is hoping to entice application developers to surround the M7 and build new interfaces on tom of things like thermostats, street lights and appliances.

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