Arm expands Cortex-M lineup, enabling AI integration in compact endpoint devices.

December 2, 2023 by our News Team

Arm has released the Cortex-M52, a processor designed to bring AI capabilities to a wider range of IoT devices with enhanced DSP and ML performance, simplified development flows, and compatibility with other Cortex-M processors.

  • Provides a significant performance boost in DSP and ML applications
  • Delivers DSP capabilities without the need for a separate processing unit, saving on silicon area and cost
  • Simplifies AI development for small endpoint devices with a unified development flow on a single toolchain and single proven architecture

ARM, a leading technology company, has announced the release of the Arm Cortex-M52, a new processor designed for Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) applications. The Cortex-M52 is equipped with Arm Helium technology, which enhances digital signal processing (DSP) and machine learning (ML) capabilities in small, low-power embedded devices.

The Cortex-M52 aims to bring AI capabilities to a broader range of IoT devices by providing a significant performance boost in DSP and ML applications. This allows for the deployment of more compute-intensive ML inference algorithms without the need for a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). With the Cortex-M52, Arm partners can take advantage of Helium technology in lower-cost, power-constrained devices.

The Cortex-M52 offers a simplified migration path from previous Cortex-M generations and provides the flexibility to scale across various performance points and configurations. It delivers DSP capabilities without the need for a separate processing unit, saving on silicon area and cost.

In terms of performance, the Cortex-M52 offers up to 5.6x performance uplift for ML and up to 2.7x performance uplift for DSP compared to previous Cortex-M generations. It also implements the latest security extensions for Armv8.1-M, ensuring robust safety and security in devices.

To simplify AI development for small endpoint devices, Arm has created a unified development flow on a single toolchain and single proven architecture with the Cortex-M portfolio. This eliminates the need for developers to work with multiple toolchains and compilers. The Cortex-M52 is fully software compatible with Cortex-M55 and Cortex-M85, allowing developers to leverage the growing software and tools ecosystem around Helium.

The Cortex-M52 CPU aims to enable the deployment of AI across a wide range of AIoT use cases. By delivering higher levels of AI inference performance on small devices, Arm hopes to further scale IoT device deployments.

Overall, the Arm Cortex-M52 offers enhanced AI capabilities for lower-cost IoT devices, providing a boost in DSP and ML performance without the need for dedicated accelerators. With simplified development flows and compatibility with other Cortex-M processors, the Cortex-M52 aims to accelerate AIoT innovation and enable the seamless integration of AI in embedded devices.

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Background Information

About ARM: ARM, originally known as Acorn RISC Machine, is a British semiconductor and software design company that specializes in creating energy-efficient microprocessors, system-on-chip (SoC) designs, and related technologies. Founded in 1990, ARM has become a important player in the global semiconductor industry and is widely recognized for its contributions to mobile computing, embedded systems, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. ARM's microprocessor designs are based on the Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) architecture, which prioritizes simplicity and efficiency in instruction execution. This approach has enabled ARM to produce highly efficient and power-saving processors that are used in a vast array of devices, ranging from smartphones and tablets to IoT devices, smart TVs, and more. The company does not manufacture its own chips but licenses its processor designs and intellectual property to a wide range of manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, and NVIDIA, who then integrate ARM's technology into their own SoCs. This licensing model has contributed to ARM's widespread adoption and influence across various industries.

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Technology Explained

CPU: The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the brain of a computer, responsible for executing instructions and performing calculations. It is the most important component of a computer system, as it is responsible for controlling all other components. CPUs are used in a wide range of applications, from desktop computers to mobile devices, gaming consoles, and even supercomputers. CPUs are used to process data, execute instructions, and control the flow of information within a computer system. They are also used to control the input and output of data, as well as to store and retrieve data from memory. CPUs are essential for the functioning of any computer system, and their applications in the computer industry are vast.

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