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ARM7 Processor Family

Note: The ARM7 processor family (ARM7TDMI(S) and ARM7EJ-S) is not recommended for new

Introduced in 1994, the ARM7 processor family has been immensely successful, and has helped
establish ARM as the architecture of choice in the digital world. Over the years, more than 10 billion
ARM7 processor family-based devices have powered a wide variety of cost and power-sensitive

While the ARM7 processor family continues to be used today for simple 32-bit devices, newer
embedded designs are increasingly making use of latest ARM processors such as the Cortex-
M0 and Cortex-M3 processors, both of which offer significant technical enhancements over the ARM7

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Upgrading to the Architecture for tomorrows Digital World

Design migration from the ARM7

The ARM7 family is the worlds most widely used 32-bit embedded processor family, with more than
170 silicon licensees and over 10 Billion units shipped since its introduction in 1994.

While the ARM7 processor family continues to be used today for simple 32-bit devices, newer digital
designs are increasingly making use of the newer, more powerful and feature-rich ARM processors
which offer significant technical enhancements over the ARM7 family.

System designers wishing to upgrade from ARM7 benefit from a robust ARM processor roadmap
providing multiple upgrade options, including the latest Cortex processors.
In most cases migration is straightforward, and brings significant benefits in PPA, features and efficiency.

The table below presents the most common upward migration paths for adapting current ARM7 based
designs for the next generation.

Current Upgrade Alternative ARM

Benefits of upgrading
processor driver processors

ARM926EJ-S, ARM968E- Higher performance

S, Cortex-A Series More features

Application Better determinism for real-time

upgrade processing
ARM7TDMI-S Cortex-R Series
Higher performance

More features

Socket 1/3rd the silicon area

upgrade 3x power savings
Current Upgrade Alternative ARM
Benefits of upgrading
processor driver processors

Flexible, powerful and fully

deterministic interrupt handling

Higher code density

Simplified software development

Higher performance

Superior efficiency and flexibility

Flexible, powerful and fully

Cortex-M3 deterministic interrupt handling

Low power modes

Higher code density

Simplified software development

Application Higher performance

upgrade More features

Upgrading options from ARM7TDMI-S for the Embedded market

For ARM7TDMI-S users in the embedded market, the Cortex-M0 and Cortex-M3 processors offer a much
superior alternative, enabling tomorrow's embedded applications by delivering more features at a lower
cost, increasing connectivity, better code reuse, and improved energy efficiency.

Features ARM7TDMI Cortex-M0/M3 Benefits of upgrading

Integrated Nested
No standard interrupt Flexible and powerful
Interrupt controller Vectored Interrupt
controller interrupt handling
Controller (NVIC)

H/W stacking
ensures Fully deterministic interrupt
ISR entry Non-deterministic ISR entry
deterministic ISR handling
Features ARM7TDMI Cortex-M0/M3 Benefits of upgrading

Power No in-built power Architected sleep

Extremely low power modes
management management mode support

Simplified software
Need for assembly Assembler code required No assembler code
Code everything in C
language code (for ISR etc) required
Reduced Project

Optimal performance-code Thumb-2 offers programmers model
Instruction set
size balance requires ARM performance
Performance v/s Superior code density
interworking between ARM at Thumb code
Code size
& Thumb code density Simplified software

NVIC, SysTick & Standardization

Ease of application
Lack of standardization Memory Map enables IP reuse
porting from one
inhibits application porting defined CMSIS
device to another Faster Time to Market

For advice on porting software written for the ARM7TDMI-S to the Cortex-M3 processor, please read
the whitepaper ARM Cortex-M3 Processor Software Development for ARM7TDMI Processor

For a detailed comparison between ARM7 family processors and the latest ARM alternatives, please use
the Processor Selector.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ARM7 is a generation of ARM processor designs. This generation introduced the Thumb 16-bit
instruction set providing improved code density compared to previous designs. The most widely used
ARM7 designs implement the ARMv4T architecture, but some implement ARMv3 or ARMv5TEJ. All these
designs use a Von Neumann architecture, thus the few versions comprising a cache do not separate data
and instruction caches.
Some ARM7 cores are obsolete. One historically significant model, the ARM7DI[1] is notable for having
introduced JTAG based on-chip debugging; the preceding ARM6 cores did not support it. The "D"
represented a JTAG TAP for debugging; the "I" denoted an ICEBreaker debug module supporting
hardware breakpoints and watchpoints, and letting the system be stalled for debugging. Subsequent
cores included and enhanced this support.




o 1.1 Specifications

o 1.2 Applications

2 See also

3 External links

4 References


The ARM7-TDMI (ARM7-Thumb+Debug+Multiplier+ICE) processor is a 32-bit RISC CPU designed

by ARM, and licensed for manufacture by an array of semiconductor companies. In 2009 it remains one
of the most widely used ARM cores, and is found in numerous deeply embedded system designs.
The ARM7TDMI-S variant is the synthesizable core.


It is a versatile processor designed for mobile devices and other low power electronics. This processor
architecture is capable of up to 130MIPS on a typical 0.13 m process. The ARM7TDMI processor core
implements ARM Architecture v4T. The processor supports both 32-bit and 16-bit instructions via the
ARM and Thumb instruction sets.

ARM licenses the processor to various semiconductor companies, which design full chips based on the
ARM processor architecture.


Perhaps the most common pieces of electronic equipment currently using this processor are:

Audio controller in the SEGA Dreamcast

D-Link DSL-604+ Wireless ADSL Router[2]

iPod from Apple

iriver portable digital audio players (the H10 uses a chip with this processor)

Juice Box

Lego Mindstorms NXT

Most of Nokia's mobile phone range.

Nintendo DS (co-processor) and Game Boy Advance from Nintendo


Roomba 500 series from iRobot

Sirius Satellite Radio receivers

The main CPU in Stern Pinball S.A.M System games.

In Building Automation, the American Auto-Matrix BBC-SD (BACnet Touchscreen Display) uses
an ARM7 TDMI core

In tournament waterski and wakeboard towboats, Perfect Pass speed control

Many automobiles embed ARM7 cores.

Manufacturer NXP


RAM Size 16kB

Data Bus Width 16, 32Bit

Device Core ARM7TDMI-S

Instruction Set

I2C 1

Maximum Clock Rate 60MHz

Number of
Programmable I/Os

Number of Timers 2

On-Chip ADC 4-chx10-bit

Program Memory Size 256kB

Program Memory Type Flash



Function Microcontroller

Maximum Operating

Minimum Operating

Maximum Speed 60MHz

Mounting Surface Mount

Pin Count 64

Product Height 1.4mm

Product Length 10.1mm

Product Width 10.1mm

Supplier Package LQFP

Maximum Operating
1.95, 3.6V
Supply Voltage

Minimum Operating
1.65, 2.5, 3V
Supply Voltage

Typical Operating
Supply Voltage