Arm announces free Cortex-M processor designs for use with Xilinx FPGAs

Subject: General Tech | October 1, 2018 - 12:03 AM |
Tagged: Xilinx, RISC-V, FPGA, cortex-m3, cortex-m1, cortex-m, arm

Today, at the Xilinx Developer Forum event in San Jose, Arm has announced an expansion of their DesignStart program to offer Cortex M-series capabilities to customers of Xilinx FPGAs.

Arm DesignStart is a program which allows smaller customers to gain quick access to Arm IP. Developers can access the full Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3, and subsystem RTL designs for evaluation and integration into their products.

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If a customer decides to utilize this IP in a commercialized product, they are then subject to a success-based royalty model. This is a similar business model that we've seen 3D game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity move to, where the development tools are free, but the engine holders are paid a percentage of unit sales.

Today's announcement in conjunction with Xilinx, removes the royalty requirement traditionally associated with DesignStart. Developers will gain access to Arm Cortex-M1, an optimized version of Cortex-M0 specifically for usage in FPGAs, Cortex-M3 soft processor IP, as well as software toolchain improvements. Arm IP has been integrated into the Xilinx Vivado Design Suite, allowing for "drag and drop" integration of Arm Cortex-M processors and Xilinx FPGAs.

At a time when the competition in the embedded space is stronger than ever from the likes of the RISC-V foundation, this could be an excellent opportunity for Arm to attract new customers to their ecosystem. As high-speed data processing becomes the norm, the pairing of application-optimized FPGA and general purpose Microprocessors should become common in the data center and beyond.

Stay tuned from more news this week at the Xilinx Developer Forum!

Source: Arm

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October 1, 2018 | 07:36 PM - Posted by RISCyInLicensingLandLately (not verified)

Man that RISC-V has gotten Arm Holdings(SoftBank) scared!
Marvell, Western Digital, and Nvidia are supporting more RISC-V development lately. Marvell now owns Cavium(ThunderX2) so who Knows there but RISC-V is bing used more for controllers currently. Western Digital is really wanting to develop more non controller processor designs that make use of the RISC-V ISA.

But just because the RISC-V ISA is Open Source does not mean the underlying Hadrware that executes the Open Source RISC-V ISA will ever be open as that's going to still be proprietary to the ones who created the Processors that just happen to be engineered to execute that RISC-V open source ISA.

ARM Holdings makes even more Money from those Top Tier ARM ISA(Only) Architectural Licensees like Apple/Samsung and others but Apple does not own the Rights to the ARMv8A/Newer ISA. Apple only owns its specific core designs that are custom engineered to execute that ARMv8A/Newer ISA. Apple/Others could very easily switch to RISC-V if they want to save on those costly Top Tier ISA only Architectural License Fees.

Who the hell needs Arm Holdings' stubby little narrow order superscalar Reference Design cores when Apple's Custom A Series cores, or Samsung's Custom Mongoose M3 cores, are twice as wide orde superscalar as any of Arm Holdings' stubby little narrow order superscalar Refrence Core designs that are not up to the task. Apple and Samsung could very easily take their custom core designs and change up some microcode and decoder logic and be running the RISC-V ISA.

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