ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore

ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore
Designed by ARM
Common manufacturer(s)
  • TSMC
Max. CPU clock rate 800 MHz  to 2000 MHz 
Instruction set ARMv7
Cores 1-4
L1 cache 32 kB I/32 kB D

The ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore is a multicore processor providing up to 4 cache-coherent Cortex-A9 cores, each implementing the ARM v7 instruction set architecture.[1]



Key features of the Cortex-A9 core are:[2]

  • Out-of-order speculative issue superscalar execution pipeline giving 2.50 DMIPS/MHz/core.
  • NEON SIMD instruction set extension performing up to 16 operations per instruction (optional).
  • High performance VFPv3 Floating Point Unit doubling the performance of previous ARM FPUs (optional).
  • Thumb-2 instruction set encoding reduces the size of programs with little impact on performance.
  • TrustZone security extensions.
  • Jazelle DBX support for Java execution.
  • Jazelle RCT for JIT compilation.
  • Program Trace Macrocell and CoreSight Design Kit for unobtrusive tracing of instruction execution.
  • L2 cache controller (0-4 MB).
  • Dual-core processing.

ARM states that the TSMC 40G hard macro implementation typically operating at 2 GHz; a single core (excluding caches) occupies less than 1.5 mm2 when designed in a TSMC 65 nanometer (nm) generic process[3] and can be clocked at speeds over 1 GHz, consuming less than 250 mW per core.[4]


Several system-on-a-chips (SoC's) are implementing the Cortex-A9 core, including:

Overview of ARM Cortex-A9 SoCs

Developed by Name NEON SIMD Vector Floating Point Unit GPU
Apple Inc. A5 Yes VFPv3 PowerVR SGX543MP2
Freescale Semiconductor i.MX6[14] Yes VFPv3 Vivante Corporation GPU IP Cores[15]
Nufront NuSmartTM 2816/NS2816 Yes ? ARM Mali-400[16]
Nvidia Tegra 2 series No VFPv3-D16 GeForce ULP
Nvidia Tegra (Kal-El) series Yes VFPv3 GeForce ULP
Renesas Electronics EMMA Mobile/EV2[17] Yes ? PowerVR SGX530
Trident Microsystems PNX8473[18] ? ? PowerVR SGX
Trident Microsystems PNX8483[19] ? ? PowerVR SGX
Trident Microsystems PNX8491[20] ? ? PowerVR SGX
Samsung Exynos 4210 Yes VFPv3 ARM Mali-400 MP
STMicroelectronics SPEAr1340 No VFPv3 ARM Mali-200[21]
ST Ericsson Nova A9500 Yes VFPv3 ARM Mali-400
ST Ericsson NovaThor U8500 Yes VFPv3 ARM Mali-400
ST Ericsson NovaThor U9500 Yes VFPv3 ARM Mali-400
Texas Instruments OMAP4 series Yes VFPv3 PowerVR SGX540
Xilinx WP369 Extensible Processing Platform ? ? ?
ZiiLABS ZMS-20 Yes VFPv3 ZiiLABS flexible Stemcell media processing

ARM Cortex-A9 software development platforms

Developed by Name SoC RAM ROM SD SATA USB Ethernet Wi-Fi Bluetooth GPS Accelerometer Magnetometer Gyroscope Barometer
OrigenBoard OrigenBoard [22] Samsung Exynos 4210 1 GiB DDR3 - 2 Port SD/MMC Card Slot - embedded - SWB-A31 SWB-A31 - - - - -
PandaBoard PandaBoard TI OMAP4430[23] 1 GiB LP-DDR2 - Full size SD/MMC card - LAN9514-JZX LAN9514-JZX LS240-WI-01-A20 LS240-WI-01-A20 - - - - -
Calao systems Snowball[24] ST-Ericsson Nova A9500[25] 1 GiB LP-DDR2 4 / 8GB e-MMC microSD - FT232R LAN9221 AW-NH580 AW-NH580 AW-NH580 LSM303DLH LSM303DLH L3G4200D LPS001WP
Trim-Slice Trim-Slice[26] Tegra 2 series 1 GiB DDR2-667 - Full size SD slot (SDHC) + microSD slot (SDHC) GL830 embedded RTL8111DL RT3070 - - - - - -

See also


  1. ^ ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore - ARM Processor
  2. ^ "Cortex-A9 Processor Specifications". ARM. 
  3. ^ Cortex-A9 Single Core Processor - ARM Processor
  4. ^ ARM spins multicore-enabled Cortex core - News - Linux for Devices
  5. ^ "Introducing the i.MX 6 Series". Freescale Semiconductor. 
  6. ^ "Computer System Chip". 
  7. ^ NXP to show the first fully integrated 45nm set top box soc based on ARM cortex - A9 processors, 
  8. ^ > Application Processor > Cortex A9 Series > Exynos 4210
  9. ^ SPEAr1310 Dual-core Cortex A9 embedded MPU for communications, 
  10. ^ ST Ericsson NovaThor U8500, ST Ericsson,, retrieved 19 February 2011 
  11. ^ ST Ericsson NovaThor U9500, ST Ericsson,, retrieved 25 September 2011 
  12. ^ White Paper: Extensible Processing Platform, 
  13. ^ ZiiLABS ZMS-20 Dual ARM Cortex A9 Media Processor, 
  14. ^ Introducing the i.MX 6 Series of Applications Processors, 
  15. ^ Vivante GPU IP Cores Power the Latest Freescale i.MX 6 Series of Application Processors, 
  16. ^ Nufront 2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 for Desktop, Laptop and Netbook – NuSmart 2816, 
  17. ^ EMMA Mobile Home, 
  18. ^ PNX847x, 
  19. ^ PNX848x, 
  20. ^ PNX849x, 
  21. ^ SPEAr family of embedded microprocessors, 
  22. ^ OriginBoard Documents, 
  23. ^ OMAP™ 4 Platform: OMAP4430/OMAP4460, 
  24. ^ Snowball technical documentation, 
  25. ^ Changing the game: ST-Ericsson Unveils NovaThor™ Family of Smartphone Platforms Combining its Most Advanced Application Processors with the Latest Generation of Modems, 
  26. ^ Trime-Slice Models, 

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