Free, pre-commercial access to ARM Cortex-M0 core

October 14, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
With the objective of speeding and simplifying the early stages of embedded-core SoC designs, ARM has made available free access to the IP for a preconfigured implementation of the Cortex-M0 core. This is offered via the ARM DesignStart portal, where design, simulation and prototyping can be carried out, accompanied by a low-cost, simplified licensing package for commercialisation.

ARM says it is making it, “far easier to design, prototype and produce system-on-a-chip (SoC) components,” by offering free pre-commercialisation use of ARM Cortex-M0 processor IP and low-cost FPGA prototyping. The package includes:
· A Cortex-M0 processor and System Design Kit (SDK), featuring system IP, peripherals, test bench and software
· A free 90 day licence for the full suite of ARM Keil MDK development tools.

The package will enable the design, simulation and testing of new SoCs using a pre-configured Cortex-M0 processor without incurring the capital costs typically associated with up-front licensing. There is an option to move to the prototyping stage with a $995 ARM Versatile Express FPGA development board.

Developers wishing to enter full commercial production can then purchase a simplified and standardised $40,000 fast track licence. This includes commercial use of ARM Cortex-M0 processor IP, SDK, and Keil MDK development tools, along with ARM technical support.

The upgraded DesignStart portal makes ARM technology available, the company asserts, to the broadest range of SoC developers, from startups to established vendors, and makes the path to full commercial production easier and faster.

“The DesignStart portal is available to all SoC designers, but will be particularly valuable to companies that are incorporating ARM technology for the first time,” said Nandan Nayampally, vice president of marketing, CPU group, ARM. “We want to enable startups, makers and other entrants into IoT as well as embedded applications to accelerate their development path with an excellent starting point around which to build their technology and rapidly achieve commercially viable solutions. The new portal package achieves this by offering an easy route to design and production with industry-leading ARM technology, backed by the broadest embedded software ecosystem.”