Arm Custom Instructions Coming to Armv8-M Embedded Processors

So far Arm defined all instructions for their cores with the benefit of code portability between solutions, so code compiled for an Arm Cortex-M33 based microcontroller would run on another without modifications (we’re obviously talking about code running directly on the core, not using specific peripherals here). But with RISC-V open-source architecture many have seen the benefit of custom instructions for specific tasks, at the risk of potential fragmentation. With Arm Techcon 2019 now taking place, Arm has just announced support for custom instructions for ARMv8-M embedded CPUs starting with Arm Cortex-M33 cores. The implementation of Arm Custom Instructions for specific embedded and IoT applications will start in H1 2020 at no additional cost to licensees and without risk of software fragmentation using NOCP exception if the instructions are not available. Arm futher explains: Arm Custom Instructions are enabled by modifications to the CPU that reserve encoding space for designers to easily add custom datapath extensions while maintaining the integrity …

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