DesignWare ARC Processor Cores 

Accelerating Development of Performance-Efficient SoCs 

Synopsys' DesignWare® ARC® Processors are a family of 32-bit CPUs that SoC designers can optimize for a wide range of uses, from deeply embedded to high-performance host applications in a variety of market segments. Designers can differentiate their products by using patented configuration technology to tailor each ARC processor instance to meet specific performance, power and area requirements. The DesignWare ARC processors are also extendable, allowing designers to add their own custom instructions that dramatically increase performance. Synopsys' ARC processors have been used by over 170 customers worldwide who collectively ship more than 1.5 billion ARC-based chips annually.

All DesignWare ARC processors utilize a 16-/32-bit ISA that provides excellent performance and code density for embedded and host SoC applications. The RISC microprocessors are synthesizable and can be implemented in any foundry or process, and are supported by a complete suite of development tools.

DesignWare ARC processors are supported by a broad ecosystem of commercial and open source tools, operating systems and middleware. This includes offerings from leading industry vendors who are members of the ARC Access Program as well as a comprehensive suite of free and open source software available through the embARC Open Software Platform.


  • ARC HS Family
  • High-speed, 32-bit multicore processors for high-end embedded applications more

Single-, dual- and quad-core 32-bit processor for real-time control applications

Single-, dual- and quad-core 32-bit processor with I and D cache

Single-, dual- and quad-core 32-bit processor for embedded Linux applications

ARC 710D
Cacheless 32-bit processor for real-time control

ARC 725D
Efficient 32-bit processor with I & D caches

ARC 770D
High-performance processor with MMU and Linux acceleration package

ARC 601
Compact, low-power, cacheless 32-bit processor

ARC 605
Compact, cacheless 32-bit processor with power management unit

Pre-configured low-power, compact 32-bit core for deeply embedded apps

ARC 610D
Low-power, cacheless 32-bit processor with DSP capabilities

ARC 625D
Low-power, 32-bit processor with DSP capabilities and I & D caches

  • ARC EM Family
  • Compact, ultra low-power processors for deeply embedded applicationsmore

Ultra-compact and power-efficient cacheless 32-bit processor

Ultra-compact and power-efficient 32-bit processor with I & D caches

Compact, power-efficient DSP-enhanced processor with I & D CCMs

Compact, power-efficient DSP-enhanced processor with I & D CCMs and caches

High-performance DSP-enhanced core with XY memory support

High-performance DSP-enhanced core with XY memory support and up to 32KB of I&D caches

ARC EM with Safety Enhancement Package for automotive safety apps

Configurable audio processors for low- to high-end applications

Memory Protection Unit
Division of address space into regions associated with specific attributes such as read, write, and execute prevents faulting instructions from completing

Secure for ARC 600
Execution of encrypted code for ARC 600 cores provides cost-effective protection against memory and system attacks with little impact on system performance

XY Advanced DSP
Adds the power of a true DSP engine to enable conventional and signal processing computation within a single architecture

Floating Point
Adds high-performance single- and double-precision floating point math instructions to ARC processor families

Real-Time Trace
Hardware modules that can be integrated into any ARC-based SoC to enable rapid software debug with minimal increase in die size and no power consumption penalty

Hardware extensions to accelerate common cryptographic software algorithms such as AES, SHA-256, RSA, DES and elliptic curve cryptography (ECC)

microDMA Controller
Support for up to 16 programmable channels, two addressing modes, and five data transfer modes enables data movement to/from memory while the processor is in one of its eight sleep states

Configurable hardware that manages inter-core communication, interrupt handling and debug to facilitate multicore integration

ARC Audio Processors
High-performance audio processors with low power consumption and small footprint for a broad range of SoC designs

ARC Audio Codecs
Ideal for ultra-low power portable applications or for high performance broadcast and home entertainment SoCs

Media Streaming Framework
For easy creation of complex audio graphs, including a Blu-ray Disc reference design

Synopsys' broad portfolio of DesignWare® ARC® Processors includes a variety of 32-bit CPUs from power-efficient to high-performance cores that SoC designers can optimize for a wide range of uses, including embedded and deeply embedded applications. Designers can differentiate their products by using patented configuration technology to tailor each ARC processor instance to meet the specific performance, power and area requirements of their mobile, IoT, digital home, automotive, industrial and storage applications.


High-performance ARC multicore processors have excellent DMIPS/mW for battery-operated mobile apps

  Internet of Things
Internet of Things

On-chip integration of sensor control, embedded processing & communication for IoT applications

  Digital Home
Digital Home

Best-in-class code density of ARC cores reduces memory size & power for digital home applications


Small, low-power ARC cores for automotive have high code density & the most DMIPS/mW in their class


High-performance, low-power ARC processors support fast read/write speeds for SSDs and flash cards


The ARC Advantage: Maximum Performance With Minimum Area and Power

ARC processor cores are optimized to deliver the best performance/power/area (PPA) efficiency in the industry for embedded SoCs. Designed from the start for power-sensitive embedded applications, ARC processors implement a Harvard architecture for higher performance through simultaneous instruction and data memory access, and a high-speed scalar pipeline for maximum power efficiency. The 32-bit RISC engine offers a mixed 16-bit/32-bit instruction set for greater code density in embedded systems.

ARC's high degree of configurability and instruction set architecture (ISA) extensibility contribute to its best-in-class PPA efficiency. Designers have the ability to add or omit hardware features to optimize the core's PPA for their target application - no wasted gates. ARC users also have the ability to add their own custom instructions and hardware accelerators to the core, as well as tightly couple memory and peripherals, enabling dramatic improvements in performance and power-efficiency at both the processor and system levels.

Complete and proven commercial and open source tool chains, optimized for ARC processors, give SoC designers the development environment they need to efficiently develop ARC-based systems that meet all of their PPA targets.

The ARC Advantage: Implement Only the Hardware You Need to Optimize PPA

ARC processors are highly configurable, allowing designers to optimize the performance, power and area of each processor instance on their SoC by implementing only the hardware needed. The ARChitect wizard enables drag-and-drop configuration of the core, including options for
  • Instruction, program counter and loop counter widths
  • Register file size
  • Timers, reset and interrupts
  • Byte ordering
  • Memory type, size, partitioning, base address
  • Power management, clock gating
  • Ports and bus protocol
  • Multipliers, dividers and other hardware features
  • Licensable components such as a Memory Protection Unit (MPU), Floating Point Unit (FPU) and Real-Time Trace (RTT)
  • Adding/removing instructions

The ARC Advantage: Add User-Defined Instructions to Accelerate Code Execution and Lower Power Consumption

ARC Processor EXtension (APEX) technology enables ARC users to easily add their own custom hardware to the processor, dramatically boosting performance and/or reducing power consumption for their targeted application(s). ARC processors can be extended with:
  • User-defined instructions
  • User-supplied hardware (e.g., Verilog RTL)
  • Core registers
  • Auxiliary registers
  • Condition & status codes
  • Memory mapped blocks and closely coupled peripherals
ARC processor extensions enable users to dramatically improve performance, power and area. User-defined instructions, for example, can accelerate software execution, enabling the same code to run in much fewer cycles which reduces energy consumption by lowering clock frequency requirements (or enables the execution of more operations with the same energy.) Code size is also reduced, lowering memory requirements which leads to additional cost and power savings.

Power and cycle count reduction running sensor application software with APEX accelerators

The APEX interface also enables ARC users to tightly couple memory and peripherals to the processor, eliminating the need for additional bus infrastructure. The resulting "bus-less" design further reduces area and latency, increasing system-level performance while reducing costs.

NewsArticlesBlogsWhite PapersWebinarsVideosNewslettersCustomer Successes