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ac6 >> ac6-training >> Processors >> ARM Cores >> CORTEX-A72 implementation, ARM Architecture V8 Download as PDF Write us

RA8 CORTEX-A72 implementation, ARM Architecture V8

This course covers the Cortex-A72 and AARCH64

  • This course aims to highlight the new features offered by the V8 architecture.
  • It has been developed for engineers developing low level software and engineers in charge of IP hardening.
  • First, an overview of Cortex-A72 is provided, to highlight the differences between a Cortex-A15/Cortex-A7 hardware platform based on CCI-400 and a Cortex-A72/Cortex-A53 hardware platform based on CCN-504.
  • The new exception mechanism is described.
  • The enhancements regarding the LPAE are detailed.
  • New A64 assembler instructions are explained through practical examples.
  • The AAPCS64 is also covered.
  • The course also details the new debug ARM V8 features.
  • Cortex-A72 hardware implementation is explained, particularly the low power states.

A more detailed course description is available on request at
  • Knowledge of ARM Architecture V7 is mandatory, particularly the LPAE.
  • Theoretical course
    • PDF course material (in English) supplemented by a printed version for face-to-face courses.
    • Online courses are dispensed using the Teams video-conferencing system.
    • The trainer answers trainees' questions during the training and provide technical and pedagogical assistance.
  • At the start of each session the trainer will interact with the trainees to ensure the course fits their expectations and correct if needed
  • Any embedded systems engineer or technician with the above prerequisites.
  • The prerequisites indicated above are assessed before the training by the technical supervision of the traineein his company, or by the trainee himself in the exceptional case of an individual trainee.
  • Trainee progress is assessed by quizzes offered at the end of various sections to verify that the trainees have assimilated the points presented
  • At the end of the training, each trainee receives a certificate attesting that they have successfully completed the course.
    • In the event of a problem, discovered during the course, due to a lack of prerequisites by the trainee a different or additional training is offered to them, generally to reinforce their prerequisites,in agreement with their company manager if applicable.

Course Outline

  • Memory interface that implements either an ACE or CHI interface
  • Coherent interface, studying examples of hardware coherency within a Cluster and between Clusters
  • SoC architecture based on CCN-504 interconnect
  • Enhancement with regard to AArchv7
  • Register mapping between A32/T32 and A64
  • Mapping of AArch64 System registers to the AArch32 System registers
  • Four exception levels
  • Exception Link Registers
  • Register banking by exception level based on a new exception model
  • Nesting on the same exception level
  • Exception type and exception origin
  • Syndrome registers used to provide a status information to the exception handler
  • Exception return instruction
  • Security model when EL3 is using AArch64
  • Trapping to EL3 using AArch64
  • Managing two types of processes: 64-bit and 32-bit, switching on an exception
  • Non secure space organization
  • The effect of implementing EL2 on the Exception model
  • Virtual interrupts
  • Superscalar operation
  • Predicted and non-predicted instructions
  • Branch accelerators
  • Invalidation and context switches
  • Highlighting differences with Cortex-A57
  • Synchronization and semaphores
  • Shareability memory attributes
  • Operation of the global monitor
  • Load acquire / Store release instruction pair
  • Use of WFE and SEV instructions by spin-locks
  • CLREXMON request and acknowledge signaling
  • Mixed-endian support
  • Program counter and stack pointer alignment
  • Ordering requirements
  • Page attributes : Normal or Device
  • Shareability and access limitations on the data barrier operations
  • Memory barriers
  • LPAE enhancements to adapt to AArch64
  • Supporting up to 48 bits of VA per TTBR
  • Access permission checking
  • Supporting up to 48 bits of IPA and PA spaces
  • VMSAv8-64 address translation system
  • Memory translation granule size
  • Descriptor page table organization, descriptor format
  • Hierarchical control of Secure or Non-secure memory accesses
  • TLB preload instructions
  • TLB maintenance instructions in A64
  • Cortex-A72 TLB implementation
  • Cache hierarchy, Point of Unification, Point of Coherency
  • Load non temporal instruction
  • Instruction and Data cache maintenance instructions in A64
  • Cortex-A72 L1 and L2 memory system
  • L2 hardware cache flush
  • L2 replacement algorithm selection
  • A64 assembly language, regular bit encoding structure
  • Instruction aliases
  • Branches, function call and return
  • Conditional select instructions, avoiding branches
  • Load Store instructions, addressing modes
  • Arithmetic and logical instructions, CRC calculation instructions
  • Instructions for accessing AArch32 Execution environment registers
  • General register usage convention
  • Stack pointer and frame pointer
  • NEON / VFP register usage convention
  • New register banking for NEON and VFP
  • Mapping of the SIMD and floating-point registers between the Execution states
  • Vector formats in AArch64 state
  • New SIMD instructions
  • Cryptography software support through a new family of instructions
  • Generic Interrupt Controller CPU interface registers
  • Interrupt virtualization
  • Interrupt handling to support nesting
  • System counter clock frequency
  • Physical and virtual timer count registers
  • Physical up-count comparison, down-count value and timer control registers
  • Virtual up-count comparison, down-count value and timer control registers
  • Wait for Interrupt and Wait for Event
  • Cortex-A72 low power modes
  • L2 Wait for Interrupt
  • Processor dynamic retention
  • Support for power management with multiple power domains
  • Dormant mode
  • Processor dynamic retention
  • L2 RAMs dynamic retention
  • Self-hosted debug
  • Debug state instructions
  • Linked comparisons for Breakpoint/Watchpoint exception generation
  • Software Step exceptions
  • Routing debug exceptions
  • External debug, cross-triggering
  • Embedded Trace Macrocell architecture
  • Per-function performance monitoring at EL0 level
  • Effect of EL3 and EL2 on Performance Monitor
  • Event filtering
  • Clocking
  • Resets