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Specifications

The Cortex-A53 processor is a high efficiency processor that implements the Armv8-A architecture. 

The Cortex-A53 processor has one to four cores, each with an L1 memory system and a single shared L2 cache. It can be combined with other Cortex-A CPUs in a big.LITTLE configuration.

Information on Cortex-A53.

Arm Cortex-A53 CPU

Architecture  Armv8-A
 Multicore 1-4x Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP) within a single processor cluster, and multiple coherent SMP processor clusters through AMBA 4 technology
 ISA Support
  • AArch32 for full backward compatibility with Armv7
  • AArch64 for 64-bit support and new architectural features
  • TrustZone security technology
  • Neon advanced SIMD
  • DSP & SIMD extensions
  • VFPv4 floating point
  • Hardware virtualization support
 Debug & Trace

Armv8-A Cryptographic Extension

The Armv8 Cryptographic Extension provides instructions for the acceleration of encryption and decryption, and includes:

  • Armv8.0-AES, which includes AESD and AESE instructions.
  • Armv8.0-SHA, which includes the SHA1* and SHA256* instructions.

The presence of the Cryptographic Extension in an implementation is subject to export license controls. The Cryptographic Extension is an extension of the SIMD support and operates on the vector register file

The Cryptographic Extension also provides multiply instructions that operate on long polynomials. The Cryptographic Extension provides this functionality in AArch64 state and AArch32 state, and an implementation that supports both AArch64 state and AArch32 state provides the same Cryptographic Extension functionality in both states.


Characteristics

The Cortex-A53 processor delivers significantly more performance than its predecessors at a higher level of power efficiency. This takes the performance of the core above that of the Cortex-A7 processor, which defines many popular mainstream and entry-level mobile platforms. The performance graph to the right shows the performance improvements of the Cortex-A53 processor against the Cortex-A7 processor.

The Armv8-A architecture brings a number of new features. These include 64-bit data processing, extended virtual addressing and a 64-bit general purpose registers. The Cortex-A53 processor is Arm’s first Armv8-A processor aimed at providing power-efficient 64-bit processing. It features an in-order, 8-stage, dual-issue pipeline, and improved integer, Neon, Floating-Point Unit (FPU) and memory performance.

The Cortex-A53 can be implemented in two execution states: AArch32 and AArch64. The AArch64 state gives the Cortex-A53 its ability to execute 64-bit applications, while the AArch32 state allows the processor to execute existing Armv7-A applications.

Performance graph on Cortex A53 to A7.


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Cortex-A comparison table (Armv7-A)
Feature Cortex-A5 Cortex-A7 Cortex-A9 Cortex-A15 Cortex-A17
Instruction set architecture and extensions Armv7-A Armv7-A
LPAE Virtualization
Armv7-A Armv7-A
LPAE Virtualization
Armv7-A
LPAE Virtualization
Pipeline In order In order Out of order Out of order Out of order
Superscalar No Partial Yes Yes Yes
Neon and Floating Point Unit Optional Optional Optional Optional Included
Floating Point Unit only Optional Optional Optional Optional Included
Cryptography Unit No No No No No
Physical Addressing (PA) 32-bit 40-bit 32-bit 40-bit 40-bit
Dual Core Lock-Step (DCLS) No No No No No
L1 I-Cache / D-Cache 4k-64KB 8k-64KB 16k-64KB 32KB/32KB 32k-64KB/32KB
L2 Cache External L2C-310 Up to 1MB External L2C-310 512KB-4MB 256KB-8MB
L3 Cache NA NA NA NA NA
ECC / Parity   No Yes Yes L2 only
LPAE No Yes No Yes Yes
Bus Interfaces AXI ACE AXI ACE or CHI ACE
ACP Optional No Optional Optional Optional
Peripheral Port     No No Yes
Functional Safety Support          
Security TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone
Interrupt Controller Optional Integrated GIC v1 (MP only) Optional Integrated GIC v2 Internal Integrated GIC v1 (MP only) Optional Integrated GICv2 External GICv2
Generic Timer No Yes Yes Armv8-A Armv8-A

Cortex-A comparison (Armv8-A)

Feature Cortex-A32 Cortex-A34 Cortex-A35 Cortex-A53 Cortex-A55 Cortex-A57 Cortex-A65 Cortex-A65AE Cortex-A72 Cortex-A73 Cortex-A75 Cortex-A76 Cortex-A76AE Cortex-A77 Cortex-A78
Instruction set architecture and extensions Armv8-A AArch32 only Armv8-A AArch64 only Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product Armv8-A Armv8-A
AArch64
only

Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only)
Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product Armv8-A
AArch64,
AArch32 at EL0

Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product
Armv8-A
AArch64,
AArch32 at EL0

Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product
Armv8-A
AArch64
AArch32 at EL0

Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product
Armv8-A, Armv8.1 extensions, Armv8.2 extensions, Cryptography extensions, RAS extensions, Armv8.3 (LDAPR instructions only), Armv8.4 Dot Product
Pipeline In order In order In order In order In order Out of order Out of order Out-of-order Out of order Out of order Out-of-order Out-of-order Out-of-order Out-of-order
Out-of-order
Superscalar       Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes
Neon and Floating Point Unit Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Included Included Included Included Included Included Included Included Included
Included
Floating Point Unit only N/A N/A N/A N/A Optional Included Included Included Included Included Included Included Included Included
Included
Cryptography Unit Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional
Optional
Physical Addressing (PA) 40-bit 40-bit 40-bit 40-bit 40-bit 40-bit 44-bit 44-bit 44-bit 40-bit 44-bit 40-bit 40-bit 40-bit
40-bit
Dual Core Lock-Step (DCLS) No No No No No No No Yes (in safety-mode) No No No No Yes (in safety-mode) No
No
L1 I-Cache / D-Cache 8KB-64KB 8KB-64KB 8K-64KB 8KB-64KB 16KB-64KB 48KB/32KB 16KB to 64KB 16KB to 64KB 48KB/32KB-64KB 32KB/32KB-64KB 64KB 64KB 64KB 64KB
64KB
L2 Cache 128KB-1MB 128KB-1MB 128KB-1MB 128KB-2MB 64KB-256KB 512KB-2MB 64KB to 256KB 64KB to 256KB 512KB-4MB 256KB-8MB 256KB to 512KB 256KB to 512KB 256KB to 512KB 256KB to 512KB
256KB to 512KB
L3 Cache NA NA NA NA Optional
From 256KB to 4MB
NA Optional 512KB to 4MB Optional 512KB to 4MB NA NA Optional 512KB to 4MB Optional 512KB to 4MB Optional 512KB to 4MB Optional 512KB to 4MB
Optional 512KB to 4MB
ECC / Parity Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes L2 only Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes
LPAE Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Yes
Bus Interfaces ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI ACE or CHI
ACE or CHI
ACP Optional Optional Optional Optional Optional Yes Optional Optional Optional Yes Optional Optional Optional Optional
Optional
Peripheral Port         Optional   Optional Optional     Optional Optional Optional Optional
Optional
Functional Safety Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes Yes
ASIL D systematic
Security TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone TrustZone
TrustZone
Interrupt Controller External
GICv3
External
GICv3
External
GICv3
External
GICv3
External
GICv4
External
GICv3
External
GICv4
External
GICv4
External
GICv3
External
GICv3
External
GICv4
External
GICv4
External
GICv4
External
GICv4
External
GICv4
Generic Timer Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A Armv8-A
Armv8-A