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This article discusses an architectural innovation from ARM known as Thumb. High-end embedded control applications such as cell-phones, disk drives, and modems are demanding more performance from their controllers whilst still requiring low costs. By implementing a second "compressed" instruction set, Thumb reduces RISC code size and hence provides 32-bit ARM RISC performance at 8/16-bit system cost. The article starts with a description of the problems of embedded control and then discusses the Thumb solution and its implementation. Typical application areas and competitive benchmarking are also covered.
Embedded systems, RISC architecture, embedded controllers

S. Segars, L. Goudge and K. Clarke, "Embedded Control Problems, Thumb, and the ARM7TDMI," in IEEE Micro, vol. 15, no. , pp. 22-30, 1995.
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