I was wondering if there are any significant differences between a plain old ARM7TDMI processor and the ARM7TDMI the GBA console uses.

I'm interested in learning to program a GBA or an ARM7 type processor, and if there are differences, it would change the compiler and equipment I need to use.

  • It might be useful to realize that ARM doesn't sell silicon; they license processor core designs to companies who do. – Chris Stratton Nov 19 '18 at 21:55
  • Why would there be a difference? – OmarL Nov 20 '18 at 8:42

Well, if it's an ARM7TDMI, then it's an ARM7TDMI - what else?

ARM7 - 32 Bit base architecture with

  • T - Thumb instruction set, therefore an ARMv4T micro architecture, so no more 26 bit addressing.
  • D - Debug extension (JTAG-Port)
  • M - Fast multiplier
  • I - enhanced ICE support

That's what ARM sold and Nintendo bought. Or more precisely, they bought an ARM7TDMI-S core, the synthesizable version, one that can be integrated with other parts into a single chip. And that's what they did :)

Good one stop shops for information to start might be

For more information RC might not be the perfect forum, as it's still actual technology.

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I believe there are no differences whatsoever; it's a little hand-wavey but e.g. the GBATEK document (in that link reformatted into NoCash style) appears to describe an ordinary ARM7TDMI.

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