AMBA (bus protocol)

The Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture (AMBA) specification defines an on-chip communications standard for designing high-performance embedded microcontrollers. It is supported by the ARM Limited corporation.

Three distinct buses are defined within the AMBA specification:

  • the Advanced High-performance Bus (AHB)
  • the Advanced System Bus (ASB)
  • the Advanced Peripheral Bus (APB).

The AMBA specification has been derived to satisfy four key requirements:

  • to facilitate the right-first-time development of embedded microcontroller products with one or more CPUs or signal processors
  • to be technology-independent and ensure that highly reusable peripheral and system macrocells can be migrated across a diverse range of IC processes and be appropriate for full-custom, standard cell and gate array technologies
  • to encourage modular system design to improve processor independence, providing a development road-map for advanced cached CPU cores and the development of peripheral libraries
  • to minimize the silicon infrastructure required to support efficient on-chip and off-chip communication for both operation and manufacturing test.

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