ess logo  
  Events & Promos  
ARM DS-5 Development Studio

DS-5 Development Studio is an end-to-end suite of tools for embedded C/C++ software development on any ARM processor.

DS-5 provides comprehensive support for SoC design and bring-up. From the earliest RTL simulation through to optimizations for native Android apps, DS-5 gives you the best insight into ARM-based systems.

The suite includes DS-5 Debugger, Streamline performance analyzer, ARM Compiler 5 & 6*, Linaro GCC, simulation models and the Eclipse IDE.

Device bring-up is easier in DS-5. Designed alongside ARM processors, CoreSight infrastructure and debug hardware, DS-5 helps to abstract the debug connection and comes with preconfigured debug connections to devices from over 40 semiconductor partners and OEMs.

Video Tutorial

In this video learn about ARM® DS-5 Development Studio, an end-to-end suite of tools for embedded C/C++ software development targeting any ARM-based SoC. This includes DS-5 Debugger, Streamline performance analyzer, ARM Compiler, Fixed Virtual Platform (FVP) and the Eclipse IDE.


This four minute video guides you through the basics of using the DS-5 Debugger, from creating a debug configuration to setting a breakpoint in your code.

Find out more about DS-5 at


Published on Mar 21, 2014

ARM Ronan Synnott talked about the Streamline feature of the ARM DS-5 Development Studio running with ARM Mali GPUs, at GDC 2014.

Upgrading from RealView Developer Suite (RVDS) to DS-5

DS-5 is the successor to RVDS and our recommended tool suite for all new projects. DS-5 brings compiler improvements, support for the latest ARM processors as well as a much more powerful debugger. The DS-5 Debugger offers support for multi-core and multi-cluster devices, in addition to awareness for Linux, Android and a range of RTOS.

For safety-related software development, we now also package the TÜV SÜD certified ARM Compiler 5, Compiler Qualification Kit and Extended Maintenance as part of DS-5 Ultimate Edition.

RVDS customers can even get 35% off when upgrading to DS-5 Professional Edition.

Feature Community Professional Ultimate
DS-5 Eclipse IDE
Debugger and Streamline plugins for third party Eclipse IDE
Processor Support  more >>
Cortex-A (ARMv7-A)
Cortex-A5x (ARMv8-A)    
Code Generation
ARM Compiler 6    
ARM Compiler 5  
ARM Assembler  
ARM MicroLib run-time library  
Linaro GNU GCC Compiler for Linux
Streamline Performance Analyzer
Performance counters Limited Set
Process/task tracing
Flat function profiling
Hierarchical profiling  
Multicore analysis  
External power data analysis  
Call graph view  
Stack usage view  
Annotation log view  
Timeline filtering  
Linux and Android gdbserver debug  
Linux and Android Application Rewind  
Stop-mode multicore Linux kernel debug  
Stop-mode multicore bare-metal and RTOS debug  
ETM instruction and data trace  
PTM program trace  
Trace-based function profiling  
ITM/STM instrumentation and system trace  
Support for global trace timestamps  
Support for cross triggering  
Cortex-A8 fixed virtual platform  
Quad-Core Cortex-A9 fixed virtual platform  
ARMv8 fixed virtual platform    
Host Platform
Mac OS X Streamline only Streamline only
Technical Support and Maintenance Community forums and online tutorials ARM & distribution network technical support ARM & distribution network technical support


From the start of your design process to the final touches, ARM® has created a comprehensive tools solution for ARMv8 which will help you get 64-bit devices and software to market as quickly as possible. Based on the tools portfolio which has helped our customers to ship billions of devices, ARM DS-5 Development Studio Ultimate Edition gives you everything you need for ARMv8 development.

Bring-up, debug and optimization are all made quicker with our industry-leading development environment. Code generation from our LLVM based ARM Compiler 6 toolchain gives exceptional performance and better overall program optimization, right from the start.

DS-5 Ultimate Edition supports all the architectural features new to ARMv8 processors, giving you bring-up tools and trace to deal with even the most complex SoC topologies. With support in DS-5 Debugger for virtualization, big.LITTLE systems and all the latest system IP from ARM, you can handle complex applications, making it easier than ever to write incredible software.

  • The Leading Edge

    Exceptional big.LITTLE™ and multicluster debug support makes development of cutting edge ARMv8 devices rapid. DS-5 debugger and Streamline performance analyzer help to get your software running, optimized and out the door faster than ever.

  • ARM Compiler 6

    Based on the LLVM infrastructure, ARM Compiler 6 takes highly optimized ARM C libraries and pairs them with a modern, modular front end to give you the best of ARM and open source in one toolchain for bare-metal compilation.

  • ARMv8 FVP

    DS-5 Ultimate Edition includes the ARMv8 FVP, giving you access to a complete ARM system simulation for kernel, application and bare-metal development without the need for a hardware target.


DS-5 Ultimate Edition includes the ARMv8 FVP, giving you access to a complete ARM system simulation for kernel, application and bare-metal development without the need for a hardware target.




From the earliest modeling with an FVP, to RTL simulation using the VSTREAM virtual debug interface, to device development and bring-up using the DSTREAM debug and trace unit, DS-5 Ultimate Edition gives you the tools to cope with modern SoCs. Debugging big.LITTLE configurations of Cortex-A53 and Cortex-A57 processors is as easy as debugging a multicore Cortex-A9, with an intuitive, synchronized interface.

For complex debug and trace configurations, we also provide DTSL scripting, allowing you to customize all aspects of your debug connection to gain maximum insight into the execution of your code.

  • Virtualization

    Run more than one OS, with full hypervisor debug support in DS-5 Debugger making it easy to troubleshoot problems.

  • Keep Data Secure

    Debug TrustZone® secure applications and monitor exception levels EL0 - EL3, helping you to protect sensitive data and win your customers' trust.

DS-5 Customized Editions

ARM DS-5 Development Studio for Altera SoC Devices

Part of the Altera SoC Embedded Design Suite (EDS), ARM® DS-5 Development Studio Altera Edition combines the most advanced JTAG-based multi-core debugger for ARM architecture with FPGA-adaptive debugging to provide embedded software developers with full-chip visibility and control for Altera SoC devices.


ARM DS-5 for Freescale Vybrid Controllers

ARM has partnered with Freescale to create two versions of the ARM® DS-5™ toolchain specially tailored for use with Freescale® Vybrid™ controller solutions. Inheriting the flexibility and ease-of-use of DS-5 Professional Edition, both DS-5 Vybrid Controller Edition and DS-5 Starter Kit for Vybrid Controllers Tower System™ Module comprise a complete embedded development toolkit designed to explore the unique capabilities of the Freescale Vybrid controller solutions.


DS-5 for Renesas RZ

Developed in close collaboration with Renesas Electronics, the ARM DS-5 Starter Kit for Renesas RZ and ARM DS-5 Renesas RZ Edition provide a comprehensive development tools solution to speed up your RZ/A MPU-based project. Specially tailored for the Renesas RZ/A1 series of MPUs, these versions of DS-5 include all the right tools for you, at the right price point.

ARM Compiler

ARM® DS-5 Development Studio Professional Edition includes ARM Compiler 5, whilst DS-5 Ultimate Edition ships with ARM Compiler 6, the reference C/C++ toolchains for the ARM architecture, which are ideal for microcontrollers, modem stacks, audio and video codecs and in general any bare metal application that requires high performance and small code size. Developed alongside the ARM architecture, the ARM Compilers are supported and maintained by ARM experts, giving you the confidence to rely on our toolchain for even the most demanding applications.

With DS-5 you can also edit, debug and optimize code built with the GNU Compiler (GCC) toolchain. For convenience, we integrate Linaro GCC for Linux in the DS-5 installation, so you can try our Linux examples and create your own Linux applications.






ARM® Compiler 6 is the compilation toolchain for the ARMv8 architecture, available in ARM DS-5 Ultimate Edition. ARM Compiler 6 brings together the modern LLVM compiler infrastructure and the highly optimized ARM C libraries to produce performance and power optimized embedded software for the ARM architecture.

A complete toolchain that works out-of-the-box, ARM Compiler 6 has been developed alongside the ARMv8 architecture and is supported with DS-5 Ultimate Edition.

Developed and maintained by ARM experts, ARM Compiler 6 has undergone exhaustive testing by ARM, our lead partners, and the community to ensure that it is stable, mature and efficient. ARM Compiler 6 makes use of Clang for the compiler front-end, whilst also retaining familiar sub-tools such as armasm, armlink, armar and fromelf. With ARM Compiler 6, you get the earliest access to support for new ARM IP, giving you a head-start in code generation.




The Reference Compiler for ARM

The ARM Compiler is the only build toolchain specifically designed to optimize software running on ARM processors. It is the result of 20 years of development alongside the ARM Architecture, enabling you to profit from the extended ARM instruction set, including VFP and NEON™. The ARM Compiler toolchain incorporates a highly optimizing C/C++ compiler, assembler, linker and libraries for embedded software development.

Billions of devices containing software built with ARM tools have shipped to date, covering all embedded markets. Whether your industry is avionics, consumer electronics, mobile, industrial automation, automotive or medical, the ARM compiler can play a key role in optimizing your code.



The highly efficient ARM Compiler invokes powerful optimization techniques such as loop unrolling, function inlining, idiom recognition, architecture-specific instruction scheduling and NEON autovectorization.

  • The ARM Compiler v5.0 featured in DS-5 provides a 15% performance increase over the RVDS 4.0 compiler.
  • The ARM Compiler can automatically vectorize standard C/C++ source code and generate NEON code sequences, which can speed up critical code such as multimedia kernels by up to 4X.
ARM Compiler Qualification Kit

Confidence in ARM Tools, Confidence in Your Systems

Compilers are critically important to safety-related applications as they generate the code that will run on the target system. The ARM® Compiler Qualification Kit targets the safety-related software developer and provides vital information about toolchain operation, recommended usage, and diagnostic capabilities.

Real Time Simulator


Start bare metal and Linux software development without a hardware target. Fast, quad core ARM® Cortex®-A9, Cortex-A8 and ARMv8 FVP simulation models in DS-5 Development Studio help you to get your projects running today.


Fixed Virtual Platforms give you a great way to start bare metal coding and Linux application development for ARM without the need for a physical target.

With FVPs, your software engineering team can work on application, firmware and early driver development far ahead of hardware availability. In cases where a large team is working on “generic” device support, models remove the need for a large number of hardware targets.

You can be totally confident that when your software executes on a FVP, it will execute the same way on the equivalent hardware. ARM FVPs are functionally accurate ARM instruction set models, so when hardware does arrive, there's no rush, no delays and no unforeseen costs.

Streamline Performance Analyzer

Make your software as efficient as the hardware it's running on

Giving you better insight into how your software executes than ever before, Streamline performance analyzer makes it easy to optimize for ARM®. Whether it's making your games more immersive and pushing the envelope of what Mali™ GPUs can deliver, or simply finding hot spots in source code to make a SoC as efficient as possible, Streamline is the ideal tool.

The following features are available in DS-5 Ultimate and Professional Editions. DS-5 Community Edition provides a limited subset.



  • System performance analysis for Linux and Android systems
  • CPU usage statistics per process, thread, function and source code
  • Event-based sampling allowing to assign PMU counters, such as cache misses, to source code
  • ARM Mali™ GPU graphics performance analysis
  • Probe to acquire and correlate actual power data with system performance
  • Data collection over network - No debug adapter required
DS-5 Debugger
  • Debug support for bare-metal, RTOS and Linux and Android platforms
  • Non-intrusive cycle-accurate ETM and PTM instruction trace
  • Seamless support for SMP systems
  • Automated debug sessions for faster debug cycles
  • ITM and STM instrumentation trace
  • Support for pre-configured and custom platforms