ARM Technical Support Knowledge Articles

Why does the processor enter standby when using WFE instruction but not when using WFI instruction ?

Applies to: Cortex processors


A difference between the WFI and WFE instructions is that interrupt events will cause a wake-up 
from WFE, unless they are masked by I,F,A bits. Interrupts will cause a wake-up from WFI 
irrespective of the status of the interrupt mask bits.

This suggests that you have an active interrupt preventing entry into WFI state, but because it 
is masked it does not prevent entry into WFE state.

This could be an nIRQ of nFIQ interrupt signal but it could also be a pending asynchronous 

I suggest you try clearing the CPSR.A bit and handling any abort before trying to enter WFI 

If you ensure that CPSR A,F,I bits are clear then WFI should behave the same as WFE with respect 
to interrupts (there will still be the difference due to WFE checking the event flag).

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