ARM Cortex-M Architecture

This course explains the ARM Cortex-M global architecture

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4 days online training.
Price 2.500 Eur per participant

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Lena Bernhardsson – SE, DK, NO
+46 (0) 40 59 22 09

Heidi Lehtomäki – Finland
phone: +358 40 196 0142

Learn the intricacies of the ARM Cortex-M family – its architecture, programming, exception handling and debugging, and hardware implementation.

Instructed by an embedded professional with over decades of experience in embedded software engineering, this training course provides the participants with professional competence to work in serious embedded development projects.

The trainees gain valuable resources for working in real embedded engineering projects, along with printed material that can be as reference afterwards.

  • Describing the ARM Cortex-M processors architecture
  • Presenting the Hardware and Software implementation possibilities to learn how to create Cortex-M based applications
  • How to use TrustZone and MPU
  • Review the differences between the different Cortex-M cores
  • This course provides all the prerequisites for the courses describing in details the various Cortex-M cores and CPUs
  • Convenient course material with space for taking notes
  • Demos targeting Cortex-M4/M33 based MCU using the GCC6 based AC6 System Workbench IDE
  • Exercises are done using ARM simulator
  • Familiarity with embedded C concepts and programming
  • Basic knowledge of embedded processors

Course content

ARM v6M/v7M/v8M Architecture Overview

  • Introduction to the ARM Architecture
  • Cortex-M Processors
  • Programmers’ Model
    • Core Registers
    • Privileges, Modes and Stacks
    • Instruction Set
    • Datapath and pipeline, speculative branch target prefetch
  • Exception Model
  • Memory Model
    • Address Map
    • Memory Types
    • Instruction and data alignment
    • System Control Space
  • Power Management

→ Exercise: Core register review and changing Mode and Stack
→ Exercise: Using low power mode

Cortex-M Implementation Diversity

  • ARM Cortex-M0 processor
  • ARM Cortex-M0+ processor
  • ARM Cortex-M3 processor
  • ARM Cortex-M4 processor
  • ARMv6-M versus ARMv7-M

Cortex-M Software Development

  • Tools
    • Keil IDE and Ulink2 probe presentation
    • System Workbench for MCU
  • Standards
    • AAPCS
    • UAL
    • CMSIS
  • Code Generation
    • Variable types supported
    • Register Usage, Parameter passing
    • Aligned and Unaligned accesses
    • Endianness
  • Image Generation
    • Dealing with branches
  • Fault Tolerance
    • Stack issues
  • Determinism
  • RTOS Support
    • MPU Overview
    • Systick Timer Overview

Exercise: AAPCS review, CMSIS utilization and Assembly language inlining

Cortex-M Optimization

  • Compiler optimizations
    • Optimization levels
    • Tail-call
    • Inlining of function
    • Loop transformation
    • Mutlifile compilation
    • Floating point
  • Bit Banding
  • Memory copy optimizations
  • Base pointer optimization

→ Exercise: Bit banding implementation

Cortex-M Debug

  • ARMv6-M and ARMv7-M Debug Overview
    • Coresight presentation
  • Invasive Debug
    • Beakpoints and Watchpoints
    • Vector Catch
    •  Semi-hosting
  • Non-invasive Debug
    • Data Watchpoint and trace unit
    • Instrumentation Trace Macrocell (ITM)
    • Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM)
    • Micro Trace Buffer (MTB)

Exercise: Debug features review through the Keil IDE

Cortex-M Startup and Linker

  • Reset Behavior
    • Vector Table
  • CMSIS-CORE Startup and System Initialization
    • Startup File
    • Exception Handlers
    • Stack and heap setup
  • Post Startup Initialization
  • Working with the linker
    • Creating code and data sections
    • Placing code and data in memory

→ Exercise: Startup sequence to the main() review
→ Exercise: Executing the code from a SRAM

Cortex-M Advanced Features

  • Exceptions Model
    • Exception Handling
    • Exception entry and exit
    • Exception stacking
    • Nesting
    • Tail-chaining
    • Late-arriving

→ Exercise: Exception entry review

    • Prioritization and Control
    • NVIC registers
    • Priority boosting
    • Priority grouping
    • Masking exceptions
    • Writing Interrupt Handlers
    • Interrupt Sensitivity
    • Internal Exceptions and Faults
    • Fault escalation

→ Exercise: Managing interrupts and priorities

  • Memory Protection Unit (MPU)
    • Initialization
    • Memory types and access permissions
    • Region overlapping

→ Exercise: MPU Utilization

  • SysTick Configuration and Calibration

→ Exercise: Working with the Systick Timer

  • Synchronization
    • Critical section, atomicity
    • LDREX/STREX instructions
    • Lock and unlock examples
  • Memory Barriers
    • Data memory, Data Synchronization and Instruction Synchronization Barriers
    • Utilization examples
  • Further Instruction Set Information
    • Return on the Instruction Set
    • If-Then Block
    • DSP extension Overview

→ Exercise: Using DSP instructions

Using a GCC Toolchain

→ Exercise: Creating a Cortex-M based application using a GCC toolchain (with AC6 System Workbench for MCU)

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