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Arm Cortex-M3/M4 SoC Design

Standard Level - 3 days

Arm® Cortex®-M3/M4 SoC Design is a 3-day class for engineers designing hardware based around the Arm Cortex-M3/M4 core. It includes an introduction to the Arm product range and supporting IP, programmer's model, instruction set architecture, AMBA on-chip bus architecture and Cortex-M3/M4 debug architecture. The class includes a number of worked examples developed by Arm to reinforce the lecture material.

Hardware design engineers who need to understand the issues involved when designing SoC's around the Arm Cortex-M3/M4 core.

Some knowledge of embedded systems and familiarity with digital logic and hardware/ASIC design issues. A basic awareness of Arm is useful but not essential.

This class uses training materials developed by Arm®

Day 1

Cortex-M3/M4 Overview

An overview of the Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processor cores that discusses the pipeline, memory map and other key features. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Core

Detailing the processor pipeline and instruction execution. 

Armv7-M Exception Handling

Introduces the exception handling model for Architecture v7-M. Explains how to write software handlers and manage interrupts. 

Assembler Programming

Outlines the main features of the Thumb instruction set. Provides a primer for those needing to interpret compiler output or write low level code. 

Cortex-M4 Details

Showing the differences between Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4. Introducing DSP and SIMD instructions, Floating Point Unit and extended exception stack frame. 

Day 2


Explains the AMBA 3 AHB-Lite Bus protocol. 


Explains the AMBA APB Bus protocol. 

Cortex-M3/M4 System Interfaces

Detailed discussion of the memory system bus interfaces at the processor and integration levels. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Clocks, Reset Power

Explains the reset and clocking requirements and operation of sleep modes. Introduces the Wake-up Interrupt Controller. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Memory Protection

Introduces the Memory Protection Unit. Explains memory types and attributes, and how to configure memory protection regions. 

SysTick Timer

Introduces the built-in System Timer function and explains the calibration function. 

Day 3

Cortex-M3/M4 Debug and Trace

Introduces CoreSight and the DAP components and ROM Table. Overview of Debug and Trace capabilities and standard debug connectors. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Debug

Detailed view of debug capabilities, DAP components, and Flash Patch & Breakpoint Unit. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Trace

Explanation of instruction trace methodology. Detailed view of instrumentation trace and data watchpoint and trace units and trace port. Discussion of trace clocking. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Examples

Brief overview of Cortex-M3 example system and Cortex-M4 Integration Kit. Introduction to ‘tarmac’ and to multi-processor integration. 

Cortex-M3/M4 Implementation

Details of RTL configuration. Overview of design flow steps and introduction to Reference Methodologies. 

Cortex-M system Design Kit

Overview of CMSDK components and example systems.

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