ARM System Developer's Guide - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781558608740, 9780080490496

ARM System Developer's Guide

1st Edition

Designing and Optimizing System Software

Authors: Andrew Sloss Dominic Symes Chris Wright
eBook ISBN: 9780080490496
Hardcover ISBN: 9781558608740
Paperback ISBN: 9781493303748
Imprint: Morgan Kaufmann
Published Date: 25th March 2004
Page Count: 689
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents:

  1. ARM Embedded Systems 1.1 The RISC Design Philosophy 1.2 The ARM Design Philosophy 1.3 Embedded System Hardware 1.4 Embedded System Software 1.5 Summary

2 ARM Processor Fundamentals 2.1 Registers 2.2 Current Program Status Register 2.3 Pipeline 2.4 Exceptions, Interrupts, and the Vector Table 2.5 Core Extensions 2.6 Architecture Revisions 2.7 ARM Processor Families 2.8 Summary

3 Introduction to the ARM Instruction Set 3.1 Data Processing Instructions 3.2 Branch Instructions 3.3 Load-Store Instructions 3.4 Software Interrupt Instruction 3.5 Program Status Register Instructions 3.6 Loading Constants 3.7 ARMv5E Extensions 3.8 Conditional Execution 3.9 Summary

4 Introduction to the Thumb Instruction Set 4.1 Thumb Register Usage 4.2 ARM-Thumb Interworking 4.3 Other Branch Instructions 4.4 Data Processing Instructions 4.5 Single-Register Load-Store Instructions 4.6 Multiple-Register Load-Store Instructions 4.7 Stack Instructions 4.8 Software Interrupt Instruction 4.9 Summary

5 Efficient C Programming 5.1 Overview of C Compilers and Optimization 5.2 Basic C Data Types 5.3 C Looping Structures 5.4 Register Allocation 5.5 Function Calls 5.6 Pointer Aliasing 5.7 Structure Arrangement 5.8 Bit-fields 5.9 Unaligned Data and Endianness 5.10 Division 5.11 Floating Point 5.12 Inline Functions and Inline Assembly 5.13 Portability Issues 5.14 Summary

6 Writing and Optimizing ARM Assembly Code 6.1 Writing Assembly Code 6.2 Profiling and Cycle Counting 6.3 Instruction Scheduling 6.4 Register Allocation 6.5 Conditional Execution 6.6 Looping Constructs 6.7 Bit Manipulation 6.8 Efficient Switches 6.9 Handling Unaligned Data 6.10 Summary

7 Optimized Primitives 7.1 Double-Precision Integer Multiplication 7.2 Integer Normalization and Count Leading Zeros 7.3 Division 7.4 Square Roots 7.5 Transcendental Functions: log, exp, sin, cos 7.6 Endian Reversal and Bit Operations 7.7 Saturated and Rounded Arithmetic 7.8 Random Number Generation 7.9 Summary 8 Digital Signal Processing 8.1 Representing a Digital Signal 8.2 Introduction to DSP on the ARM 8.3 FIR filters 8.4 IIR Filters 8.5 The Discrete Fourier Transform 8.6 Summary

9 Exception and Interruput Handling 9.1 Exception Handling 9.2 Interrupts 9.3 Interrupt Handling Schemes 9.4 Summary

10 Firmware 10.1 Firmware and Bootloader 10.2 Example: Sandstone 10.3 Summary

11 Embedded Operating Systems 11.1 Fundamental Components 11.2 Example: Simple Little Operating System 11.3 Summary

12 Caches 12.1 The Memory Hierarchy and Cache Memory 12.2 Cache Architecture 12.3 Cache Policy 12.4 Coprocessor 15 and Caches 12.5 Flushing and Cleaning Cache Memory 12.6 Cache Lockdown 12.7 Caches and Software Performance 12.8 Summary

13 Memory Protection Units 13.1 Protected Regions 13.2 Initializing the MPU, Caches, and Write Buffer 13.3 Demonstration of an MPU system 13.4 Summary

14 Memory Management Units 14.1 Moving from an MPU to an MMU 14.2 How Virtual Memory Works 14.3 Details of the ARM MMU 14.4 Page Tables 14.5 The Translation Lookaside Buffer 14.6 Domains and Memory Access Permission 14.7 The Caches and Write Buffer 14.8 Coprocessor 15 and MMU Configuration 14.9 The Fast Context Switch Extension 14.10 Demonstration: A Small Virtual Memory System 14.11 The Demonstration as mmuSLOS 14.12 Summary

15 The Future of the Architecture by John Rayfield 15.1 Advanced DSP and SIMD Support in ARMv6 15.2 System and Multiprocessor Support Additions to ARMv6 15.3 ARMv6 Implementations 15.4 Future Technologies beyond ARMv6 15.5 Conclusions Appendix A: ARM and Thumb Assembler Instructions

Appendix: B ARM and Thumb Instruction Encodings Appendix C: Processors and Architecture Appendix D: Instruction Cycle Timings Appendix E: Suggested Reading



Over the last ten years, the ARM architecture has become one of the most pervasive architectures in the world, with more than 2 billion ARM-based processors embedded in products ranging from cell phones to automotive braking systems. A world-wide community of ARM developers in semiconductor and product design companies includes software developers, system designers and hardware engineers. To date no book has directly addressed their need to develop the system and software for an ARM-based system. This text fills that gap.

This book provides a comprehensive description of the operation of the ARM core from a developer’s perspective with a clear emphasis on software. It demonstrates not only how to write efficient ARM software in C and assembly but also how to optimize code. Example code throughout the book can be integrated into commercial products or used as templates to enable quick creation of productive software.

The book covers both the ARM and Thumb instruction sets, covers Intel's XScale Processors, outlines distinctions among the versions of the ARM architecture, demonstrates how to implement DSP algorithms, explains exception and interrupt handling, describes the cache technologies that surround the ARM cores as well as the most efficient memory management techniques. A final chapter looks forward to the future of the ARM architecture considering ARMv6, the latest change to the instruction set, which has been designed to improve the DSP and media processing capabilities of the architecture.

Key Features

  • No other book describes the ARM core from a system and software perspective.
  • Author team combines extensive ARM software engineering experience with an in-depth knowledge of ARM developer needs.
  • Practical, executable code is fully explained in the book and available on the publisher's Website.
  • Includes a simple embedded operating system.


two key audiences for the book: ARM partners, the semi-conductor companies that design chips using the ARM architecture; and product design companies (perhaps a division within the semi-conductor companies), the companies that use the resulting chip in a product design, such as a PDA.


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© Morgan Kaufmann 2004
Morgan Kaufmann
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"The ARM architecture has enabled a rich set of new applications on increasingly powerful wireless platforms. Media-rich applications such as 3D games, camera and videophones, location-based services and connected portable music and video devices are enabled by next generation CDMA phones executing on the ARM architecture. Developing embedded software for these platforms requires a knowledge of the underlying architecture, and programming practices which balance power, cost and performance efficient. Sloss provides a comprehensive and practical guide to the development of "hardware aware" software which meets the demanding constraints of these applications. Highlighted with practical examples, and enhanced by a thorough treatment of topics such as ISRs, code optimization, and DSP on ARM, this book is essential for every embedded software and hardware engineer alike." -J. Scott Runner, Senior Staff Engineer/Manager, Qualcomm CMDA Technologies, Qualcomm Inc. "This book has a place on the desk of every engineer developing software for the ARM processor; it is a thorough introduction for newcomers, and a useful reference for the ARM expert. The technical information in this book is aimed squarely at the software developer, you'll find advice on bringing a device up from a bare board, reference information describing the characteristics of all current ARM architectures, and many valuable tips for optimizing code running on ARM cores. I have been using this book since reviewing the first draft, and can recommend it to anyone who wants the get the best out of their ARM Powered products." -Peter Maloy, CodeSprite Inc. "This book provides an excellent introduction to the ARM architecture. It describes important architectural features in detail. It also makes great use of examples to illustrate those features and put them in context." -Wayne Wolf, Princeton University

About the Authors

Andrew Sloss Author

Affiliations and Expertise

ARM, Los Gatos, CA

Dominic Symes Author

Affiliations and Expertise

ARM, Cambridge, UK

Chris Wright Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Ultimodule Inc., Sunnyvale, CA