The Designer's Guide to the Cortex-M Processor Family

1st Edition

A Tutorial Approach

Authors: Trevor Martin
Paperback ISBN: 9780080982960
eBook ISBN: 9780080982991
Imprint: Newnes
Published Date: 1st April 2013
Page Count: 336
59.95 + applicable tax
36.99 + applicable tax
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The Designer’s Guide to the Cortex-M Family is a tutorial-based book giving the key concepts required to develop programs in C with a Cortex M- based processor. The book begins with an overview of the Cortex- M family, giving architectural descriptions supported with practical examples, enabling the engineer to easily develop basic C programs to run on the Cortex- M0/M0+/M3 and M4. It then examines the more advanced features of the Cortex architecture such as memory protection, operating modes and dual stack operation. Once a firm grounding in the Cortex M processor has been established the book introduces the use of a small footprint RTOS and the CMSIS DSP library.

With this book you will learn:

  • The key differences between the Cortex M0/M0+/M3 and M4
  • How to write C programs to run on Cortex-M based processors
  • How to make best use of the Coresight debug system
  • How to do RTOS development
  • The Cortex-M operating modes and memory protection
  • Advanced software techniques that can be used on Cortex-M microcontrollers
  • How to optimise DSP code for the cortex M4 and how to build real time DSP systems

Key Features

  • An Introduction to the Cortex microcontroller software interface standard (CMSIS), a common framework for all Cortex M- based microcontrollers
  • Coverage of the CMSIS DSP library for Cortex M3 and M4
  • An evaluation tool chain IDE and debugger which allows the accompanying example projects to be run in simulation on the PC or on low cost hardware


Embedded systems engineers, undergraduates and graduates developing embedded applications.

Table of Contents





About the Author

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Cortex-M Processor Family

Cortex Profiles


Advanced Architectural Features




DSP Instructions

Chapter 2. Developing Software for the Cortex-M Family


Keil Microcontroller Development Kit

The Tutorial Exercises


Exercise Building a First Program

The Blinky Project

Project Configuration

Hardware Debug

Chapter 3. Cortex-M Architecture


Cortex-M Instruction Set

Programmer’s Model and CPU Registers

Program Status Register

Q Bit and Saturated Math Instructions

Interrupts and Multicycle Instructions

Conditional Execution—IF THEN Blocks

Exercise: Saturated Math and Conditional Execution

Cortex-M Memory Map and Busses

Write Buffer

Memory Barrier Instructions

System Control Block

Bit Manipulation

Exercise: Bit Banding

Dedicated Bit Manipulation Instructions

Systick Timer

Nested Vector Interrupt Controller

Operating Modes

Interrupt Handling—Entry

Interrupt Handling—Exit

Interrupt Handling—Exit: Important!

Exercise: Systick Interrupt

Cortex-M Processor Exceptions

Priority and Preemption

Groups and Subgroups

Run Time Priority Control

Exception Model

Exercise: Working with Multiple Interrupts

Bootloader Support

Exercise: Bootloader

Power Management

Moving from the Cortex-M3




Chapter 4. Cortex Microcontroller Software Interface Standard


CMSIS Specifications



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About the Author

Trevor Martin

Trevor Martin graduated from Brunel University in 1988 with an Honors degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. In the same year he began work as a Junior Hardware engineer at Philips Medical Systems. He joined Hitex in 1992 as a Technical specialist for 8 Bit Microcontroller development tools. This included the 8051,68HC11\05\08 microcontrollers. He also gained experience with networking protocols such as CAN,USB and TCP/IP. Since 2000 he has been supporting ARM based microcontrollers, initially ARM7 and ARM9 CPU then moving to Cortex-M processor. To promote these devices he has worked closely with both NXP and ST and also TI and Freescale to a lesser extent. Since 2005 he has written a number of „Insiders Guide‟ Books which are introductory tutorials to ARM based microcontroller families such as LPC2000, STR9 and STM32. He also runs regular training courses, a general Cortex Microcontroller workshop and also device specific courses.

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical Specialist, Hitex (UK) Ltd.


"The Cortex-M is well on the way to becoming an industry standard architecture for embedded systems, he warns, and knowledge of it is becoming a requisite skill for professional developers. He also explains techniques used to develop application software to run on it."--Reference & Research Book News, October 2013