Book Image

The Insider's Guide to Arm Cortex-M Development

By : Zachary Lasiuk, Pareena Verma, Jason Andrews
Book Image

The Insider's Guide to Arm Cortex-M Development

By: Zachary Lasiuk, Pareena Verma, Jason Andrews

Overview of this book

Cortex-M has been around since 2004, so why a new book now? With new microcontrollers based on the Cortex-M55 and Cortex-M85 being introduced this year, Cortex-M continues to expand. New software concepts, such as standardized software reuse, have emerged alongside new topics including security and machine learning. Development methodologies have also significantly advanced, with more embedded development taking place in the cloud and increased levels of automation. Due to these advances, a single engineer can no longer understand an entire project and requires new skills to be successful. This book provides a unique view of how to navigate and apply the latest concepts in microcontroller development. The book is split into two parts. First, you’ll be guided through how to select the ideal set of hardware, software, and tools for your specific project. Next, you’ll explore how to implement essential topics for modern embedded developers. Throughout the book, there are examples for you to learn by working with real Cortex-M devices with all software available on GitHub. You will gain experience with the small Cortex-M0+, the powerful Cortex-M55, and more Cortex-M processors. By the end of this book, you’ll be able to practically apply modern Cortex-M software development concepts.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)
Part 1: Get Set Up
Part 2: Sharpen Your Skills

Selecting the Right Hardware

It may be surprising that the first chapter of this book, which is written for Cortex-M software developers, is all about hardware. This is because software, in all its forms, is ultimately run on hardware. It is critical to understand which hardware capabilities exist to properly leverage them in software.

Additionally, you will likely need a development board for debugging your code during development. Some of you reading may even have a level of influence over which hardware is ultimately selected for your device. All in all, no matter what specific situation you are in, understanding what Cortex-M hardware is out there—and what it can do—will help you develop quality software for your current and future projects.

So, in this opening chapter, we will explain how to select Cortex-M hardware and provide an overview of where to find development boards. Note that we will be discussing both individual Cortex-M processors and Cortex-M development boards.

There are different ways to frame which Cortex-M hardware is best suited for your specific project. Examples can be helpful; the first section of this chapter lists common embedded/IoT use cases and presents Cortex-M processors that fit that situation. The side-by-side comparison is also helpful; the second section ranks processors by performance, power, and area metrics. The third section then focuses on development boards, discussing trade-offs.

The chapter ends by selecting two boards that will be used for hands-on examples in future chapters. In a nutshell, the topics we’ll discuss in this chapter are presented here:

  • Processor selection through use cases
  • Processor selection based on performance and power
  • Microcontroller development boards