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

Microcontroller development boards

Now that we have introduced Cortex-M use cases and guidance on making processor selections based on use cases and other factors such as performance and power, let’s find some development boards and get started learning.

Numerous development boards are available with Cortex-M microcontrollers. While it’s impossible to provide a simple flow chart for how to select a Cortex-M microcontroller, we can provide an overview of the options and trade-offs as a starting point for narrowing the selection.

At the end of this chapter, we will pick two development boards and use those to demonstrate the concepts in the remainder of the book.


There are multiple suppliers for Cortex-M microcontrollers, and each supplier typically offers a wide range of options to optimize for specific markets and use cases. It’s common for a microcontroller supplier to offer hundreds of Cortex-M devices. Each supplier also offers a range of development boards to try out the devices and get started on projects quickly. Here is our recommended list of suppliers to get familiar with:

  • NXP
  • Infineon
  • STMicroelectronics
  • Nordic Semiconductor
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Nuvoton
  • Renesas
  • Silicon Labs
  • Analog Devices
  • Dialog Semiconductor

Microcontrollers and development boards are normally sold by distributors around the world. Some of the common distributors include the following:

  • Arrow
  • DigiKey
  • Arduino
  • CanaKit
  • Mouser
  • Adafruit

Popular boards may also be available online at places such as Amazon and Newegg.

Now that we know the microcontroller suppliers and where to find development boards, let’s review the primary factors to consider when selecting a microcontroller and a board.