By Jean J Labrosse from Micrium, Lotta Frimanson and Anders Lundgren from IAR SystemsEmbedded.com (04/08/09, 12:36:00 AM EDT)
The ARM Cortex-M3 architecture provides many improvements compared with its predecessor, the popular ARM7/9, and is designed to be particularly suitable for cost-sensitive embedded applications that require deterministic system behavior.
This article describes how developers can best utilize the advanced capabilities of the Cortex-M3 when designing embedded applications.Comparing ARM7/9 to Cortex-M3
Cortex-M3 is a member of the Cortex-M family, one of the three ARM Cortex architectures that were introduced to the embedded marketplace in 2004, and is being integrated into low-cost embedded microcontrollers (MCUs) from an increasing number of silicon vendors.
A comparison of the main characteristics of Cortex-M3 with those of ARM7/9 is shown in Table 1 below.Table 1: Comparison of ARM7/9 and Cortex-M3 characteristics
The Cortex-M3 improves on the ARM7/9 in most qualitative estimates " simpler stack architecture, better interrupt controller, and higher-performance instruction set, as well as enhanced debug capabilities, all of which can significantly affect end-product performance.
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