By Jean J Labrosse (Micrium), Lotta Frimanson and Anders Lundgren (IAR Systems)
Embedded.com (10/29/09, 08:04:00 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.
It's 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. 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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