2.1 Potential development routes

There are a range of options to use the Cortex®-M3 DesignStart™ Eval package for your own design flows, with a combination of RTL, FPGA, or system modeling tools.

Simulation using the Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval product is a likely first step in a wide range of possible design flows that leads you to develop your own products based on ARM technology. The various stages in the design flows require that you license other EDA tools, and have access to suitable compute resources. You may also need to license additional IPs to complete the process.

Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval can be used with either an RTL simulator, or an FPGA platform, and a development toolchain. A limited term license for the ARM Keil® Microcontroller Development Kit (MDK) is included with DesignStart Eval. You can use this to evaluate the flows and perform low-level prototyping or modeling.

Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval must not be used to manufacture devices.

You can also extend your evaluation of Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval environment by using existing off-the-shelf standard parts and modules to extrapolate from the results you obtain in simulation, or on FPGA.

The model of the processor provided with Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval is built using the ARM Cycle Model technology. These models can also be used for system level modeling and software evaluation. Fully featured Cycle Models can be licensed from ARM.

Cortex-M3 DesignStart Pro is a fast-track license option to access the full Cortex-M3 processor and SDK-100 deliverables to develop your own SoC design. This allows detailed SoC Power, Performance and Area (PPA) investigations and enables manufacture of devices. If you already have a good understanding of the design flow and the product you intend to develop, then Cortex-M3 DesignStart Pro may be a more appropriate starting point compared to the Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval product.

The key use cases of the various development options are shown in the following table:

Table 2-1 Potential development routes

Use cases Development options
Familiarization with ARM IP and flows
  • Simulation in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
Development cycle planning and familiarization
  • Simulation in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
Proof of concept demonstrator
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • Full suite of ARM Cycle Model.
Peripheral and accelerator prototyping
  • Simulation in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
System modeling
  • Simulation in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • Full suite of ARM Cycle Model.
System and software performance analysis
  • Simulation in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • Full suite of ARM Cycle Model.
SoC PPA analysis
  • Cortex-M3 DesignStart Pro.
Power optimizations
  • Extend evaluation of Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval using existing off-the-shelf standard parts or modules.
  • Cortex-M3 DesignStart Pro.
Software development
  • FPGA Evaluation Flow in Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval.
  • Extend evaluation of Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval using existing off-the-shelf standard parts or modules.
  • Full suite of ARM Cycle Model.
SoC implementation and device manufacture
  • Cortex-M3 DesignStart Pro.
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