1.1 What is Cortex®-M3 DesignStart™ Eval?

Cortex®-M3 DesignStart™ Eval allows developers to easily develop and simulate SoC designs based on the ARM Cortex-M3 processor, and then perform hardware prototyping using an ARM Versatile Express Cortex-M Prototyping System (V2M-MPS2+) platform.

Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval provides an example system that is built around the CoreLink™ SSE-050 subsystem, and the Cortex-M3 processor.

The example system includes all the standard components and peripherals for implementing a functioning ARM Cortex-M3 mbed™ OS endpoint device.

A fixed and preconfigured Cortex-M3 processor is delivered as obfuscated RTL, and a Cycle Model. Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval does not support changing the configuration of the processor.

The obfuscated RTL is used to build an FPGA image when the Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval system has been modified by the user. The obfuscated RTL only exposes a limited set of internal registers for debug purposes.

The processor Cycle Model is recommended for simulation and debug purposes. It includes visibility of the internal processor architectural registers.

The Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval package includes:


  • Preconfigured Cortex-M3 processor (obfuscated but synthesizable).
  • Modified CoreLink SSE-050 subsystem with debug and trace support.
  • Memory subsystem.
  • Peripherals for application use.
  • Two timers for OS usage, and SPI interface.
  • Reusable ARM Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architectures (AMBA) components.

Execution Testbench

  • Processor Cycle Model with register visibility and execution tracing.
  • Memory models that match the FPGA target.
  • ARM CoreSight™ debug test engine preconfigured for single fixed debug and trace implementation.
  • Integration tests for memories and internal peripherals.

FPGA Evaluation Flow

  • FPGA synthesis of the simulation system that you can build and customize.
  • Requires purchase of the MPS2+ platform.

For more details on how you are permitted to use these Cortex-M3 DesignStart Eval deliverables, see the ARM® Cortex®-M3 DesignStart™ Eval RTL and Testbench User Guide.

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