1. The Cortex™-M3

This application note introduces the main features of the ARM Cortex™-M3 processor and describes different aspects of developing software for it. It also covers the migration of existing ARM projects to the Cortex-M3 platform.

The ARM Cortex-M3 is a high performance, low cost and low power 32-bit RISC processor. The Cortex-M3 processor only executes Thumb-2 instructions. It does not support the ARM instruction set. The Cortex-M3 processor is based on the ARM architecture v7-M and has an efficient Harvard 3-stage pipeline core. It also features hardware divide and low-latency Interrupt Service Routine(ISR) entry and exit.

As well as the CPU core, the Cortex-M3 processor includes a number of other components. These include a Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC), an optional Memory Protection Unit (MPU), Timer, Debug Access Port (DAP) and optional Embedded Trace Macrocell (ETM). The Cortex-M3 also has a fixed memory map.

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