About this book

The ARM® Compiler Software Development Guide provides tutorials and examples to develop code for various ARM architecture-based processors. It also provides information on the Debug Communications Channel (DCC) and semihosting.

Using this book

This book is organized into the following chapters:

Chapter 1 Key Features of ARM Architecture Versions

Describes the key features for each version of the ARM® architecture and identifies some of the main points to be aware of when using ARM Compiler.

Chapter 2 Embedded Software Development

Describes how to develop embedded applications with ARM® Compiler, with or without a target system present.

Chapter 3 Mixing C, C++, and Assembly Language

Describes how to write a mixture of C, C++, and assembly language code for the ARM architecture.

Chapter 4 Interworking ARM and Thumb

Describes how to change between ARM state and Thumb state when writing code for processors that implement the ARM and Thumb instruction sets.

Chapter 5 Handling Processor Exceptions

Describes how to handle the different types of exception supported by the ARM architecture.

Chapter 6 Debug Communications Channel

Describes how to use the Debug Communications Channel (DCC).

Chapter 7 What is Semihosting?

Describes the semihosting mechanism.

Appendix A Software Development Guide Document Revisions

Describes the technical changes that have been made to the Software Development Guide.


The ARM Glossary is a list of terms used in ARM documentation, together with definitions for those terms. The ARM Glossary does not contain terms that are industry standard unless the ARM meaning differs from the generally accepted meaning.

See the ARM Glossary for more information.

Typographic conventions

Introduces special terminology, denotes cross-references, and citations.
Highlights interface elements, such as menu names. Denotes signal names. Also used for terms in descriptive lists, where appropriate.
Denotes text that you can enter at the keyboard, such as commands, file and program names, and source code.
Denotes a permitted abbreviation for a command or option. You can enter the underlined text instead of the full command or option name.
monospace italic
Denotes arguments to monospace text where the argument is to be replaced by a specific value.
monospace bold
Denotes language keywords when used outside example code.
Encloses replaceable terms for assembler syntax where they appear in code or code fragments. For example:
MRC p15, 0, <Rd>, <CRn>, <CRm>, <Opcode_2>
Used in body text for a few terms that have specific technical meanings, that are defined in the ARM glossary. For example, IMPLEMENTATION DEFINED, IMPLEMENTATION SPECIFIC, UNKNOWN, and UNPREDICTABLE.


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