1.1. About the Cortex-M0 processor and core peripherals

The Cortex™-M0 processor is an entry-level 32-bit ARM Cortex processor designed for a broad range of embedded applications. It offers significant benefits to developers, including:

Figure 1.1. Cortex-M0 implementation


The Cortex-M0 processor is built on a high-performance processor core, with a 3-stage pipeline von Neumann architecture, making it ideal for demanding embedded applications. The processor is extensively optimized for low power and area, and delivers exceptional power efficiency through its efficient instruction set, providing high-end processing hardware including either:

The Cortex-M0 processor implements the ARMv6-M architecture, that implements the ARMv6-M Thumb® instruction set, including Thumb-2 technology. This provides the exceptional performance expected of a modern 32-bit architecture, with a higher code density than other 8-bit and 16-bit microcontrollers.

The Cortex-M0 processor closely integrates a configurable Nested Vectored Interrupt Controller (NVIC), to deliver industry-leading interrupt performance. The NVIC:

The tight integration of the processor core and NVIC provides fast execution of interrupt service routines (ISRs), dramatically reducing the interrupt latency. This is achieved through the hardware stacking of registers, and the ability to abandon and restart load-multiple and store-multiple operations. Interrupt handlers do not require any assembler wrapper code, removing any code overhead from the ISRs. Tail-chaining optimization also significantly reduces the overhead when switching from one ISR to another.

To optimize low-power designs, the NVIC integrates with sleep mode. Optionally, sleep mode support can include a deep sleep function that enables the entire device to be rapidly powered down.

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