ARM Technical Support Knowledge Articles

What is the function of the S_RETIRE_ST bit in the Debug Halting Control and Status Register (DHCSR)?

Answer

The function of this bit is intended to be simple. It is set every time
an instruction completes execution, and it is cleared every time the
DHCSR is read. Therefore by reading the DHCSR twice, with a short time
delay between, it is possible for a debugger to determine whether 
processor execution is proceding or is hung (stalled).

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