Many recent licensees of ARM Cortex-M are new to the ARM architecture. For them, a design kit that is tailor-made for Cortex-M processors and delivers a short learning curve, reduced time to market and enables their designers to focus on developing features that provide differentiation and value, would be a dream come true! Lo and behold, with the swish of our magic wand and a puff of smoke, ARM has recently delivered the Cortex-M System Design Kit (CMSDK) which delivers all of the above. The kit contains reusable IP, hardware design examples and software examples to enable Cortex-M system designers to develop complex SoC designs and bring them to silicon faster.
The CMSDK packageThe CMSDK is available in two editions: the Cortex-M0 System Design Kit, which supports the ARM Cortex-M0 processor, and the Cortex-M System Design Kit, which supports the ARM Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processors.
AMBA infrastructureBoth editions of CMSDK feature various essential AHB and APB infrastructure components including:
The Cortex-M System Design Kit also includes the AHB Bus Matrix, a configurable component which allows complex AHB interconnect systems to be built.
The Example SystemsThe example systems are designed to work like basic microcontrollers. For example, the block diagram for the Cortex-M0 example system is shown in figure 3.
It is straightforward to extend the system and plug in other peripheral designs. For designers new to AMBA design, the example AHB slave and example APB slaves are a good starting point. SoftwareAs well as RTL design, the CMSDK also includes example software and simulation scripts to allow system level simulation to start straight away. The example software files include:
The example code demonstrates how to use various features in the Cortex-M processors like sleep modes, interrupts, as well as demonstrate how to use the peripheral set available in the system. VerificationA number of verification components are also included in the design kit to assist verification of the design. These include various AHB and APB protocol checkers, which can identify bus protocol issues during simulations, and a File Reader Bus Master (FRBM) component. The FRBM is a bus functional model which takes a bus stimulus file and generates bus transfers during simulation. This includes many bus transfer sequences that cannot, or are very difficult to generate in a normal processor-based system which can be very useful for testing of peripherals. The FRBM is available in a 32-bit version and a 64-bit version. UsageBesides providing a starting point for designing new SoC designs, the CMSDK can also be useful in various other scenarios including peripheral design, software driver development and evaluation/benchmarking.
In summary, the CMSDK provides inexperienced ARM Cortex-M developers with everything they need to get developing next generation SoCs based on the industry's leading MCU architecture.
All that and with two wishes left to spare. Tell us what you would use those wishes for, you never know they might come true!
Footnote: In real life there are no wands or magic dust, just a bunch ARM engineers who are committed to innovation and development of effective solutions for the IT industry.
very useful, thanks