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ARM Cortex-M3--An Improvement Overview

Authored on: Oct 1, 2008 by Brian Nagel

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ARM introduced its new line of Cortex architectures in 2004, tackling the embedded marketplace with a three-pronged solution. First, the Cortex-A family provides high-performance applications processors. Next, the Cortex-R family targets real-time, deeply-embedded solutions. Finally, the Cortex-M family are low-cost embedded microcontrollers. The Cortex-M3, a member of the most recent family, has already been integrated into MCU lines by several silicon vendors, with several more intending to follow It is often marketed as a successor to the popular ARM7TDMI-S. Although the architectures are markedly different, most generic comparisons demonstrate that the Cortex-M3 is superior. In general, the improvements it incorporates help establish its suitability for embedded systems in cost-sensitive applications that require deterministic system behavior.

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