Electronics > Microcontrollers

Beginning Cortex M3, but so lost!!

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Hi everyone,

After spending a few days researching on what MCU I should invest my time on learning, I concluded to go with the Cortex M3 family. But man, where do I start!? The documentation is really fragmented and no implementor seems to have their house in order, looks chaotic for a beginner. Could someone please outline what to read and in what sequence, and link to relevant docs? I'm looking for material that starts from step 1, i.e., what tools to use, what is the development process, mcu architecture and instruction set, code samples, etc..

Many thanks!!


--- Quote from: dt on January 06, 2012, 07:23:11 am ---mcu architecture and instruction set

--- End quote ---

Do you plan to code the ARM in ASM?

In my opinion that really isn't needed, especially with such a modern/fast cpu.
C would be a much better choice.

All you really need to get is a M3 chip + board, a programmer and compiler/ide. (A good ARM M3 dev board would come with all three)
Once you have that you can compile some one line code onto the micro and then start expanding on it.
etc, checking the datasheet for register names, turn ports on/off, enabling timers etc.

However, maybe that's just me. I learn by doing and only read docs if there's something info i need.


--- Quote from: Psi on January 06, 2012, 07:27:11 am ---Do you plan to code the ARM in ASM?

--- End quote ---

I'd probably avoid it where I can, but I would like to keep the options open.

In any case, I'm stuck at a much earlier step, I don't seem to be able to find an authoritative development guide explaining how to put together the required toolchain. There seem to be a lot of tools around, some free, some for a fee, doing different things. But how do they fit together, and which ones do I need to get started?

Although it's good to know ASM, so you have an understanding of what's happening behind your C code, i think its perfectly ok to learn C first.
Then, if you need it, learn some ASM later.

Chances are you wont need it for quite a while, if at all.

I'm on Mac OS X BTW. I'm now wondering if it would be possible to setup xcode for the task, and if so, whether it would be a good idea in the first place (i.e., would in-circuit debugging or ice work?)


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