Cortex-M System Design Kit

Cortex-M System Design Kit Image
The ARM® Cortex®-M System Design Kit (CMSDK) is a comprehensive system solution designed to work seamlessly with Cortex-M processors out-of–the-box. It includes:
  • A selection of AMBA® AHB™ and APB™ infrastructure components
  • Essential peripherals such as GPIO, timers, watchdog, and UART
  • Example systems for Cortex-M0, Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processors
  • Compilation and simulation scripts for the Verilog environment
  • Software drivers and example programs 

A growing number of fabless semiconductor companies are designing silicon around ARM Cortex-M processors for the first time, bringing the benefits of an efficient, easy-to-use, standard architecture to their end customers. To enable faster design cycles and time to market ARM has created the Cortex-M System Design Kit (CMSDK), a comprehensive solution designed to work with Cortex-M processors out-of–the-box.

The CMSDK is optimized for low gate count, energy efficient implementations. The peripherals are optimized for area, with the interconnects optimized for low latency, reducing wasted clock cycles and improving performance. This includes both a zero-latency AHB master multiplexor and an optimized bus matrix that enables near-ideal bus performance even when the processor is in a multi-master system with full access to all peripherals. The CMSDK also supports the low-power sleep modes of the Cortex-M processors and separates the peripheral bus clock and peripheral clocks enabling even lower power designs.

In summary with CMSDK and a Cortex-M processor you can integrate a processing subsystem in to your product quickly, effectively and with minimum risk.

Example Systems


The CMSDK provides example AMBA systems to bring the designer to a point of a working system as quickly as possible, offering a library of fundamental peripherals and interconnect generation along with software drivers and examples:

Cortex-M0 System Design Kit

Figure 1: ARM Cortex-M0 Example System

The example system supports a number of configuration options. For example:

  • DMA option – if the ARM CoreLink™ DMA-230 DMA controller is licensed you can plug in the DMA controller and use it in the system immediately. You can also modify the design to use your own DMA controller.
  • Bit band wrapper – if the system requires bit band compatibility with Cortex-M3 or Cortex-M4 this functionality can be included.
  • Boot ROM – this option demonstrates how to design a system with boot loader ROM in addition to the user program memory (for example flash).

It is straightforward to extend the example system and plug in other peripheral designs. For designers new to AMBA the example AHB and APB slaves are a good starting point for your design.

An example system for Cortex-M3 and Cortex-M4 processors is also included, as the figure below shows:

Figure 2: ARM Cortex-M3/4 Example System

The Cortex-M3, Cortex-M4 system has the same memory map and interrupt assignments as the Cortex-M0 system. It also uses the same AMBA APB subsystem as the Cortex-M0 example. Again, the integration of the DMA controller and boot loader is optional.



We use cookies to give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to use our site you consent to our cookies.

Change Settings

Find out more about the cookies we set