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The Definitive Guide to the ARM Cortex-M3, Second Edition 2nd Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1856179638
ISBN-10: 185617963X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joseph Yiu joined ARM in 2001 and has been involved in a wide range of projects including development of ARM Cortex-M processors and various on-chip system level and debug components. In addition to in-depth knowledge of the processors and microcontroller system design, Joseph also has extensive knowledge in related areas including software development for the ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers, FPGA development and System-on-Chip design technologies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 479 pages
  • Publisher: Newnes; 2 edition (December 23, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185617963X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856179638
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,036,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Vasiljevic on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
ARM is third processor I am dealing with during my 12 year old career. I worked on ADSP, Texas MCP and now ARM.

Please don't start reading about ARM with this book. It is retold user manual.

Please read Steven Furber's book, since he explains logic behind design.

Yiu explains elements and mechanisms formally, by giving you all possible cases and signal diagrams. It is more like swarming you with data from data sheet without telling what is logical meaning behind architecture.

Like title says, Yiu HAS knowledge, this book has no mistakes, but it is simple not enough because you have to analise things by yourself to find meaning and cold hard facts are sometimes enough for that and sometimes not.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished reading and rereading this book. I wish I had a book like this when I started out programming the Atmel AVR-chips. It took me half a year to grasp that platform the way I did the Cortex-M3 after five hours with this book. It is one of the most pleasant to-the-metal hardware descriptions I have read. Yiu has an intimate knowledge of the Cortex-M3-design and shares not only the facts of the matter, but also convey the intentions behind the design choices.

For the casual microcontroller hacker this book might be entertaining overkill - but if you are developing timing-critical applications and feel the need to really grasp the core before pushing it to the limit - this is the book to read.
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Despite other critical reviews, I bought the book and enjoyed reading it from beginning to end.

I found it pretty informative. The book attempts to be a thorough exposition of the ARM Cortex-M3 from several perspectives: features, instruction set, usage scenarios and best practices. The book goes into a lot of detail on certain aspects such as the interrupt table setup and associated semantics. The book has a mixture of assembly and C examples, with occasional remarks on performance and code size. Finally, despite other reviewers, I enjoyed the comparisons with Cortex-M0, previous architectures (ARM7TDMI) plus porting considerations.

The book does feel a bit repetitive in a few places such as the overlapping content on NVIC and its registers, interrupt table format, initialization, dynamic prioritization and enable/disable which is repeated across the book. The exposition on the instruction set could have been done better. Also in several occasions, the author's style was a bit cryptic and I felt that he didn't go far enough in clarity (for example in explaining certain instructions, or in 12.6 FAULTMASK explanation - what is its parameter? Usage cases?). I also noticed a few typos, but these are rather rare.

Hence four stars instead of five. I still gave four stars as I still feel that the book feels solid and well-written overall.

For the next edition, I would suggest the author to revise the clarity of some of its expository text (give some reason on the "why" not just "how") maybe attempt to eliminate the redundancy, and, of course, the necessary mention of Cortex-M4 (which is not that different than M3) and possibly add comparisons with M0+ which borrows a few things from M3

P.S.
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Format: Paperback
There is some decent information in here. For example, Yiu does an ok job of explaining how interrupts / exception handling works, and I like his example of why saturating instructions can be useful (e.g. to limit distortion in DSP applications). But most of the book can be found in the Cortex M3 generic user guide and Cortex M3 technical reference manual, both freely available from ARM.

Many topics are covered in a cursory manner, sometimes breezing over them so quickly as to make the information almost useless. I often found myself referring to the aforementioned ARM documentation for more details. For example, the IT (IF-THEN) instruction is not explained well at all, nor is the TBB (table branch).

Not a bad book, but not worth the cost when you consider the free alternatives.
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I had been writing software for various Cortex-M3 devices for 2 years before reading this book. The book did a great job of filling in the details of the features and instruction set for the Cortex-M3 core. The book is heavy on assembly, but does a very good job of explaining each instruction and showing how and why it is used. If you want to be able to trace through the disassembly in your debugger, this book is an excellent reference.

All the features of the core are explained in detail, such as the Nested Vector Interrupt Controller, Systick, faults and bus design. Since this book only covers the Cortex-M3 core, you'll need other references to be able to fully use a specific device. Peripherals that are not a part of the core (such as SPI, I2C, USB, etc) are not covered and are device-specific. So refer to the chip manufacturer documentation for how to implement these peripherals. A few UART examples are provided in the book (putc and puts) that could be adapted to a specific device. It also provides examples for starting the core with the minimal required code in assembly.

If you want to learn the instruction set, brush up on assembly and learn the main features of the Cortex-M3, this book is for you.
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