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Device Support

Device support for ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers relies on CMSIS which is a common industry standard. It is straightforward and can be implemented by the chip vendor to be used by various toolchains. Currently, Atollic, IAR, and Keil use CMSIS-Pack technology for device support. A plug-in for Eclipse is available for custom toolchains.

CMSIS-Pack describes a delivery mechanism for software components, as well as device and board support. The typical content of a device family pack (DFP) is:

  • Device properties explaining the capabilities of a device or a device family in more detail.
  • Software components that configure the device and basic device drivers, in particular:
    • CMSIS-compliant system and startup files required to setup the C run-time library, device clock, and memory interface.
    • Peripheral driver interfaces that provide software routines for physical device peripherals used by middleware stacks. Drivers may adhere to the CMSIS-Driver standard.
  • One or more system view description files (SVD) describing the programmer's view of the device's peripherals.
  • Flash programming algorithms for erasing and downloading code into on-chip Flash.
  • Example projects that show the usage of the device and its peripherals.
  • User code templates that can be used as a starting point for application development.

More information

The CMSIS-Pack web site contains more information on:

  • how to create the required support files.
  • how to create a device family pack.
  • how to make this publicly known by using the software pack server from Keil.

An in-depth tutorial guides you through the necessary steps.

If you have further questions or wish to add your device to our device database, please contact: cmsis@arm.com.

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