Me, like most of you have been using smaller scale microcontrollers like AVR or PIC. These are great chips and you should keep working with them as long as they fit your needs. Eventually you getting to project where your loved chip simply cannot handle the load.
- You need to run more complex code to do fancy things;
- You must keep up with more complex interfaces;
- Meet multimedia challenges;
- Process more data in a shorter time.
Eventually you realize that you simply need faster and more modern microcontroller to work with. ARM Cortex is a number one choice. Like with all new stuff you may find it a bit frightening to start with new microcontroller. When I first started with ARM Cortex-M3 processor I was looking for some basic and easy to understand guide. I found and highly recommend a wonderful book about ARM Cortex-M3 CPU. Its called [The Definitive Guide to the ARM Cortex-M3, Second Edition]. This is great book written by Joseph Yiu.
Why start with a book, instead of hunting for scattered tutorials on the internet? Especially if you haven’t tried to work ARM microcontroller you may miss lots of features it has comparing to 8-bit micros. ARM Cortex has a pack of many great features that does job not even faster but takes less code space. It may seem that reading and understanding whats in it may be time consuming and boring, but it turned out that it took me to go through in a few hours and understand all aspects.
I highly recommend to get it and read it. It will help to squeeze the most of ARM Cortex-M3 processor in your next project.