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Demystifying Memory Protection Units (MPUs)

Jean Labrosse- Available in 33 days, 1 hours and 15 minutes

A Memory Protection Unit (MPU) is hardware that improves the safety and security of an embedded device by only allowing access to memory and peripheral devices by the code that needs to access those resources.  The application can be organized by processes, each having access to its own memory and peripheral space.  Not only does the MPU prevent application code from accessing memory or peripheral devices outside its designated area, but it can also be a useful tool for detecting stack overflows, one of the most common causes of issues when using an RTOS. 

This class discusses some of the features provided by most MPUs, but specific examples assume the MPU found in most ARM Cortex-M MCUs. Topics covered include: 

  • Privilege modes
  • Limiting RTOS APIs for user code
  • Preventing code from executing out of RAM
  • Sharing data
  • Keeping RTOS objects in RTOS space
  • Handling faults
  • And more
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