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.. _module-pw_cpu_exception_cortex_m:
This backend provides an implementations for the CPU exception module frontend
for the following Cortex-M architectures:
* ARMv7-M - Cortex M3
* ARMv7-EM - Cortex M4, M7
* ARMv8-M Mainline - Cortex M33, M33P
There are a few ways to set up the Cortex M exception handler so the
application's exception handler is properly called during an exception.
**1. Use existing CMSIS functions**
Inside of CMSIS fault handler functions, branch to ``pw_cpu_exception_Entry``.
.. code-block:: cpp
__attribute__((naked)) void HardFault_Handler(void) {
asm volatile(
" ldr r0, =pw_cpu_exception_Entry \n"
" bx r0 \n");
**2. Modify a startup file**
Assembly startup files for some microcontrollers initialize the interrupt
vector table. The functions to call for fault handlers can be changed here.
For ARMv7-M and ARMv8-M, the fault handlers are indexes 3 to 6 of the
interrupt vector table. It's also may be helpful to redirect the NMI handler
to the entry function (if it's otherwise unused in your project).
.. code-block:: cpp
.word __stack_start
.word Reset_Handler
.word NMI_Handler
.word HardFault_Handler
.word MemManage_Handler
.word BusFault_Handler
.word UsageFault_Handler
Using CPU exception module:
.. code-block:: cpp
.word __stack_start
.word Reset_Handler
.word pw_cpu_exception_Entry
.word pw_cpu_exception_Entry
.word pw_cpu_exception_Entry
.word pw_cpu_exception_Entry
.word pw_cpu_exception_Entry
Note: ``__isr_vector_table`` and ``__stack_start`` are example names, and may
vary by platform. See your platform's assembly startup script.
**3. Modify interrupt vector table at runtime**
Some applications may choose to modify their interrupt vector tables at
runtime. The exception handler works with this use case (see the
exception_entry_test integration test), but keep in mind that your
application's exception handler will not be entered if an exception occurs
before the vector table entries are updated to point to
Module Usage
For lightweight exception handlers that don't need to access
architecture-specific registers, using the generic exception handler functions
is preferred.
However, some projects may need to explicitly access architecture-specific
registers to attempt to recover from a CPU exception. ``pw_cpu_exception_State``
provides access to the captured CPU state at the time of the fault. When the
application-provided ``pw_cpu_exception_DefaultHandler()`` function returns, the
CPU state is restored. This allows the exception handler to modify the captured
state so that execution can safely continue.
Expected Behavior
In most cases, the CPU state captured by the exception handler will contain the
basic register frame in addition to an extended set of registers
(see ``cpu_state.h``).
The exception to this is when the program stack pointer is in an MPU-protected
or otherwise invalid memory region when the CPU attempts to push the exception
register frame to it. In this situation, the PC, LR, and PSR registers will NOT
be captured and will be marked with ``0xFFFFFFFF`` to indicate they are invalid.
This backend will still be able to capture all the other registers though.
``0xFFFFFFFF`` is an illegal LR value, which is why it was selected for this
purpose. PC and PSR values of 0xFFFFFFFF are dubious too, so this constant is
clear enough at suggesting that the registers weren't properly captured.
In the situation where the main stack pointer is in a memory protected or
otherwise invalid region and fails to push CPU context, behavior is undefined.
Nested Exceptions
To enable nested fault handling:
1. Enable separate detection of usage/bus/memory faults via the SHCSR.
2. Decrease the priority of the memory, bus, and usage fault handlers. This
gives headroom for escalation.
While this allows some faults to nest, it doesn't guarantee all will properly
Configuration Options
- ``PW_CPU_EXCEPTION_CORTEX_M_EXTENDED_CFSR_DUMP``: Enable extended logging in
``pw::cpu_exception::LogCpuState()`` that dumps the active CFSR fields with
help strings. This is disabled by default since it increases the binary size
by >1.5KB when using plain-text logs, or ~460 Bytes when using tokenized
logging. It's useful to enable this for device bringup until your application
has an end-to-end crash reporting solution.
- ``PW_CPU_EXCEPTION_CORTEX_M_LOG_LEVEL``: The log level to use for this module.
Logs below this level are omitted.
Exception Analysis
This module provides Python tooling to analyze CPU state captured by a Cortex-M
core during an exception. This can be useful as part of a crash report analyzer.
CFSR decoder
The ARMv7-M and ARMv8-M architectures have a Configurable Fault Status Register
(CFSR) that explains what illegal behavior caused a fault. This module provides
a simple command-line tool to decode CFSR contents (e.g. 0x00010000) as
human-readable information (e.g. "Encountered invalid instruction").
For example:
.. code-block::
$ python -m pw_cpu_exception_cortex_m.cfsr_decoder 0x00010100
20210412 15:11:14 INF Exception caused by a usage fault, bus fault.
Active Crash Fault Status Register (CFSR) fields:
IBUSERR Instruction bus error.
The processor attempted to issue an invalid instruction. It
detects the instruction bus error on prefecting, but this
flag is only set to 1 if it attempts to issue the faulting
instruction. When this bit is set, the processor has not
written a fault address to the BFAR.
UNDEFINSTR Encountered invalid instruction.
The processor has attempted to execute an undefined
instruction. When this bit is set to 1, the PC value stacked
for the exception return points to the undefined instruction.
An undefined instruction is an instruction that the processor
cannot decode.
All registers:
cfsr 0x00010100
.. note::
The CFSR is not supported on ARMv6-M CPUs (Cortex M0, M0+, M1).
Snapshot integration
This ``pw_cpu_exception`` backend provides helper functions that capture CPU
exception state to snapshot protos.
``SnapshotCpuState()`` captures the ``pw_cpu_exception_State`` to a
``pw.cpu_exception.cortex_m.ArmV7mCpuState`` protobuf encoder.
``SnapshotMainStackThread()`` captures the main stack's execution thread state
if active either from a given ``pw_cpu_exception_State`` or from the current
running context. It captures the thread name depending on the processor mode,
either ``Main Stack (Handler Mode)`` or ``Main Stack (Thread Mode)``. The stack
limits must be provided along with a stack processing callback. All of this
information is captured by a ``pw::thread::Thread`` protobuf encoder.
.. note::
We recommend providing the ``pw_cpu_exception_State``, for example through
``pw_cpu_exception_DefaultHandler()`` instead of using the current running
context to capture the main stack to minimize how much of the snapshot
handling is captured in the stack.
Python processor
This module's included Python exception analyzer tooling provides snapshot
integration via a ``process_snapshot()`` function that produces a multi-line
dump from a serialized snapshot proto, for example:
.. code-block::
Exception caused by a usage fault.
Active Crash Fault Status Register (CFSR) fields:
UNDEFINSTR Undefined Instruction UsageFault.
The processor has attempted to execute an undefined
instruction. When this bit is set to 1, the PC value stacked
for the exception return points to the undefined instruction.
An undefined instruction is an instruction that the processor
cannot decode.
All registers:
pc 0x0800e1c4 example::Service::Crash(_example_service_CrashRequest const&, _pw_protobuf_Empty&) (src/example_service/
lr 0x0800e141 example::Service::Crash(_example_service_CrashRequest const&, _pw_protobuf_Empty&) (src/example_service/
psr 0x81000000
msp 0x20040fd8
psp 0x20001488
exc_return 0xffffffed
cfsr 0x00010000
mmfar 0xe000ed34
bfar 0xe000ed38
icsr 0x00000803
hfsr 0x40000000
shcsr 0x00000000
control 0x00000000
r0 0xe03f7847
r1 0x714083dc
r2 0x0b36dc49
r3 0x7fbfbe1a
r4 0xc36e8efb
r5 0x69a14b13
r6 0x0ec35eaa
r7 0xa5df5543
r8 0xc892b931
r9 0xa2372c94
r10 0xbd15c968
r11 0x759b95ab
r12 0x00000000