CMSIS-Pack Documentation

CMSIS-Pack describes a delivery mechanism for software components, device parameters, and evaluation board support. The XML-based package description (PDSC) file describes the content of a Software Pack (file collection) that includes:

  • Source code, header files, and software libraries
  • Documentation and source code templates
  • Device parameters along with startup code and programming algorithms
  • Example projects

The complete file collection along with the PDSC file is shipped in ZIP-format as a Software Pack. The PDSC file is designed for software development environments and describes the user and device relevant context for the files supplied within such a Software Pack. A Software Pack can be used for multiple purposes (see below).

After installing a Software Pack, all included software components are available to the development tools. Software components are a collection of source modules, header and configuration files as well as libraries. Packs containing software components can also include Example Projects and User Code Templates.

The Revision History of CMSIS-Pack lists the main changes between versions.

Software Pack Use Cases

Software Pack Use Cases

The figure above shows the following use cases for Software Packs:

  • Device Family Pack (DFP): contains CMSIS system/startup files, drivers, and flash algorithms for a microcontroller device family.
  • CMSIS Software Pack: contains the generic CMSIS components (CORE, DSP Library, and RTOS implementation) supplied by Arm.
  • Middleware Pack: contains software components belonging to a middleware (such as source code or libraries).
  • Board Support Pack (BSP): contains documentation, schematics, and drivers for a certain development board.
  • In-house Software Packs: usually contain software components that can be distributed within a company or engineering group.
A Software Pack can address multiple use cases at the same time!

The following sections give you more details on the basics:


Files relevant to CMSIS-Pack are present in the following ARM::CMSIS directories:

Folder Content
Utilities Utilities for Creating Packs
Pack\Example Reference Software Pack
Pack\Tutorials Tutorials for Creating Packs