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On-Chip Debug Solutions Support ARM Cortex-A8

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The ARM Cortex-A8 processor now has a full debug suite available with on-chip debug technology. The Cortex-A8 is ARM’s first superscalar processor featuring technology for enhanced code density and performance, NEON technology for multimedia and signal processing, and Jazelle RCT (Runtime Compilation Target) technology for high-performance, power-efficient mobile devices.

The Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo + GNU Tools Suite from Macraigor Systems is an implementation and packaging of the Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform, C/C++ Development Tooling (CDT) 5.0.x and device software development platform (DSDP) 1.0 plug-ins, and a program called OcdRemote that provides an interface between Eclipse, the GDB debugger and a Macraigor OCDemon on-chip debug device. The free port of the GNU Tools Suite and Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform for ARM Cortex-A8 can be downloaded at www.macraigor.com.

In addition to supporting the Cortex-A8 (for example, the Texas Instruments OMAP 35xx used on the Beagle Board), Macraigor’s JTAG interface devices are immediately available for use with other ARM family devices including Cortex M3, ARM 7, ARM 9, ARM 11, Freescale’s iMX series, XScale and others. With the more complex processors, on-chip debug resources have been added to aid hardware and software designers. This means that debugging via classic methods, such as In-Circuit Emulators and ROM monitors, does not hold up to the rigors of real-time system test and debug. 

The interface to these on-chip resources is where Macraigor Systems excels. Via a choice of communication channels, a host debugger communicates with a Macraigor Systems’ device and then to the target processor. Since there is no need for any resident code, this debug method is available for hardware initialization and debug as well as Flash EEPROM programming, kernel, driver and application software debug. Macraigor Systems offers a host-based application that allows programming of Flash EEPROM via the JTAG connection. OCDemon for the ARM Cortex-A8 is available immediately starting at $250. The port of the GNU Tools Suite and Eclipse Ganymede/Galileo platform is being offered as a free download.

Macraigor Systems, Brookline Village, MA. (617) 739-8693. [www.macraigor.com].