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Multicore Trace Tool Enables Event Analysis

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A new multicore-enabled development tool enables embedded developers to visualize and better understand the behavior of their real-time systems by showing thread and core activity graphically across a common timescale. With TraceX/MC from Express Logic, system events like interrupts and context switches that occur out of view of standard debugging tools can be seen clearly on each core. TraceX/MC introduces the ability to identify and study these events, and to pinpoint the timing and core on which they occurred. By offering such visibility into the overall system operation, TraceX/MC enables developers to resolve programming problems more easily, reducing the inordinate time typically spent debugging a multicore application.  

Designed to work with Express Logic’s ThreadX RTOS, TraceX/MC creates a database of system and application events on the target system during run-time. Events such as thread context switches, preemptions, suspensions, terminations and system interrupts, typically escape detection in a standard debugging environments. Such events are logged in a target-resident circular buffer by ThreadX, with time-stamping and active core-thread identification so they can be displayed later in the proper time sequence  for the appropriate core. Event logging may be stopped and restarted by the application program dynamically when, for example, an area of interest is encountered. This approach avoids cluttering the buffer and using up target memory when the system is performing correctly.

Trace information may be uploaded to the host for analysis at any time whether at post mortem or on encountering a breakpoint. A circular buffer enables the most recent “n” events to be stored at all times, and to be available for inspection upon the occurrence of a system malfunction, breakpoint, or any other time the system is halted. Once the event log has been uploaded from target memory to the host, TraceX/MC graphically displays the events on a time-based horizontal axis, with the various system cores and associated application threads and system routines represented on the vertical axis. TraceX/MC is available for use on Windows PCs, at a license price of $1,000 per developer seat, with no license keys required.

Express Logic, San Diego, CA. (858) 613-6640. [www.expresslogic.com].