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STMicroelectronics Tightens Ties to Embedded Development Tools

STMicroelectronics said that it had acquired Atollic, which peddles development tools used by embedded engineers to brush bugs out of code running in ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers. The company based in Geneva, Switzerland said Tuesday that it shelled out $7 million in the deal.

STMicroelectronics plans to package the tools with its 32-bit microcontrollers, with an eye toward smoothing out the development of increasingly complex embedded systems. Atollic’s software can also flags bugs that imperil security and reliability, which are both vital for a new generation of Internet of Things devices that sense their surroundings and broadcast data to the cloud.

Atollic’s flagship product is TrueStudio, which performs professional compiling and debugging tasks like static analysis on memory and stack consumption, which is a critical test for secure and reliable embedded code. STMicroelectronics intends to offer a free version of TrueStudio exclusively for engineers using its microcontrollers.

Being able to supply the hardware and software together gives engineers “a major competitive advantage,” said Michel Buffa, general manager of STMicroelectronics’ microcontroller unit, in a statement. STMicroelectronics’ first version of the software is expected in TrueStudio’s next release. Atollic typically rolls out a new version every year.

The latest version of Atollic's TrueStudio-Lite will keep working with the same features and support for multiple companies' devices, a STMicroelectronics spokesman said in an email. Its TrueStudio-Pro product will remain untouched until users' license periods expire and users will receive Atollic's support until their support and upgrade agreements end.

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