Improved Multi-ARM Debugging
Multiprocessor debugging gets easier when using ARM processor cores and ARM's RealView development tools. These include the multiprocessor-capable debugger, which works with ARM's new cross-trigger specification. This spec features a standard mechanism to halt all processors in a group when a breakpoint is detected. Any ARM processor design can incorporate it.
Moreover, the RealView debugger works with DSP Group processors in mixed ARM/DSP environments. Additional board chip definition (BCD) files are now available for standard configurations. The BCD files are user-configurable as well. The debugger is RTOS-aware and runs with ThreadX, Nucleus Plus, and Symbian.
The debugger accommodates the latest ICE debug hardware, which handles high-speed (over 10-MHz) JTAG transfers. A new differential signal probe supports even higher frequencies and longer cable lengths. The RealView Trace plug-in module works with the enhanced trace module (ETM) logic that can be included with ARM processor designs. The debug hardware is connected to a PC using USB 1, USB 2, or Ethernet connections.
RealView is ARM's new name for a collection of tools in addition to the debugger. The RealView C++ compiler has shown a 30% improvement in size and performance expectations.
The RealView Debugger costs $2000. It also is available with ICE and trace hardware for prices starting at $12,000. www.arm.com
New Entry-Level EJTAG And BDM Probe
Green Hills Software's new Slingshot debugging probe for 32- and 64-bit processors supports PowerPC, ARM, XScale, and MIPS architectures. The Slingshot plugs in a USB port and does not require an external power supply. It supports JTAG, EJTAG, COP, and BDM debug ports. Download speeds are device-dependent with average speeds of 150 kbytes/s.
The Slingshot is designed to run work with Green Hills Software's Multi 2000 source-level debugger and Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The probe software runs on Windows 98/ME/XP/2000. It costs $990. www.ghs.com
Chip Links PCI-X/HyperTransport
HyperTransport bridges are finally appearing. The PLX PowerDrive HT7520 is targeting the high-end market with dual 133-MHz PCI-X bus interfaces and an 800-MHz, 16-bit HyperTransport interface. Dual PCI-X interfaces allow one interface to handle high-speed de-vices, while the other deals with slower devices.
Oddly, the other side of the HyperTransport bridge is 8 bits, but this actually makes sense as most other HyperTransport devices use an 8-bit interface. Multiple HT7520s can be linked together, but only the first gains the advantage of the 16-bit interface. The HT7520 is available now for less than $100. www.plx.com