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Wireless Systems Design

Wireless-Application Tool Gains Support

This Software Program Eases The Design And Testing Of Wireless Applications On Cellular-Handset And PDA Environments.

Developing applications for wireless devices—be it cell phones or PDAs—is hardly an easy task. The program must operate in an environment of limited bandwidth and frequent network disconnects. In addition, it must work on mobile devices with limited processing power, memory space, and battery life. The application also must be portable to any number of different real-time operating-system (RTOS) and device platforms. Thankfully, the CodeWarrior Development Studio from Metrowerks promises to simplify the creation of wireless programs for both OSs and higher-level applications like Java.

To accomplish this goal, the tool suite provides full coverage for the latest 2.5G and 3G devices. It also covers the most popular hardware processors. In fact, the Code-Warrior Development Studio even supports major wireless platforms. These platforms include: Symbian OS (used by Nokia); Palm OS; J2ME and Personal Java; Linux; ARM embedded systems; and the TAO intent Media Platform.

The latest release of CodeWarrior, dubbed Symbian OS v2 OEM Edition, specifically targets wireless C/C++ applications (see figure). To create and test applications on the latest mobile devices, one just needs to combine the tool suite with a supporting device-development kit. An example is the Series 60 SDK for the Nokia 3650 handset.

CodeWarrior also provides a fully integrated tool for advanced embedded-hardware developers. Using the Remote Debug Interface (RDI), this tool can do stop-mode kernel-level debugging of the Symbian OS. The RDI is an open debug communication and interface protocol for JTAG hardware. Access to this protocol is essential for writing peripheral device drivers, porting Symbian OS to a new hardware platform, or creating cellular-handset applications.

The Virtio VPXS softboard is another key feature of the CodeWarrior OEM Edition for the Symbian OS. This virtual platform supports the development of embedded applications on Intel's Xscale microarchitecture PXA250 applications-processor development board running Symbian OS v7. With the Virtio VPXS softboard, embedded-application developers can run real target binaries. Better yet, they can test and debug their native ARM applications on an accurate representation of the actual Intel reference hardware. All of this is possible without the expense of the actual reference board.

This edition also can perform on-target application debugging in read-only-memory (ROM) devices. Developers working with Symbian reference platforms and certain Symbian phones can even debug applications on the target device.

To simplify the entire development process, the CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is tightly integrated with Symbian build components. As a result, the user can easily configure Symbian's AIF builder, Resource Compiler, Bitmap compiler, and *.sis file compiler.

As with other Metrowerks development tools, the OEM Edition for Symbian OS features a project manager, multi-functional Text Editor, docking windows, and an ANSI/ISO C/C++ compiler. Graphical files can therefore be compared and merged. In addition, class browsers and memory windows aid in the debugging of new and legacy applications.

Support also is provided for debugging shared libraries. This is an important feature for distributed-application development. Third-party tools also may be integrated via an open API. A plug-in is available for Microsoft's VSS configuration-management program.

Currently, there are three versions of Metrowerks' Sym-bian development tools: the Personal, Professional, and OEM editions. The Personal Edition is intended for application developers. It contains a core set of build tools for emulation and target devices, project-creation tools, and Win32 debugging. Under the Professional Edition, these capabilities extend to include the ability to debug applications over a serial connection on the target device. The OEM Edition adds critical features for developers who are creating new Symbian devices.

The CodeWarrior Development Studio suite for the Symbian OS v2 OEM Edition is available now. It retails for $4495. Both academic and full product 15-day evaluation versions are available.

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