Electronic Design

Software Products

Synchronized Development And Embedded GUIs
Altia Inc.
(719) 598-4299; www.altia.com

Designers now have interactive graphical user interfaces (GUIs) at both the development and the target system, yet they may be incompatible. Altia's animated GUI design package, DeepScreen, is the cure. It generates C code for embedded systems to match on-screen designs and can synchronize the embedded system with the on-screen animation for debug-ging. The resident design, development, and testing tools al-low a user interface to be simulated, so eval-uations can occur without embedded hardware. The Proto-Play plug-in enables developers to test their interfaces with their Web browsers. Scripting support and hooks to C/C++ let the interface be integrated with the application. Based on Altia Design, DeepScreen operates with other Altia development tools and generates code for a number of embedded operating systems. DeepScreen designs are royalty-free.

OSE RTOS Will Run On StarCore-Based
MSC810x Digital Signal Processor

(512) 933-8758; www.motorola.com

DSPs have evolved from being isolated math engines running simple monitors. StarCore, one of the leading fourth-generation DSPs, will run the Enea OSE RTOS. Enea OSE Systems is porting its OSE RTOS to Motorola's MSC810x DSP chip. This full-DSP RTOS supports dataflow architectures and multiprocessing. The MSC810x DSP family integrates the 16-bit VLIW DSP with on-chip memory. The MSC8101 incorporates one DSP with 512 kB, while MSC8102 integrates four DSPs with 1.436 MB of memory and peripherals.

Enhanced Development Suite For IBM PowerNP
Network Processor Works With Linux, NT, Solaris

(914) 499-1900; www.chips.ibm.com

Network processors provide the parallelism to process incoming multichannel data at line speeds. This requires better development tools, those tuned for dataflow and multiprocessing. IBM is fielding an enhanced version of its Developer's Toolkit v2.1 for its PowerNP network processor. This toolkit provides a complete development environment for both Linux (Red hat) and standard Windows NT or Sun Solaris host platforms.

The toolkit provides protocol support for a range of networking applications from campus WANs to ISP applications. These include Fibre-Channel links, firewalls, and edge routing. For ISPs, the software supports multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), traffic engineering, and network quality of service (QoS). It also supports virtual private networking with a programmable QoS. The toolkit provides a Software Management Tree (patented) to classify customers and speed policy lookups. It includes an assembler, debugger, simulator, structured programming facility, and a test-case generator, as well as a performance analysis tool, the NPProfile, to provide the processor's picocode.

Linux Package Supports StrongARM Sleep Mode
Applied Data Systems
(301) 490-4007; www.applieddata.net

Linux isn't just for server or multiprocessor systems. It's currently being deployed in embedded applications, even at the low-power end. Applied Data Systems (ADS) is fielding a power-management package for Linux running on 32-bit StrongARM RISC processors. The package enables StrongARM-powered devices to cut power drastically. For example, power dissipation can drop from 495 mW at full speed to less than 10 mW in sleep mode (everything but the I/Os and RTC turned-off). Plus, the package supports idle mode, a nonoperational state where the CPU runs at a slower rate. This mode is initiated by the OS kernel when there's no activity, but the peripherals are still up, and the system can respond to interrupts.

ADS plans to release its power-management package to the Linux Open Source Foundation. It will also integrate the package with its Linux-based board-level products.

PERC Software Platform Pushes Java Code Turnaround, Reuse
(630) 577-1590; www.newmonics.com

Java has moved from toy interactive applications to mainstream code. New techniques, like ahead-of-time compilation, faster interpreters, and slimmed-down VMs have turned Java into a world-class implementation language, especially for networked applications. NewMonics latest Java development/run-time platform, PERC 3.1, delivers code performance approaching that of static C, combined with advanced memory management and debugging. It runs on X86 and PowerPC CPUs under VxWorks, Linux, Windows NT, and OSE operating systems. The PERC VM is a cleanroom implementation.

PERC 3.1 memory management lets developers optimize memory priorities, set collection rates, and schedule garbage collection dynamically. The PERC Compactor Tool automatically optimizes Java application code. It analyzes the code and automatically removes unused code. The software includes a wide range of libraries.

The PERCH Native Method Development Tool supports easy integration of C, C++, and Java code by automatically defining the interface between the native code and the Java environment. Typically the PERC VM needs 128 kB, expandable from 256 to 900 kB of ROM with the appropriate Java libraries. The footprint includes 64 to 128 kB of RAM too.

OS-9 Ports To Intel X-Scale Com Processors
(888) 642-7609; www.microware.com

Mainstream embedded RTOSs are finding a new lease on life by moving to emerging application arenas. They bring a known, stable RTOS standard to new architectures and application problems. Microware is porting its OS-9 RTOS to Intel's X-Scale communications edge-routing processor. OS-9 is a fully embedded RTOS that also has established a base in set-top boxes and low-power applications. The X-Scale communications processor architecture integrates variations of Intel's StrongARM CPU with selected on-chip peripherals and specialized RISC-like communications engines. X-Scale has been designed to provide processing power for a range of applications running from standard edge routers to low-power communications devices.

The OS-9 Hawk development system incorporates standard IDE tools, and provides an integrated power-management feature to extend the operating hours of battery-operated devices. The system supports the three power modes of the X-Scale microarchitecture. By building on the X-Scale's special on-chip performance-monitoring hardware of registers and counters, programmers can visualize and optimize code performance at the thread level. Plus, the toolkit includes tuned compilers.

Chai Joins Java Micro Edition With MicroChaiVM
(650) 857-1501; www.hp.com

Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) Chai is a mainstream Java implementation. With HP's new MicroChaiVM, Chai has joined the push toward J2VME, the Java Micro Edition for embedded systems. Developed for small, resource-limited applications, MicroChaiVM can fit into 37 kB, with a CLDC implementation that requires less than 128 kB ROM. This small footprint is a result of HP's patented Chaifreezedry technology that supports the execution of Java code from a concentrated form, minimizing memory needs. MicroChaiVM will be available in Q2 (with CLDC) and Q3 for MIDP. The Java VM runs on Linux, PalmOS, and PocketPC.

Compiler Makes C Safe, Small For Mitsubishi 16-bitters
Tasking Inc.
(781) 320-9400; www.tasking.com

High-level C and assembler toolsets have arrived for 8- and 16-bit microcontrollers. Tasking's latest release of its M16C tool suite delivers a high-level development environment for Mitsubishi's M16xxx 16-bit microcontrollers. It supports C- and assembly-language programming. Additionally, the toolset includes the Safer C compiler, which implements a set of configurable C-language checks that eliminate many C programming errors, especially for error-prone C constructs, like switches. The Code Sense feature guides developers as they write C code.

The M16C toolkit includes an assembler, linker/loader, graphic IDE interface, on-line manuals, graphical configuration of the microcontroller, and on-line manuals. The toolkit runs on X86/Windows, Sun/Solaris, HP/UX, and PC/Linux hardware/software platforms. Prices start at $2590 for the C compiler and CrossView Pro Simulator, but the tools are free to existing customers with maintenance contracts.

Run Your PIC 18Cxxx 8-bitter With An RTOS
CMX Systems Inc.
(598) 872-7675; www.cmx.com

RTOSs are moving down the processor food chain, delivering a controlled run-time environment for embedded applications. The latest of these is the CMX-Tiny+ RTOS from CMX Systems, which has migrated to the 8-bit PIC18xxx architecture. PIC is now one of the leading 8-bit microcontrollers. The PIC18xxx is a fast 8-bitter with a 16-bit instruction word. The small RTOS can fit in as little as 512 bytes of on-chip RAM. It's a preemptable RTOS that supports tasks, control events, control messaging, and resource management. The CMX-Tiny+ runs on a range of 8- and 16-bitters, including Motorola's 68HC08, Hitachi's H8/300, Atmel's AVR, Infineon's 80C16X, Toshiba's TLCS-900, NEC's 78K0S, Texas Instruments' MSP430, and STMicroelectronics' ST7.

Use Berkeley DB Database On Your QNX Systems
Sleepycat Software Systems
(510) 526-3972; www.sleepycat.com

Real-time systems are growing up. Embedded servers are adapting mainstream services and applications, including a database capability. QNX-based systems can now use the popular Berkeley DB database from Sleepycat Software. It's a well-established database program with over 200 million seats. The Berkeley DB comes as a programmatic toolkit that provides built-in database support for embedded, desktop, and server operations. The access methods include B+tree and Extended Linear Hashing. It supports queues and both fixed- and variable-length records. It also provides full transactional support. The database package supports C, C++, Java, Tcl, Perl, and Python programming language APIs. It runs on Linux, Unix, Windows 95/98/NT/2000, VxWorks, and QNX. The QNX real-time platform is a self-hosting development environment and a real-time system that supports multiprocessing with a unique object-oriented messaging scheme.

OnCore RTOS Runs IBM 405 PowerPC RISC Cores
OnCore Systems
(650) 465-2222; www.onCoreSystems.com

SoCs now have the densities and speeds to deliver true systems. This means that on-chip processors, like the ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC, need SoC-class operating systems. The OnCore RTOS fills the bill for IBM's 405 PowerPC family of cores. This is sophisticated software for sophisticated processors. It builds on a preemptive kernel that's designed for real-time response. The kernel can support a range of existing operating platforms, including VxWorks, pSoS, POSIX, Linux, or a proprietary OS. Such a strategy enables developers to achieve real-time response from their 405 core and run with a standard-OS platform. The operating system provides full support for memory management.

With Linux For Real Time, the OnCore RTOS can deliver real-time performance that's able to preempt an application in less than 4 µs. OnCore has also created a smaller Linux-class footprint with its LinuxOnCall. This implementation provides a Linux network stack and access to the underlying microkernel by direct, low-overhead calls. By stripping out the Linux process-overhead and scheduler code, the memory footprint can be reduced to less than 10% of a full Linux implementation. The OnCore OS supports a wide range of PowerPC processors, as well as the X86 processor family from the 486 to the Pentium III.

TAGS: Digital ICs
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