Based on Eclipse 3.0, the code composer essentials toolset from Texas Instruments targets the company's low-power, MSP430 16-bit microcontroller product line. This set uses the Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tool), but it employs a Texas Instruments-based code generator that's much more efficient than the GNU implementation. Average code size reduction is about 30%.
TI also customized the GDB debugger to handle the MSP430. Among the other tweaks are platform configuration and project wizards. But for the most part, Code Composer Essentials has the familiar look and feel of Eclipse 3.0. By using Eclipse as a base for its development tools, TI has made it possible for customers to utilize other Eclipse plug-ins in addition to employing a well-recognized development environment.
A version of Code Composer Essentials with limited code size is available as a free download from TI's Web site. The unlimited version costs $495. Versions are available with and without Java development support. The TI plug-ins also can be incorporated into an existing Eclipse 3.0 installation, enabling developers to use one tool for a multiple processor project. The current version runs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
Texas Instruments Inc.