Posts Tagged ‘Sourcery Analyzer’

17 July, 2017

I was recently approached by a software developer, who was new to embedded programming. As is commonly the case, we had a language problem. It was not that his English was deficient – he just did not speak “embedded”. He asked a question: How do I log on to my target hardware to do debugging?

On the surface, this is a reasonable question. Having ascertained that he was not using Linux – he was using a conventional RTOS – I felt that I needed to explain his options for debugging on an embedded system … Read the rest of this entry »

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18 July, 2016

An embedded system is normally a CPU [or some CPUs] interfaced to a number of peripheral devices. The software processes data and controls the peripherals. In summary, that is what embedded systems are all about. But, of course, there are many other details and that is what occupies embedded software developers most of the time. A significant issue is around peripherals and timing … Read the rest of this entry »

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13 June, 2016

I have frequently asserted that one of the most important attributes – maybe the most important attribute – of code is readability. This is because an enormous amount of time is spent on debugging and maintaining code – far more than that expended on writing it in the first place. So, keeping the future human reader [who might be you!] in mind at all times is essential.

Interesting challenges occur when you think about hiding text/code from the compiler … Read the rest of this entry »

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4 January, 2016

New Year greetings to everyone. But, before charging into 2016, I will just hark back to 2015 briefly …

On a previous posting I reported what I thought was my last article of the year. However, it seems that i jumped the gun, as another article made it under the wire:

Non-intrusive debug

Debugging represents a very significant part of an embedded software development project. All developers have their own favorite approaches and each one has its strengths and weaknesses. A key issue is how intrusive the debug tools are – i.e. the extent to which debugging software affects the functionality of the code. This is not a black and white issue, as a number of factors and priorities need to be considered. This article outlines different approaches to debugging, from the perspective of intrusion, and also considers the implications with respect to code optimization.

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27 January, 2014

After talking about low power CPU modes last week, I make no apology for returning to the topic. Reducing power on a single core embedded system is a challenge. With a multicore design, there are many other nuances. As with most system development, there are two highly interrelated facets to the process: design and verification [which software developers commonly call debugging].

Different semiconductor vendors have different ideas on how to build such systems … Read the rest of this entry »

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9 December, 2013

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2 September, 2013

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8 July, 2013

Developing embedded software used to be easy. Actually, that is not true. It has never been easy, but certain matters were simpler. Embedded developers have always needed more control of code generation because, as I am often heard to chant, every embedded system is different and the priorities and requirements change from one to another.

It used to be broadly a choice between speed and size of code, but it is no longer that simple … Read the rest of this entry »

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1 July, 2013

Answering questions is something that I am often expected to do. Maybe I am presenting at a conference, doing an online seminar, hanging out on a trade show booth, writing blogs or articles – these all elicit questions. Sometimes I am asked by a salesperson to respond to a customer’s question.

I would always do my best to give a complete and accurate answer and certainly aim to be truthful. I was recently posed some questions about Nucleus, which made me think … Read the rest of this entry »

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8 April, 2013

My colleague Richard Vlamynck [who has been a guest blogger here] and I were discussing tracing and debugging. Like me, he has been doing software for a few years. Hence, when we considered tracing and instrumenting code, he commented “It used to be easy to see what effect trace statements had on your program because, as you put more or less trace cards in your Fortran deck, you could visually see it growing or shrinking.”

We have come a long way from the use of punched cards, but tracing and debugging are still very much a matter of concern … Read the rest of this entry »

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12 November, 2012


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I often tell people that my job is that of a “professional enthusiast”. I get enthusiastic about products/technologies, then infect other people with that enthusiasm. Well, that is the idea anyway. I enjoy doing this most of all when I get to stand up in front of an audience, as a direct connection with real live human beings is the best way to communicate.

However, there are times when an alternative means of communication is very satisfactory and the usual vehicle for that nowadays is the Internet … Read the rest of this entry »

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