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Commercial GNU tools get ARM Cortex-A5 support, performance boost

Nov 10, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 26 views

CodeSourcery has added support for the ARM Cortex-A5 processor to its GNU C/C++ toolchain and Eclipse IDE (integrated development environment). Sourcery G++, version 4.4, also improves performance across all supported platforms, adds a terminal emulator plus integration with the CVS version-control system, and includes the “task-focused” Mylyn interface, the company says.

According to CodeSourcery, version 4.4 of Sourcery G++ adds support for ARM's recently released Cortex-A5 design, Freescale's MCF5441x and MCF445x, and the MIPS32 1004K multi-threaded processor core. The new release also includes compiler optimizations that improve performance on all previously supported platforms, which include ARM, ColdFire, IA32, MIPS, Power Architecture, and SuperH processors, the company says.

In addition, the company cites performance enhancements for the following specific targets: Sourcery G++ for ARM contains improved instruction scheduling for Thumb-2 code and improved vectorization of Neon code, Sourcery G++ for ColdFire GNU/Linux now supports the native POSIX threads library, and Sourcery G++ for IA32 now contains optimizations for Intel's Atom family. On bare metal targets, the release also introduces CSLIBC, a "high-performance, small-footprint C library," says CodeSourcery.

Sourcery G++ 4.4 is said to include the next generation of CodeSourcery's Board Builder, a tool that automatically generates linker scripts, debug configuration files, and start-up code based on a board's memory map. A QEMU-based instruction set simulator and profiling support has also been added to Sourcery G++ for MIPS ELF, and peripheral register browsing for STM32 and Stellaris boards has been added to Sourcery G++ for ARM EABI, CodeSourcery says.

The following additional new features are touted for all versions of CodeSourcery:

  • a tool for transferring executables to GNU/Linux target systems
  • a terminal emulator
  • integration with the CVS version-control system
  • Mylyn interface for Eclipse based on task context, said to support easier multi-tasking
  • support for batch-mode project builds from the command line


Sourcery G++ is said to contain enhanced versions of popular open-source tools. These include an integrated development environment based on Eclipse 3.5 (Galileo) and the Eclipse C/C++ Development Tools (CDT 6.0), C/C++ compilers (GCC 4.4.1), an assembler and linker (Binutils 2.19), runtime libraries, and a source- and assembly-level debugger (GDB 6.8.50), according to the company.

Sourcery G++ architecture
(Click to enlarge)

Sourcery G++ runs on GNU/Linux or Windows hosts and targets bare metal, RTOS, uClinux, GNU/Linux or Windows systems. This year's Spring release of the software improved compiler speed, updated runtime library routines, and added a QEMU emulator and new IDE debugging support, said the company. Sourcery G++ Professional edition customers receive unlimited technical support from CodeSourcery's expert engineers, the company adds.

Mark Mitchell, CodeSourcery's "Chief Sourcerer," stated, "CodeSourcery continues to improve the performance of the Sourcery G++ compilers and runtime libraries on popular embedded platforms, including ARM, ColdFire, IA32, MIPS, Power and SuperH. At the same time, we've introduced a number of new features in the Sourcery G++ IDE designed to make it easier for professional embedded developers to build and debug their applications."


Sourcery G++ 4.4 is available now, for prices starting at approximately $400 per machine for a Personal edition, ranging up to approximately $2,800 per machine for the Professional edition. More information may be found on the company's website, here.

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