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IDE targets ARM Cortex-A development

Mar 1, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 114 views

ARM has released a tool-suite meant to simplify the development of Linux and Android native applications for systems based on ARM Cortex-A cores. Keil Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition comprises an Eclipse IDE, plus a compiler, debugger, and simulator, and offers support for TI's OMAX35x-based Evaluation Module and BeagleBoard.

Available from ARM's tools division, Keil, the Keil DS-5 Application Edition is designed to shorten the development and testing cycle for ARM Cortex-A-based system-on-chips (SoCs), says ARM. Keil DS-5 supports Linux and Android native application development with a GNU compiler optimized for ARM Linux, and with an Ethernet or serial connection to the target, says the company.

DS-5 is built around an Eclipse-based integrated development environment (IDE) that offers support for multiple workspaces and projects, and provides C/C++ and assembler code editing functions. In addition, DS-5 supplies a GNU Compiler (GCC) 4.4.1-based compiler with enhanced support for Cortex-A5, Cortex-A8, and Cortex-A9 cores, says ARM.

Keil DS-5 architecture

An integrated Linux application debugger, meanwhile, provides "detailed graphical views and processor control mechanisms," says ARM. DS-5's debugger (pictured below) is said to offer views of synchronized source and disassembly, memory, registers, variables, threads, call stack, and conditional breakpoints.

Keil DS-5 debugging application
(Click to enlarge)

DS-5 also provides a "fast model" of an ARM Cortex-A8 SoC "for rapid ARM Linux development without the need for any hardware target," says the company. The model is said to simulate the processor, memory controller, and peripherals, including an LCD controller, keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, UARTs, and Ethernet and USB controllers.

DS-5 automates the downloading of applications and libraries to the target's file system, launching apps and libraries before connecting the debugger, says ARM. DS-5 also includes two Linux example projects: the Gnometris application and the Libgames-support shared library.

The development suite is said to be preconfigured for the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x-based OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM) and TI's DigiKey-distributed BeagleBoard (pictured at right), which is aimed more at the hobbyist community. The OMAP3530, which also populates the BeagleBoard, is the high-end model in TI's OMAP35xx portfolio of SoCs. The OMAP3530 is based on ARM's Cortex-A8 core, which offers superscalar processing and is clocked at 600MHz. The OMAP3530 incorporates Imagination Technologies' SGX 2D/3D graphics processor and a TI TMS320C64x DSP core clocked at 430MHz.

The Keil DS-5 Application Edition is the first of three planned DS-5 editions, says ARM. Future editions will include kernel and driver debug and trace, as well as the ARM Compiler.

Stated Carol de Vries, R&D manager automotive, NXP, "The industry-standard Eclipse design environment enables the integration of plug-ins from several tool vendors into a single framework. Eclipse-based tools such as DS-5 help us be more efficient when developing software for our multi-architecture automotive devices."

Stated John Cornish, EVP and GM, system design division, ARM, "DS-5 represents a significant addition to our Keil tools portfolio and has been designed specifically for developers wishing to develop Linux applications for ARM processor-based systems."


The Keil Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition is now available for download, and can be used for free until Sep. 30, says ARM. More information, and links to downloads, may be found here.

The company will be demonstrating a Linux application debug app using DS-5 and the BeagleBoard at Embedded World, starting tomorrow, March 2-4, in Nuremberg, Germany, at the Keil booth (10 – 231).

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