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Linux debugging environment adds Atom support

Sep 21, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Arium announced the release of Linx hardware and software debugging components that now support Intel's Atom CPU. Version 7.7.1 of the SourcePoint debugging software also adds code trace and flash programming functionality, together with Arium's now-Linux-ready ECM-XDP3 hardware emulator, says the company.

The last time we checked in with Arium's SourcePoint was March 2008, when the company introduced release 6.6 of the Linux version. The upgrade featured debugging support for ARM's multi-core CoreSight environment, as well as traces on multiple Embedded Trace Macrocells (ETMs), and the ability to debug targets incorporating heterogeneous ARM processors.

At the time, the Linux version of SourcePoint supported only ARM7, ARM9, ARM11, and ARM Cortex cores, but now the company has added Intel architecture support, claiming that "SourcePoint for Intel is now Linux OS-aware." SourcePoint 7.7.1 for Linux not only supports the Intel Atom, but offers "substantial improvements for software based on Intel architecture and firmware development," announced Arium (formerly American Arium) at this week's Intel Developer's Forum.

Hardware support for the Intel Atom, as well as Intel Celeron, Pentium, and Xeon processors is implemented via the ECM-XDP3 JTAG emulator (pictured at right), which is now available for use with the Linux version of SourcePoint 7.7.1. The emulator was previously available only for Windows, although other Arium emulators, such as the LC-500, have been available for Linux on ARM platforms.

The ECM-XDP3 emulator works in real time with all core frequencies and is compatible with popular compiler tool chains, says Arium. The device is also said to support industry standard input file formats. It includes a C-like command language, and offers support for the Intel Framework for BIOS/UEFI, says the company.

SourcePoint for Linux
(Click to enlarge)

Coupled with the ECM-XDP3, SourcePoint 7.7.1 for Linux offers hardware-assisted debugging for the Intel Atom, including non-intrusive real-time target operation, flash programming, complete visibility after a hardware catastrophic event, and real-time code execution trace, says Arium. The debugging platform also offers hardware programming when code is not available, says Arium. The SourcePoint for Intel debug environment supports Linux builds including Moblin, MontaVista Linux, Wind River Linux, and "all 2.6 versions from," says the company.

SourcePoint 7.7.1's new code trace features enables engineers to trace code execution using various hardware resources, says the company. Trace is said to be captured and displayed in SourcePoint in excess of 1GB of captured instructions, and executed instructions can be viewed in assembly, C/C++, or both. The new flash programming features, meanwhile, enable SPI and CFI devices to be programmed via SourcePoint without requiring an external device.

Study: Embedded Linux is "number one" in Asia

The combined hardware/software debugging solution is designed primarily for Intel Atom-based MIDs and other mobile devices, says the company, which says it is particularly focused on supplying the product to the Chinese market. Arium cites an In-Stat study that claims that Linux is the top-ranked embedded operating system in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the rest of Asia. The study is said to predict that by 2012, total shipments of mobile Linux-based smart phones in China will account for about a fourth of all smartphone shipments in China.

Stated Larry Traylor, Arium's CEO. "This software release breaks new ground for Intel developers, with new features that provide powerful tools for BIOS/UEFI and embedded Linux developers. SourcePoint 7.7.1 offers a seamless debug environment and a quicker time-to-market for engineers currently working on Linux OS-based designs."


SourcePoint 7.7.1 is available with the purchase of an Arium ECM-XDP3 emulator, which sells for $11,800 in single-unit quantities, with discounts ranging up to six percent for quantities of 10 or more. The SourcePoint upgrade is available free to all current ECM-XDP/XDP3 customers, says Arium.

More information on SourcePoint for Intel and AMD processors may be found in a PDF, here, and more on the Linux version of SourcePoint may be found in another PDF, here. More on the ECM-XDP3 may be found here.

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