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Linux-friendly hardware probe picks up speed

Jan 29, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 43 views

Swiss hardware tools vendor Abatron has started shipping a new Linux-compatible hardware debug probe. Compared to the company's older BDI2000, the new BDI3000 offers a faster 10/100 Ethernet interface, support for lower target voltages, and faster flash programming speeds up to 1.5Mbps, Abatron claims.

(Click for larger view of the BDI3000)

The BDI3000 succeeds Abatron's BDI2000, a popular tool among embedded Linux developers, especially those doing low-level bootloader, board-support, and kernel development work. Communicating with the target system via RS232 and 10/100 Ethernet connections at up to 32Mbps, the BDI3000 offers JTAG link speeds up to 32MHz, for fast program download rates of up to 1500 KB/s, Abatron claims. The older BDI2000, in contrast, tops out at 320KB/s.

The BDI3000 supports target voltages from 1.2V to 5V. It supports BDM (background debug mode) on chips that have on-chip debugging interfaces, including ColdFire and PowerPC 5xx/8xx CPUs. BDM debugging sessions can survive target system crashes, facilitating crash forensics, Abatron notes.

The BDI3000 also supports JTAG debugging for PowerPC, ARM, XScale, and MIPS processors. The probe is said to support leading debugging software, with the same hardware adapting easily to different targets and debuggers, Abatron says.

Target and host ends of the BDI3000

The BDI3000 supports the following target CPUs and download speeds (in Kbytes/s) when used with bdiGDB software via Telnet/TFTP, says Abatron. JTAG clocks are all 32MHz except for MPC855 (16MHz) and MPC5554 (11MHz):

  • ARM7TDMI — 900 Kbytes/s
  • ARM11 — 1000
  • XScale — 1600
  • PPC440EP — 600
  • MPC855 — 950
  • MPC5554 — 600
  • MPC8280 — 170
  • MPC8349 — 1300
  • MPC8548 — 1300
  • ColdFire — 1100
  • MIPS32 — 600


The BDI3000 is available now from Ultimate Solutions, which claims to be the only stocking distributor of Abatron products in North America. More information and links to international distributors are available from Abatron's site.

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