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Linux powers OMAP3x bring-up tool

Nov 4, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

A start-up specializing in Linux-based embedded system test tools has announced its first product. Espian says its “Espian System Debugger” combines a hardware debugger, oscilloscope, and logic analyzer into a single small device both powered by and aimed at bring-up of TI OMAP3x-series RISC/DSP processors.

(Click for larger view of the Espian System Debugger prototype)

The System Debugger is scheduled for delivery in Q3, 2009, according to the company. It aims to help developers analyze target code execution, while also capturing “real world” signal data, apparently with “alignment” between the two datasets. Few other details of operation have been disclosed so far, but the device appears primarily targeted at system bring-up of embedded devices based on TI RISC/DSP SoCs, as the company also announced a whitepaper series on that topic.

And, Espian has revealed, the System Debugger is itself powered by an OMAP3x SoC. Specially, it will use TI's OMAP3530 SoC, which weds the superscalar Cortex-A8 core with a DSP core (digital signal processor). When attached to a target device, the System Debugger's DSP apparently processes signal data that is then plotted graphically by Linux, which runs on the Cortex-A8. Espian further revealed that the ESD will use a range of open source software, enabling efficient customization for “unique” testing situations.

Keith Williams, Espian founder, stated, “The Espian test instrument gives engineers quick access to more sorted, pre-analyzed, and cogent data to support their early system bring-up and characterization.”

Gerard Andrews, product line manager at TI, hinted, “With Espian's test and debug instruments, designers have easy access to their data and can better manage and monitor their embedded systems.”


Espian expects to sample its System Debugger in Q2, with general availability the following quarter. It also expects to publish a series of whitepapers, starting in Dec., covering the use of the device in OMAP3x system bring-up.

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