Debug probe revs for multicore - Embedded.com

Debug probe revs for multicore

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Claiming a significant speedup for on-chip debugging, Green Hills Software rolled out its Probe V3 at the Embedded Systems Conference here this week. The JTAG debug probe, which can be used with Green Hills' Multi integrated development environment (IDE) or a scriptable Web 2.0 interface, promises download speeds in excess of 10 Mbytes per second.

“Download speed is key as programs get bigger and bigger,” said Dan O'Dowd, Green Hills CEO. When Green Hills first entered the on-chip debug market seven years ago, he said, the download speeds were around 200 Kbytes/second. Now, at 10 Mbytes/second, users have “essentially instant download speed,” O'Dowd said.

The fast download speed is a boon for multicore debugging, said Andre Yew, director of engineering at Green Hills. “Multicore slows you down,” he noted. “Downloading from a single CPU on a long chain is slower than if the processor is sitting by itself.” Yew said Probe V3 can handle up to 100 heterogeneous processor cores, and that one customer is debugging 50 processors on a JTAG chain.

Yew said that the Probe V3 contains an FPGA that acts like a JTAG accelerator. “We believe we have the broadest [processor] support of any debug probe out there,” he said. Probe V3 is available now for ARM, MIPS and PowerPC processors, with additional device support promised later in the year.

Green Hills also announced the Probe for Manufacturing (PFM), a product based on Probe V3 that's aimed at the manufacturing test. It promises Python-based automation, a scriptable Web 2.0 user interface, and support for nearly all NOR flash components. PFM uses an on-board Python interpreter with access to traditional debug probe run-control functionality, letting production engineers devise their own tests.

Like Probe V3, PFM promises download speeds over 10 Mbytes/second. PFM is available now for ARM, MIPS and PowerPC processors.

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