Metrowerks launches software analysis tool - Embedded.com

Metrowerks launches software analysis tool

MANHASSET, N.Y. — To speed the development and improve the quality of applications built under Symbian OS in mobile devices, Metrowerks Corp. has launched a comprehensive software analysis tool suite under its CodeTest banner.

Comprising a hardware probe, a software probe and a native probe, the suite combines extensive visibility into the performance and execution of code with precise application analysis-all within a single tool.

The CodeTest Software Analysis Tools for Symbian OS is distinguished by the flexibility and comprehensiveness that derive from the suite's three components, said Greg Hemstreet, director of product marketing at the standard-products and core technologies division at Metrowerks. They are the CodeTest hardware probe (hardware in-circuit), CodeTest Software Probe (software in-circuit) and CodeTest Native Probe.

“We're the first to offer a really flexible set of tools that allows manufacturers of cell phones and devices running Symbian for the first time to really understand the behavior of the phone and the applications running on top of that,” he said.

Metrowerks (Austin, Texas) acquired the CodeTest suite in 2002 from Applied Microsystems, which had focused on the network communications and aviation markets. “The strength and code coverage of the hardware probe meant it was able to meet FAA requirements,” said Hemstreet.

Metrowerks, an independently operating subsidiary of Motorola Inc., has its own homegrown CodeWarrier soft-ware, middleware and hardware development suite, with a focus on consumer electronics, transportation, wireless, and networking and communications.

“We took the customer base they [Applied Micro] had,” said Hemstreet, “and brought in a new version” along with real-time operating systems “to cover more of Metrowerks' own customer base.” The company felt that now was the right time to introduce a tool suite for Symbian.

“Symbian has reached a critical-mass stage such that there's now a market for these tools, both at the hardware and software level,” said Hemstreet.

According to WinterGreen Research Inc. (Lexington, Mass.), Symbian markets topped out at $189 million in 2002 but are expected to reach $3.4 billion by 2007. “Symbian represents a razor/razor blade business, because once the handsets are in place, multiple applications can be sold at kiosks, [including] games for $10 and messaging capabilities for $5,” said a recent WinterGreen report.

Rich Bartlet, director of engineering at Metrowerks, said it's been hard to come out with a comprehensive set of analysis tools for Symbian because development is done on an emulator in a PC-based environment or on a hardware environment using ARM-based tools. “You need a company like Metrowerks that has a broader range of supported environments, spanning Windows through Symbian and deep-embedded tools to pull this off,” he said.

Hemstreet termed the hardware probe the highlight of the suite. “There's no competition for this,” he said, noting that the probe allows connection right to the processor. “This allows analysis of code with maximum accuracy with the least amount of intrusion into the system.” The probe is designed for run-mode evaluation of software in a real-time environment and comes with real-time measurement and analysis tools for use with reference designs and prototype hardware.

The software probe lets developers run a small monitor on the phone and still capture all the information. “They can bring that back to an environment that gives you the same user interface as the hardware probe for consistency,” said Hemstreet.

The native probe, meanwhile, allows connection to an Epoc emulator that runs on the Windows-based development machine. “This allows you to offer CodeTest to the whole development team, regardless of what they're connected to,” said Hemstreet, from those working on simulators right down to the developers porting the Symbian OS to a specific device. The CodeTest suite also offers trace capability that “allows capture of large amounts of information over a long period of time,” he said.

The suite is available now. The software probe sells for $8,000, the native probe for $2,500 and the hardware probe for $30,000 to $32,500, depending on connection options.

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