Green Hills Software Develops New Real-time Systems Debugging Method

4/24/2003 - Green Hills Software, Inc., the technology leader in real-time operating systems and embedded development software, announced a new way to debug real-time systems with its MULTI debugger and Express Logic's ThreadX real-time operating system. Traditionally, developers had to stop a system with a debugger breakpoint in order to examine data. This made it impossible for the system to control any continuously operating hardware, such as motors or actuators that must be serviced thousands of times per second, all of the time.

"Our ThreadX customers will benefit from MULTI's support of this advanced debugging technology," said Bill Lamie, president of Express Logic. "User threads and ISRs will no longer require special handling to be debugged, and no I/O hardware or drivers are required. "That should speed up the entire development process."

"MULTI's ability to debug a continuously running system will simplify development of printers, disk drives and industrial equipment," commented Dan O'Dowd, Green Hills Software's founder and chief executive officer. "In particular, systems running ThreadX will find that this new capability keeps code footprint small, yet enables debugging of threads while the system continues to run. Most importantly, no I/O hardware is required since all communication can be performed with our Probe or Slingshot via JTAG."

With this new approach to debugging such systems, named Run-Mode JTAG Debug, Green Hills Software has used its advanced JTAG debug hardware, the Green Hills Probe and Slingshot with its MULTI debugger, to perform normal debugger operations without stopping the processor that controls the system. This enables interrupts to continue to be serviced and allows other ThreadX application threads to continue to operate normally while one or more threads is stopped for examination by the debugger. MULTI's new Run-Mode JTAG Debug allows the developer to designate a group of threads that will be stopped when a breakpoint is encountered, not just the thread containing the breakpoint. This enables examination of data in related threads upon reaching a section of code in one thread.

Run Mode JTAG Debug is implemented via a standard JTAG debug port on ARM7, ARM9 and ARM10 processors, using the Green Hills Probe or Slingshot hardware debug devices. Run-Mode Debug uses the ARM debug communications channel to avoid halting the entire processor while communicating with application software. No I/O device, device driver or board support package is required and this enables Run-Mode JTAG Debug to be used in a "bare-board" environment or manufacturing test, as well as in traditional debugging activities.

More on Green Hills Software
Founded in 1982, Green Hills Software Inc. is the technology leader for real-time operating systems and software development tools for 32- and 64-bit embedded systems. The royalty-free INTEGRITY RTOS, compilers, MULTI and AdaMULTI Integrated Development Environments and Green Hills Probe offer a complete development solution that addresses both deeply embedded and maximum reliability applications. Green Hills Software is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, with European headquarters in the United Kingdom.

Green Hills Software, the Green Hills logo, MULTI and INTEGRITY are registered trademarks. Green Hills Probe, Slingshot, AdaMULTI, Run-Mode JTAG are trademarks of Green Hills Software Inc.

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