Green Hills TimeMachine 4-D Debugger Goes Forward and Backward in Time

9/3/2003 - Green Hills Software, Inc., the technology leader in real-time operating systems and embedded software development tools, introduced the TimeMachineTM 4-D debugger. TimeMachine is the first debugger to provide developers with complete visibility into an application’s precise behavior both forward and backward in the time dimension.

TimeMachine gives developers the ability to run and step an application back in time after a failure occurs, allowing easy identification of its root cause. This avoids the tedious and open-ended process of trial-and-error debugging required by previous generations of temporally-challenged debuggers.

“Real-time embedded developers often struggle with intermittent bugs that are difficult to track down,” said David Kleidermacher, vice president of engineering at Green Hills. “Even worse, if the problem does not reproduce, the developer is at a total loss--the symptom of a corruption may have been revealed, but the developer can not see or recreate the complex sequence of events that led to the failure. Most products are shipped with many known bugs that simply can not be fixed due to their transience. TimeMachine makes it easy to eliminate the most insidious bugs, enabling developers to achieve total reliability and get to market months earlier,” he continued.

TimeMachine exploits the power of the Green Hills SuperTrace probe, that can collect up to a Gigabyte of trace data, more than 20 times the typical trace depth of other probes. SuperTrace works with trace ports running at speeds beyond 300 MHz, collecting trace data while the CPU executes at full speed. The TimeMachine software then analyzes the trace data to reconstruct the code execution steps that the processor followed. “Once a bug has been trapped in the SuperTrace Probe, TimeMachine makes it easy to eradicate the bug”, commented Kleidermacher.

TimeMachine includes CodeReplay technology, an enhancement to the Green Hills MULTI IDE that uses the trace reconstruction to drive a debugging session that can move forwards and backwards in time as needed. The cause of a subtle memory corruption is discovered trivially by setting a watchpoint and running the debugger backwards to find where the memory was written. Once an interesting point in execution is discovered, the developer can single step forwards and backwards, view variables and registers, and use MULTI’s integrated code browsing tools to gain a complete understanding of what happened.

TimeMachine’s PathAnalyzer displays the sequence of function calls that occurred in call stack order. The developer can examine the flow of execution at a high level or zoom in to see individual function calls at a low level. The complex interactions of the system, including execution of application code, interrupt service routines and context switches are brought to light. Developers can search for sequences of events that point out anomalies such as a failure to meet a real-time deadline. The TimeMachine tools are all powerfully integrated so stepping through execution using CodeReplay simultaneously causes the PathAnalyzer to focus on the same point in time.

TimeMachine is also integrated with the MULTI EventAnalyzer operating system analysis tool and the patented MULTI Performance and Code Coverage Profiler. Traditional operating system analysis and profiling tools require intrusive instrumentation and data logging. TimeMachine, however, mines the trace data for operating system events such as kernel service calls and exceptions, providing the same real-time view of production code, built without any instrumentation. TimeMachine is also virtual memory aware, enabling developers to visualize code execution across any thread within any memory address space.

The Green Hills processor simulators, including the ISIM simulator for the INTEGRITY RTOS, support generation of trace data for use with TimeMachine. Thus, developers can take advantage of this revolution in debugging technology when hardware is scarce or the CPU lacks a trace port.

Price and Availability
TimeMachine is designed to work with the MULTI IDE version 4.0 which will be available in November 2003. The price for the TimeMachine toolkit, including the SuperTrace probe and MULTI IDE, starts at $17,900 USD.

About 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 TimeMachine 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. AdaMULTI, ISIM, EventAnalyzer, PathAnalyzer, CodeReplay, TimeMachine and SuperTrace are trademarks of Green Hills Software, Inc.

North American Sales Contact: Green Hills Software, Inc., 30 West Sola Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, Tel: 805-965-6044, Fax: 805-965-6343, Website:, Email: International Sales Contact: Green Hills Software Ltd., Dolphin House, St. Peter Street, Winchester Hampshire SO23 8BW, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0)1962 829820, Fax: +44 (0)1962 890300, Email:

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