The increasing complexity of software engineering puts real obstacles in an engineer's path. Some of these hurdles deal with the realities of getting a product to market, while others are technical in nature.
First and foremost, software developers face the unavoidable dilemma of cost versus time to market. For example, budget constraints may require the use of older hardware or a mix of different computer systems. Meanwhile, market delivery windows hold developers to aggressive coding/debug schedules.
Another hurdle is that a project's specifications can require engineers to master a new processor. An existing body of debugged, time-tested code must be ported or rendered obsolete. Worse, the engineers will have to spend time learning a new suite of development tools. All of these situations can wreak havoc on a project schedule.
As a next-generation integrated development environment (IDE), the CodeWarriorTM tool suite from Freescale helps software developers clear many of these hurdles. By combining an editor, compiler, linker and debugger into a single application (all controlled by an easy-to-use GUI), the CodeWarrior tool suite accelerates the development process. The CodeWarrior tool suite is platform-agnostic: it runs on popular Windows® 95/NT, Mac® OS and SolarisTM operating systems. Versions that run on QNX and Linux® are available or under development. Virtually the same GUI is presented to the engineer regardless of host, and the operation of the integrated tools is nearly identical. In addition, CodeWarrior source and project files can be exchanged among host systems without any conversion. This host-neutral capability helps engineers clear the cost hurdle mentioned earlier, because it allows them to use a mix of different computers to tackle a time-critical software project.
The CodeWarrior tool suite also offers a choice of several high-level programming languages (C, C++, Object Pascal and JavaTM), as well as full support for in-line assembly. Stand-alone assemblers are also available for most processors.
Finally, and most importantly, the CodeWarrior tool suite does not limit the choice of processor for that next hot product. It can generate code for an army of desktop and embedded processors: PowerPC® family, MIPS family, 68K family, x86 family and others. Compilers for several more processors are under development. Because of the CodeWarrior tool suite's wide reach in this area, developers can port software to a new processor without having to learn new tools or lose an existing code base in the process.
In short, the CodeWarrior tool suite provides engineers with the ability to pick the host platform, programming language and target processor that best suits the needs of the project, without having to learn a whole new set of development tools. This power and flexibility is the direct result of design decisions made by the Freescale engineers. To see how the CodeWarrior tool suite provides these capabilities, it is necessary to take a closer look at the architecture of the CodeWarrior tool suite itself.
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