Parter-EIT - ROM In-Cirucuit Debugger

Changes in embedded hardware designs and the limited capabilities of debugging tools make debugging tasks more difficult today. Surface-mounted packages make it difficult to attach an in-circuit emulator. ROM emulators suffer from high cost and a limited feature set. Debugging monitors have slow response times.

The PARTNER-ETII provides a new solution that combines the best and most appropriate features from the in-circuit emulator, debugging monitor, and in-circuit ROM emulator solutions. These features are integrated with software technology developed in the PARTNER source level debugger.

The design of the PARTNER-ETII hardware is based on concepts found in traditional ROM emulator solutions. However, the PARTNER-ETII does much more than simply rewrite ROM contents with a ROM writer using serial communications from the host.

The PARTNER-ETII system is a separate unit that contains its own RAM, which is used to emulate the target system's ROM. In addition, one section of the ROM emulator is reserved for a debug monitor that communicates with the target hardware. The monitor, via a special ROM socket connection, intercepts signals from the target system and uses these to operate the program and control the test system.

Downloads and debug communications occur over a high-speed link to the emulator, not to the test system. The PARTNER-ETII uses a special-purpose parallel interface to the host computer for ultra high-speed communications with a maximum throughput of 4 Mbytes/second.

As a result, PARTNER-ETII can easily execute time-consuming commands such as loading, saving large executable files, stepping through code, as well as displaying and editing the contents of RAM and I/O data. Moreover, PARTNER-ETII models 20, 30 and 31 all provide hardware breakpoint and real-time trace functions equivalent to those provided by incircuit emulators.

This design provides high-level functionality equivalent to that of in-circuit emulators, yet at the same time also provides an easy-to-use and convenient interface. The PARTNER-ETII system connects to the target system with a ROM connector to the target ROM socket and with a few probes to key target control signals.

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