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Espress Logic debuts IDE for embedded systems

Posted: 16 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:IDE? development tools? embedded systems?

Express Logic Inc. has entered the development tools business with the launch of BenchX, an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for embedded systems. Expanding beyond the RTOS and middleware markets, Express Logic delivers a RTOS-agnostic, out-of-the-box solution to customers who need low-cost, industrial-grade development tools. BenchX may be used by developers using the ARM, ColdFire, Power Architecture or MIPS architectures.

BenchX is based on the Eclipse Europa CDT Release (4.0) and comes in a complete package ready for use in an embedded environment. It consists of a complete windows-hosted graphical IDE, project builder with new project wizard, language-sensitive editor and code browser and GNU C/C++ compilers. It also features a GDB debugger with a graphical interface, a target instruction set simulator, user tutorials and a target connectivity hardware probe. In addition, no license keys are required, enabling embedded developers to easily install and use immediately.

The GNU C/C++ development tools (compiler, debugger, and libraries) offer an integrated, enhanced debugger GUI that includes RTOS awareness for ThreadX, as well as many other Express Logic designed productivity enhancements. BenchX IDE is not only available for use with Express Logic's ThreadX RTOS, but can also be used to develop embedded systems without any RTOS, with an in-house RTOS or with another commercial RTOS.

In addition, the GNU C/C++ compilers are configured to run in a Windows environment without the need for a Cygwin shell, which is unlike standard Eclipse downloads that do not include the GNU tools or support for any hardware debug probes.

The Eclipse-based BenchX integrates the GNU tools into the Eclipse Project Builder environment, enabling automatic or manual builds, and hands-on or hands-off use of standard makefiles. The GDB debugger is seamlessly integrated with the target debug probe, and the debugger GUI, providing the ability to control the execution of target-resident application programs from a user-friendly GUI on the host.

BenchX also supports Eclipse plug-in versions of compilers for ColdFire, ARM, Power Architecture and MIPS architectures that are available from processor manufacturers, or third-party providers. Express Logic is in the process of validating BenchX operation with compilation tools from its partners and integrations will be announced as they become available. IAR is the first C/C++ compiler to be available with BenchX.

Initially, BenchX is available for the ColdFire, Power Architecture, ARM7, ARM9, ARM Cortex-M3/R4/A8 and the MIPS 4k/24k/34k/74k processor families. Ultimately it will be available for the most popular 32bit architectures. For each architecture family, BenchX is delivered with an integrated hardware debug probe designed to interface with that architecture.

Because it strictly adheres to the Eclipse interface standards, BenchX also may be enhanced through the addition of other tools components such as debuggers, editors, debug probes and advanced analysis tools that are Eclipse compatible.

BenchX will be kept current with Eclipse developments, and is supported by Express Logic, giving developers one number to call for commercial support.

BenchX is available for order now, with initial production deliveries planned for May 15.

BenchX licenses are priced from $1,000 per seat, including debug probe, documentation and one year of technical support.

- Gina Roos

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