San Francisco - Green Hills Software Inc. came to the Embedded Systems Conference here last week to announce TraceEdge, a tool that collects trace data for debugging microprocessors that lack built-in trace support.
Also, Green Hills announced here that its real-time operating system, named Integrity, has been selected for use by various European companies developing mission-critical systems in the second-stage program of the Eurofighter Typhoon airplane. The air forces of the major European nations are expected to buy more than 600 of the planes in the coming decade.
The Integrity RTOS offers levels of security, and deterministic response, that were built from the ground up with avionics applications in mind, said Christopher Smith, a London-based marketing vice president at Green Hills. Integrity also is used in the Joint Strike Fighter being built by Lockheed Martin, the Airbus A380, the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter and the Boeing X-45C joint unmanned combat air system, the company said.
While certain PowerPC, MIPS, ARM and other processors support the capture and retrieval of trace data, an estimated 95 percent of all 32-bit MPUs sold do not. "Memory corruption problems often are not visible, or timing errors cannot be re-created, without access to trace data," said David Barnett, director of product marketing at the Santa Barbara, Calif., company.
The TraceEdge solution is a combination of hardware and software that provides "a way to collect trace data at the binary level with the insertion of just one instruction" at each instrumentation point, Barnett said. On the hardware side, Green Hills' SuperTrace probe can collect trace data from nearly all 32-bit and 64-bit processors "with a minimum amount of intrusion," Barnett said. Source code is not required, and the entire system can be traced, including the application software, libraries, the OS and device drivers. The data can be viewed at both assembly-code and source-code levels. Developers then can use this trace history with Green Hills' TimeMachine software tool to visualize and replay their software's execution and eliminate bugs.
The SuperTrace probe captures "instant replay" trace data at bus speeds exceeding 300 MHz, regardless of the core clock rate, Green Hills said. With a gigabyte of trace memory, the probe can record 384 million trace points. A processor running at 25 MHz might provide about 77 seconds' worth of trace history, while a 1.2-GHz processor would yield about 1.6 seconds of recorded data, Barnett said.
The product now supports PowerPC processors; support soon will be extended to other processors.
Single-unit pricing for the SuperTrace probe begins at $9,990.