LONDON – NXP Semiconductors NV (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) has bought embedded software tools development tools vendor Code Red Technologies Inc. (San Francisco, Cali.) for an undisclosed amount of money.
Code Red was an ARM specialist startup co-founded by CEO John Rayfield, who, earlier in his career had been a director of technical marketing and R&D at ARM Holdings plc (Cambridge, England). Prior to founding Code Red in 2006 Rayfield served as CEO of Morpho Technologies Inc. a startup that was aimed at reconfigurable processors for software defined radio.
Code Red, recognized for its development tools for the development of software to run on ARM 32-bit microcontrollers is a "strategic addition" to its MCU business, according to NXP. Six staff have joined NXP as part of the acquisition.
LPCXpresso, is NXP's development platform for its LPC range of MCU. The LPCXpresso integrated development environment was created by Code Red and has grown to over 66,000 customer activation since introduction in January 2010.
"It's not just the tools, which are very well integrated with our products. They have a deep knowledge of ARM and can help us with some things," said said Jim Trent, vice president and general manager, microcontroller business line, NXP Semiconductors. "Bringing the Code Red team into our organization gives us the ability to jump-start our in-house software expertise, deliver world-class software libraries and integrated tools to our customers, and rapidly build on the momentum behind the LPCXpresso IDE."
Trent added that the software piece was very important as customers increasingly expect their MCU provider to also provide firmware, middleware and application software.
Trent said that while bringing the LPCXpresso IDE suite in house NXP would continue to work with third-party suppliers of development support tools including IAR Systems and ARM subsidiary Kiel.
Rayfield said that Code Red customers using non-LPC platforms will continue to have support through May 2014. In addition, the generic Red Suite MCU software development product will continue to be sold through to the end of December 2013.
True,,CooCox defaults to C language and won't compile *.cpp files.
However, a poster to the TO Stellaris support forum outlined the steps to modify CooCox to build C++ projects.
Here is the link: http://e2e.ti.com/support/microcontrollers/stellaris_arm/f/471/t/235680.aspx
CooCox does use the ARM-maintained open source GNU compiler toolchain that you recommend.
I am just disappointed that someone would actually charge $1000 for a tool chain that is built from mostly open-source components.
That is all true, but CooCox doesn't support C++ either.
If you want to use C++ (and who doesn't with 1 MByte of Flash at your disposal....) you are on your own. ARM itself has an excellent package (https://launchpad.net/gcc-arm-embedded) which, contrary to Codesourcery or CooCox, does support C++ and FPU instructions for the Cortex-M4 core, inaddition to supporting M0-M3 and R4.
Downloaded the LPCXpresso tool chain last week and had a look. It's the GNU toolchain, Eclipse IDE, GNU GDB debugger, probably the GNUARM managed make plug-in, and somebody's JTAG driver. Setting up such a thing by yourself is a daunting task so having somebody figure out all the details is worth something. However, the free download does not support C++ and you are limited in the size of your flash executable file to only 128k. The stock lpc1769 has 512k of flash. To upgrade to an unlimited flash download, they want $999. That cuts out students and Maker devotees. There is a similar solution from a Chinese group (CooCox) that uses the same open-source software parts with no restrictions and the development package is free.