SAN FRANCISCO Programmable logic supplier Actel Corp. Monday (July 31) released a free development environment for Actel's CoreMP7, claimed to be the industry's only soft 32-bit ARM7 microprocessor core for FPGAs.
According to Actel (Mountain View, Calif.), the program, SoftConsole, based on the open-source Eclipse integrated design environment (IDE) and ARM7 GNU compiler and debugger, offers a cost-effective, reliable way to write and debug software programs for CoreMP7. The tool enables designers to develop embedded system applications based on Actel's single-chip, flash-based FPGAs, Actel said.
According to Actel, SoftConsole integrates with Actel's complete FPGA development tool environment, including the CoreConsole IP deployment platform and Libero IDE, also available for free. Users can download CoreMP7 via the CoreConsole IDP, then write and debug software programs to run on the core with SoftConsole, the company said. Together, the three tools give Actel customers everything they need to develop CoreMP7 applications in the mixed-signal Actel Fusion programmable system chip and low-cost ProASIC3 FPGA families, Actel said.
"The SoftConsole tool will allow designers to accelerate development time by letting them take advantage of their existing knowledge of the Eclipse IDE and ARM7 GNU compiler and debugger," said Mike Thompson, senior manager of intellectual property (IP) product marketing at Actel. "Because these tools are widely used and very mature, they are highly reliable for CoreMP7 software program development."
In addition to the Eclipse IDE and ARM7 compiler, SoftConsole includes a GNU debugger and simulator for CoreMP7, Actel said. The tool also supports the import of memory map and drivers from Actel's CoreConsole IDP, and works with Actel's FlashPro3 programmer to program and debug memory, Actel said. SoftConsole support for Core8051 as well as other Actel-supported processor and microcontroller cores will be added in the future, the company said.
SoftConsole is available for free via download from Actel's Web site.