Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS remain in the spotlight because of tablets and smart phones. But there were plenty of other software highlights this year for embedded developers.
IAR Systems incorporates power into its IAR Embedded Workbench debugger. Eurotech’s offerings address the cloud from a device perspective. And, Intel’s Parallel Studio XE and Cluster Studio provide a broad range of parallel processing tools to developers.
IAR Systems’ power debugging brings power management into the debugging process. It requires the right kind of hardware because the debugger requires access to power usage information, which was possible with the IAR J-Link Ultra JTAG probe and matching support in Arm’s Cortex processors (Fig. 1).
Essentially, the Cortex provides power-consumption numbers via its JTAG interface. These numbers can be accessed while the processor is running without interrupting the system. The IAR Embedded Workbench (Fig. 2) can display this information in real time. The information is related to program execution so developers can see what parts of the application are running as the processor consumes power.
Simply getting power-related information is only the start. Tying it to the code via the debugger is key since it is possible to add breakpoints based on application code and power consumption. It is now easy to determine when a certain section of code is being run while consuming too much power. And, IAR is bringing its power-debugging feature to more platforms as the underlying hardware requirements are met.
The Device Cloud
Eurotech’s Everyware Software Framework (ESF) was one of the best software products of 2009, as it provided a mechanism to easily deliver network-based services on embedded platforms. ESF is built on the Java-based OSGi Framework.
This year, Eurotech worked Isidorey to provide the cloud services side of the equation. Isidorey’s Everyware Device Cloud is based on ESF, with message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) providing the network interconnect protocol.
The Device Standard Object Model (DSOM) is central to the cloud device model, which includes ESF for controlling devices (Fig. 3). The cloud-based services can provide a range of developer-configurable interactions with other services ranging from databases to Facebook. Isidorey is an associate of the Eurotech Group.
Intel’s Parallel Studio 2011 initially targeted Microsoft’s Visual Studio (see “Dev Tools Target Parallel Processing”). The latest Intel Parallel Studio XE and Cluster Studio address Linux and Visual Studio. The packages provide a host of improvements in addition to a new Fortran compiler that supports co-arrays. The VTune tool has been updated so it can highlight hotspots and developers can fine-tune applications.