Embedded development tools

Jon Lawson

The partnership brings together Lauterbach’s TRACE32 integrated, universal development system and UltraSoC’s on-chip debug and analytics IP, to simplify the work of engineering teams creating the advanced SoCs needed in industries as diverse as mobile communications, automotive and the IoT.

Today’s silicon chips can incorporate over a billion transistors and are constructed from many tens of different functional blocks, mixing purchased processor cores, IP re-used from previous designs, and custom logic developed by the design team itself; they also run substantial amounts of software. This complexity makes it very difficult to understand the behaviour of the complete system when it is finally pieced together – even for the engineers who designed and developed it. This in turn can lead to chips that do not deliver the expected performance, or contain hard-to-find bugs, leading to significant extra engineering costs, products that miss their market window, and occasionally even field failures.

TRACE32 is a set of modular embedded development tools with integrated debug environments that support all of the processor architectures commonly used in the market today. UltraSoC’s IP works inside the SoC itself, monitoring and analysing the real-world behaviour of any on-chip structure – and the device as a whole – non-intrusively and at wire speed. The combination gives design teams complete visibility of the real-world behaviour of their devices – vital in the debugging process which can consume up to half of the total development effort for a typical SoC.

The combination of TRACE32 and UltraSoC allows users of Lauterbach tools to gain an intimate understanding of the behaviour of the whole of the SoC, including all the on-chip structures such as busses and custom logic, in addition to the existing support for all of the common embedded processors. UltraSoC’s message-based on-chip infrastructure and high-speed external interface capabilities – USB for example – open up a range of new possibilities for users of the development tools.

TRACE32 debug tools provide quick, effective debugging for more than 80 processor architectures, with full support for the entire debug process, including run control, OS-support, multicore debugging and on-chip trace. The debugger supports multiple programming languages, most compilers and hosts, and a broad variety of multicore architectures. Interfacing the UltraSoC on-chip debug and analytics fabric with TRACE32 gives users full control over the debug features of UltraSoC’s silicon IP, and full access to the information generated by the company’s range of on-chip monitors and analytics engines.

As well as connecting externally with the debug host, the UltraSoC architecture includes an on-chip message-based interconnect, and allows monitoring of any third party processor core, bus or custom logic block. This ability to create a holistic, overarching development and analytics solution is key to solving the problems posed by heterogeneous multi-core SoCs running complex software.