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How to Debug FreeRTOS Projects on ARM Cortex-M Devices

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 18, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The embedded systems market in general is transforming quickly, and the RTOS market more specifically is no different. Not too many years ago, only forward-thinking development teams with a certain level of skills and budget used real-time operating systems in their designs. But in this day and time, using an RTOS is pretty much a requirement if you want to use middleware stacks (TCP/IP and USB comes to mind, for example).

At the same time, the traditional RTOS vendors are under strong pressure from free and open alternatives. On large high-end systems, EmbeddedLinux is almost the norm these days. Since EmbeddedLinux is too large to run on smaller embedded systems, other alternatives are a better fit for Cortex-M developers. FreeRTOS, developed by Richard Barry, is the shining star in this segment. FreeRTOS have a huge user base, as it is free, stable and easy to use. But with RTOS power comes debug problems. How do you debug a system based on FreeRTOS?

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, RTOS

How To Debug the GNU LD Linker Configuration File [ARM Cortex-M Development]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

One of the most confusing things in embedded development can be the linker configuration files. Their grammar looks like something from the dark ages, and tends to genuinely confuse even seasoned software developers.

This is a bad thing since the linker configuration file is a common source of problems. To understand what the linker did to your code, you can study the MAP file, which is also hard to understand and cumbersome to use, so few developers do it. A build analyzer tool can come to your rescue and make you a more efficient developer!

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Topics: GNU tools (GCC/GDB), Atollic TrueSTUDIO, Embedded Software Development

How the Right Tools can Help Embedded Consultants and Contractors Improve Their Business [Make Money Developing for ARM Cortex-M]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Jan 4, 2017 10:00:00 AM

When meeting embedded developers at seminars and trade shows, it becomes clear that many are consultants or contractors that help their customers develop new embedded systems. You may be one too.

It can be argued that all embedded developers struggle with more or less the same problems, and share similar pain points. From a technical point of view, this may be so. But, it is also true that developers from different organizational backgrounds need different things from their embedded tools. In particular, I believe consultants and contractors need a tool supplier that enables not only technical success but also business success.

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, Embedded Software Development

How a Bootloader Saved My Christmas Holiday

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Dec 30, 2016 10:58:41 AM

It is the time of the year when we all spend time with our family and friends. A great time for sure, and a rare opportunity to meet family members who live far away. Working in the software industry, it is quite common that older and less technology-versed family members ask for help with their computers or electronic gadgets during the Christmas break.

This year was no different; two of my retired family members had technology-related problems waiting for me to solve. In one of the cases, the problem was easily solved using a quick Google search. In the other case, I inadvertently transformed a GPS navigator into a useless brick. No matter what I did, it wouldn't come to life. How embarrassing! As it turns out, a bootloader came to my rescue and saved my face. You might need one too!

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Atollic Wish All Our Users and Partners a Merry Christmas!

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Dec 23, 2016 10:42:49 AM

The entire Atollic team would like to wish all our users and partners a relaxing Christmas holiday with friends and family.

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Using TrueSTUDIO in Larger Organizations: Tool Stability Matters [for Development Managers, part 2]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Dec 7, 2016 2:39:02 PM

You are probably all too aware of how complex today's software products can be, and the difficulty to ensure no tricky bugs sneak into them. Development tools are no different. The GNU GCC compiler project for example, consist of some 10 million lines of source code. Proprietary compilers from traditional tool vendors are complex software products too.

This is where open-source projects, like the Eclipse IDE or the GNU GCC/GDB compiler and debugger projects really shine. With the source code open for anyone to study and improve, these tools get so many more eyes on the code a proprietary development team just can't come close to match. This helps improve quality and tool stability. Learn more in this blog post!

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Using TrueSTUDIO in Larger Organizations: The Benefits of Standardization [for Development Managers, part 1]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Dec 6, 2016 1:33:17 PM

As the complexity of embedded development projects increase, engineering managers are increasingly pressured to find cost-effective development tools that help ensure project success, while at the same time supporting the shorter and shorter project schedules that seems to be the norm these days.

For a development- or project manager, it is critically important the team uses the right tools. Making the wrong tool choice can disrupt any embedded project, resulting in inferior software quality, launch date delays, or cost overruns. Read this blog post to learn how standardization can help out.

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Topics: Embedded Software Development

Do You Know the Secrets of the Source Menu? [TrueSTUDIO Tips & Tricks for Embedded Developers]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Dec 2, 2016 2:55:11 PM

Many useful and convenient editor functionalities are available in the Source menu of the Atollic TrueSTUDIO IDE. Use them to improve your editing efficiency, and get more consistent and better-locking source code. If you haven't tried these features yet, now is a great time to learn some time saving tricks!

Read this blog post to learn more on these highly useful features! My previous blog post on code navigation may interest you as well.

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, editing

Atollic TrueSTUDIO v7.0.0 has now been released for Microsoft Windows, with a Linux version being available in Alpha-status too!

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 30, 2016 12:54:18 PM

After a lot of polishing and final touches by our development team, we finally released Atollic TrueSTUDIO v7.0.0 for Microsoft Windows earlier today. This is by far the best Atollic TrueSTUDIO release we have ever made, and we trust you will be very pleased with it. Download now and try it today! Maybe you prefer to use Linux as your development platform? In such case, you'll want to know we released a Linux version in Alpha status at the same time as well.

We are very excited about both the new Windows version and the upcoming Linux version! All-in-all, this is a major new version of Atollic TrueSTUDIO, and includes a platform upgrade to Eclipse Neon v4.6.1 and CDT v9.1.0. Overall, the new release brings significant improvements to its users, and we recommend you to upgrade now.  Read this blog post for more information.

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The 15 Best Code Navigation Techniques [for ARM Cortex-M Developers and TrueSTUDIO Users]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 29, 2016 9:19:45 AM

Atollic TrueSTUDIO and other embedded C/C++ IDE's based on Eclipse inherit an incredibly powerful source code editor. Many ARM Cortex-M developers could improve their editing efficiency if they knew what powerful features are available.

Read this blog post to learn how you can use the editor's convenient and advanced code navigation features to its maximum potential. Upcoming blog posts will cover other cool features of the editor too!

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Topics: editing

How To Manage Tasks in the C/C++ Editor [Tips & Tricks for Embedded Developers and TrueSTUDIO users]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 28, 2016 10:38:02 AM

Embedded developers spend most of their time in the IDE with its traditional edit/compile/debug tools. But modern IDE's - like Atollic TrueSTUDIO - also include productivity tools that can help organize your work life - at least when it comes to code management.

These tools can simplify your work. For example, there is great editor support for management of tasks and other to-do items in TrueSTUDIO. Read this blog post to learn how to organize your editing work in a more efficient manner!

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, editing

Why you should run your embedded ARM Cortex code as a host PC application [using x86 tools in your ARM IDE]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 25, 2016 10:23:25 AM

Most ARM developers spend their days in front of an embedded IDE, which comes with a cross-compiler and a cross-debugger. The thought that you build your code for the target device, and run the code on it, is deeply rooted. And there are very good reasons for this - hardware dependencies, timing issues, and other things that prevent portability. In short, it is often very difficult to compile your embedded application into a host-PC application - or, at least to run it on the PC. And why would you?

As it turns out, there are several situations when this is a very good idea. This is why Atollic TrueSTUDIO bundle not only an ARM Cortex toolchain, but an x86 host-PC toolchain as well. Effectively, Atollic TrueSTUDIO can be used both for embedded development and PC application development at the same time. Read this blog post to learn more on this unusual but very powerful capability!

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO

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