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Atollic TrueSTUDIO v7.1.0 has been released!

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Feb 7, 2017 9:26:41 AM

A few days ago, we released Atollic TrueSTUDIO v7.1. The new version is a major new release, with significant improvements that many ARM Cortex-M developers will benefit from. In fact, many developers have already taken TrueSTUDIO v7.1 for a test flight!

In addition to extended and improved target support, the new release adds a static stack usage analyzer, as well as a project importer that makes it super-easy to import ARM Cortex-M projects from the System Workbench for STM32 IDE. Read this blog post to learn more!

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO

Find Tricky Bugs With a Stack-Depth Analyzer [Cortex-M development with GCC]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Feb 2, 2017 10:48:17 AM

Embedded systems often include bugs developers have a hard time to find. One common cause of such tricky bugs are stacks that grow beyond their dedicated memory area, thus causing unpredictable behavior and a malfunctioning system. 

This is because the stack can overwrite important variable values, that thus inadvertently get the wrong value. Alternatively, a variable overwrite the stack, as the stack has expanded into the memory area dedicated to that variable. Upon the next function call return, the software crashes as it returns to the wrong location (the return address is stored on the overwritten stack and execution continues on a random location). Due to these reasons, stack related bugs often appear to be completely random, in most cases making them incredibly difficult to find.

If you use an RTOS running parallel tasks, these problems can multiply. Each task has its own stack, and with more tasks, you get more stacks that can cause stack related bugs. The stack depth analyzer in TrueSTUDIO Pro can help resolve such problems and help develop more robust systems. Read this blog post to learn more on analyzing the stack usage on Cortex-M systems developed with the GNU GCC compiler in TrueSTUDIO!

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

Migrate STM32 Projects from System Workbench for STM32 to Atollic TrueSTUDIO Using the Automatic Project Importer

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Feb 1, 2017 5:01:11 PM

Migrating projects from one embedded IDE to another can be a time-consuming task. But an automated project importer can make the migration a breeze. No need to postpone the move due to the migration efforts anymore!

Moving an STM32 project from one IDE to another can include difficulties on many levels. But with the Atollic TrueSTUDIO project importer, STM32 projects can be imported from System Workbench for STM32 very easily indeed. Read this blog post to learn more!

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, Project migration

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: RTOS, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

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

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: editing, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

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: editing, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

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

How to use the most powerful debug techniques on ARM Cortex-M devices [SWV]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 16, 2016 3:50:22 PM

While developing embedded software, you will introduce hard-to-find bugs sooner or later. We all think we won't, but most of us are wrong - we all do it. This is when you need a few tricks up your sleeves. You need professional debug capabilities, like SWV.

Serial Wire Viewer (SWV) real-time event- and data tracing are among the most valuable debugging techniques a Cortex-M developer can use. So useful, in fact, that I have written many blog posts on how to use SWV for debugging. To make it easier to find those blog posts, I took the time to list them all here, along with some annotations.

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Topics: Debugging, Atollic TrueSTUDIO

Are some embedded developers on the dark side?

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 2, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Embedded developers have personal preferences on how their IDE should be configured. This applies to many aspects of the IDE's look and feel, including the color scheme being used. In particular, many developers seems to prefer a dark IDE background when editing the source code.

Atollic TrueSTUDIO ships with a dark theme that can optionally be enabled. Some developers think a dark window background gives a better contrast that is easier on the eyes. If you spend full working-days in front of your IDE, the ergonomics is pretty important. Read this blog post to learn how to enable the dark mode and save your eyes.

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO

Extend your embedded ARM C/C++ IDE with additional features [more power to developers!]

Posted by Magnus Unemyr on Nov 1, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Modern IDE’s are very powerful, and the best-of-breed ARM development tools are no exception. Tools like Atollic TrueSTUDIO include not only features for editing, compilation and debugging, but also team collaboration features like code review, bug tracking or version control. But still, you may have particular needs that only apply to you – or a very small subset of all ARM developers.

If you have been smart enough to use an ARM IDE that is based on open standards (such as Eclipse), you can easily extend the IDE with additional features – say for example requirements management clients, UML graphical modeling, or admin panels for your nightly-build continuous integration server. Learn how in this blog post!

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Topics: Atollic TrueSTUDIO, ECLIPSE