IAR Systems beefs up trace capabilities for ARM developers

IAR Systems is releasing a new version of its high-performance C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain IAR Embedded Workbench® for ARM®.

The new release adds extended trace capabilities with the enhanced Embedded Trace Macrocell™ (ETMv4) for ARM Cortex®-M7 as well as Program Trace Macrocell (PTM) for recent ARM Cortex-A cores.

To cope with today’s increasingly complex software development and meet tight project deadlines, development teams need to find ways of improving their efficiency and ensuring the quality of their applications. With debugging constantly being a large part of embedded development, this is an important focus area for efficiency efforts.

Trace lets developers observe the effect of the program as it executes on the device and use techniques such as full instruction trace and function profiling. This allows them to analyse and improve the application’s performance, as well as find bugs that can be hard or even impossible to identify any other way. The trace is non-intrusive and does not affect the program’s real-time behavior, and the information is available in real-time in IAR Embedded Workbench.

With ETM, developers are able to trace every single instruction executed in an application. ETM is already available in IAR Embedded Workbench for devices based on the ARM Cortex-M3 and ARM Cortex-M4 cores. With the new version, also developers working with devices based on the high-performance, low-power ARM Cortex-M7 core will be able to benefit from this technology. ETM is enabled in the toolchain by using a trace probe equipped with ETM trace, such as I-jet Trace. PTM provides similar technology and possibilities as ETM. It is available in recent devices based on ARM Cortex-A cores.

IAR Embedded Workbench is the world’s most widely used C/C++ compiler and debugger toolchain for developing applications for devices based on ARM processors. It incorporates a compiler, an assembler, a linker and a debugger into one completely integrated development environment. The toolchain is available in several editions, including a product package that is designed specifically for the ARM Cortex-M core family.

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