New Debugging Option Now Available for 8051-Compatible Embedded Processor Cores
DesignCon, Santa Clara, California, January 30 2001
CAST, Inc. and First Silicon Solutions, Inc. (FS2) today announced a joint effort to make embedded processor cores easier to debug. The resulting option adds FS2s instrumentation intellectual property (IP) and interface to CASTs IP cores, making them accessible and controllable even when buried within complex system-on-chip (SoC) designs. This greatly facilitates system software development, pre-silicon hardware simulation, and first-silicon debug and validation.
The new option is available immediately for the CAST R80515 microcontroller core, and is already in use in the field. The option is also available upon request for other processors in CASTs 8051-compatible family. Pricing varies, but typically starts at about 15% of the standard core cost.
Advanced Features Solve Many Difficult SOC Design Issues
Reaching the control and data pins of an embedded processor from outside the chip is often impossible with complex SoCs. This makes it difficult or expensive to apply conventional debugging tools such as logic analyzers or in-circuit emulators.
FS2s technology overcomes this challenge by making internal cores directly accessible from outside the physical chip. It adds a special On-Chip Instrumentation (OCI) debug logic block to the synthesizable processor core. A high-performance hardware-assisted debugger is connected to the target system containing the SoC core with a standard JTAG connector. The debugger "box" manages communications between the OCI debug block in the silicon and the Windows® PC development system. Designers control the OCI block and embedded processor through source-level debug software running on the Windows PC.
The OCI blocks robust features include run control, memory and register visibility, software and hardware breakpoints, complex breakpoints, and a sophisticated trace history. It doesnt impact the systems logic, and can operate at real-time processor speeds. The OCI is economical in its use of chip area and its extensions are scalable: designers can trade off extra debugging power against extra gate usage during synthesis. The technology can also be extended to support multi-core debug, software performance analysis, and network protocol analysis.
About First Silicon Solutions
First Silicon Solutions is a privately held company focused on providing IP and tools for the testing and debugging of SoC hardware and software. FS2 products help silicon vendors and their customers develop and more effectively market their products, reducing their development cycles, and allowing them to focus on delivering all the potential of the system on silicon. For more information on FS2, call (503) 331-2575 or visit the web site http://www.fs2.com.
About CAST, Inc.
CAST provides practical, affordable IP products and services for designers of 8- and 16-bit microprocessor-based systems. Operating since 1994, the company has a reputation for quality products and responsive, comprehensive support. The company is located near New York City, and works with an international network of IP developers and distributors.
CAST is a trademark of CAST, Inc.
OCI is a trademark of First Silicon Solutions, Inc.
All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.