Altium releases its TASKING ARM Cortex-M Embedded Development Tools for the Mac

3rd October 2014
Posted By : Jacqueline Regnier
Altium releases its TASKING ARM Cortex-M Embedded Development Tools for the Mac

Altium Limited announces the release of its TASKING VX-toolset for ARM Cortex-M for Apple Mac computers running OS X.

Traditionally embedded software development tools have been available exclusively for the Windows operating system and Altium has a long history in providing its TASKING cross compilers and debuggers for running on Windows, including its TASKING VX-toolset for ARM Cortex-M. With ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers becoming popular in broad market consumer applications, especially with wearable electronics and electronic systems that can be controlled from the iPhone, it is apparent that embedded software engineers want to use the Mac as their development platform.

To serve this development community, Altium has developed a native OS X port of release v5.1r1 of its TASKING VX-toolset for ARM Cortex-M, bringing its C compiler suite with Eclipse based IDE and debugger to Mac computers.

"Given the growing popularity of Mac OS X and the development of ARM Cortex-M based embedded applications connecting to applications on the iPhone and iPad platforms, we're excited to offer our TASKING Embedded Development Tools to Mac users," said Harm-Andre Verhoef, Product Manager TASKING. “Altium's product offering will empower embedded ARM based developments and provide Mac users with the tools to bring their embedded applications to life."

Previously, embedded-application developers that preferred Mac computers relied on virtual machines hosting the Windows operating system within OS X in order to run an embedded cross compiler. This led to an inefficient workflow and a variety of challenges, including problems connecting a debug probe reliably to the debugger running inside the virtual machine. The native port to OS X of the TASKING compiler breaks down the barriers for developing embedded applications for Mac users, while allowing them to work efficiently in their platform of choice. Cooperation with STMicroelectronics made it possible to offer in-circuit debug capabilities with the Eclipse integrated TASKING debugger, using the USB port on the Mac to connect to the ST-LINK/V2 debug probe.

TASKING’s Viper compiler technology used in the ARM compiler ensures platform compatibility for developers on OS X and their colleagues using Windows, allowing for easy migration and collaboration. The Viper technology has an industry proven reputation of generating highly efficient and robust code for automotive applications like power train, body control, chassis control and safety critical applications, benefiting developments for broad market and industrial applications.

Key features of the TASKING VX-toolset for ARM Cortex-M for Mac OS X include:

● Eclipse based IDE with integrated compiler and debugger ● Highly efficient code generation, allowing for fast and compact applications ● Support for a wide range of Cortex-M based microcontrollers from different vendors, such as STMicroelectronics, Freescale, Infineon Technologies, Silicon Labs, Spansion, Atmel and Texas Instruments ● Integrated code analyzers for:     ○ MISRA-C:1998, C:2004 and C:2012 guidelines     ○ CERT C secure coding standard ● Fast and easy application development through TASKING’s award winning Software Platform technology, bringing:     ○ an industry standard RTOS     ○ a wide range of ready to use middleware components, such as support for CAN, USB, I2C, TCP/IP, HTTP(S), Bluetooth, file systems, graphical user interface, and touch panel control ● Eclipse integrated Pin Mapper for assigning signals to microcontroller pins ● In-circuit debug and programming support through ST-LINK/V2 probe (including on-board probes on starter-kits from STMicroelectronics) ● Native support for 64-bit Intel-based Macs with Mac OS X

Developers using OS X that require certification of their embedded application for functional safety standards such as IEC 61508 and ISO 26262, benefit from TASKING’s ISO 26262 Support Program for its new ARM toolset on OS X. A manufacturer of an electronic (sub) system is responsible for obtaining certification credit and as part of the process has to assess the required level of confidence in the utilized software tools. Altium supports this through the availability of a Compiler Qualification Kit as well as optional Compiler Qualification Services.

The VX-toolset for ARM release v5.1 is available now on OS X Mavericks, and on OS X Yosemite once it is widely available. Pricing starts at USD 1,995 (€ 1,595) for the TASKING VX-toolset Standard Edition and USD 2,995 (€ 2,395) for the Premium Edition with the award winning Software Platform. Hardware debug support is available in the Professional and Premium Editions through the ST-LINK/V2 debug probe from STMicroelectronics.


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