Test & Measurement

Lauterbach Pioneers 'Long Term Trace' Debug Technology

28th April 2011
ES Admin
Lauterbach has announced that it has been pushing the barriers of debug technology with important developments in 'Long Term Trace' technology.
Long Term Trace provides the ability to collect massive amounts of code performance information from a running embedded system, in order for the user to detect and analyse the most unpredictable and transient of bugs. Demand for long-term trace debugging is being driven by market sectors such as automotive, medical and aerospace, where microprocessor based systems are becoming increasingly complex and in need of more rigorous testing to comply with safety and performance criteria.

One example is to imagine an engine management system. This level of code coverage enables engineers to analyze the software from a cold start, then up to temperature, through acceleration and deceleration and then to braking, said Barry Lock, Manager of Lauterbach UK. We are now able to capture code over much longer periods. This is a very important break-through for those developing complex or safety critical code.

Working with some key customers, Lauterbach have spent several years developing this technology. The data from the chips on board trace port is part processed and compressed, by the tool which acts as a 4GByte FIFO buffer before streaming the data over Gigabit Ethernet to the host and a fast hard drive for later storage and analysis. At this time, this capability is available for the ARM Cortex A8/A9 and the PowerPC Nexus and is being expanded to other processor families.

We have recently been working with the long-term trace technology in the UK and have found it to be most impressive, said Barry. For safety critical systems, it will enable an engineer to exercise their code like never before. It's clear that for medical systems, automotive and safety control systems, long-term trace technology will not only accelerate the debugging and code test phase but will also ensure a higher level of code integrity, greatly reducing the risk of recalls or system failure.

For Long-Term Trace applications, the Lauterbach tools and software require a host PC with minimum spec of a dual core processor with 64-bit operating system and a fast access hard drive.

Lauterbach is the world’s largest producer of hardware-assisted debug tools, having a turnover in excess of $90 million worldwide during 2010 and seeing its customer base grow year on year. Recognised for both engineering excellence and exceptional technical support, Lauterbach tools have become a favourite with many hi-tech engineers. Lauterbach tools support more than 50 different processor families and all ARM Cores, covering products from over 75 silicon companies. The quality and capability of these tools enable engineering teams to develop robust code whilst minimising development time lost to debugging.

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