New Tools Simplify Development for AMD Embedded Platforms

by donpedro

At the Embedded Systems Conference today, AMD showcased a significant new tool suite in conjunction with Sage Electronic Engineering. The new Sage SmartProbe, designed specifically for AMD Embedded Solutions, gives software engineers a hardware interface to evaluate the system under development at every stage in the design cycle. It allows graphic visualization of the entire embedded system operation, including code flow, register access, memory movement, multi-core execution, and peripheral access. SmartProbe can also help speed the qualification process for test and production teams.
“The SmartProbe tool is key to helping remove the barriers to using x86 in deeply embedded or ‘headless’ systems,” said Buddy Broeker, director, AMD Embedded Solutions. “Because this class of embedded design is deployed without a monitor, keyboard or other peripherals, it can greatly improve efficiency if there is a standardized and comfortable hardware interface together with a consistent architecture between the embedded system design and the PC architecture where its critical software is developed. This new tool can allow the developer more access and control over their project with very accurate inspection and debug capability.”
“The right tools let you get the job done faster, leaving more time to produce the best possible solution for a given problem,” said Scott Hoot, president and CEO of Sage Electronic Engineering. “We know that AMD offers extremely compelling advantages and with the SmartProbe, we hope to extend those benefits to a broader range of embedded systems, enable developers to innovate more and ultimately get their product to market faster.”
Sage has also announced a comprehensive integrated development environment (IDE) specifically for AMD Embedded Solutions that includes compiler, assembler and source-level debugger, and works in conjunction with the SmartProbe. This IDE integrates all design and debug functions in a clear, intuitive user interface.
These new tools support AMD embedded platforms based on the AMD Opteron, Athlon, Sempron, Turion and Phenom processor families, and are on demonstration at Embedded Systems Conference in booth #920.

Supporting Resources
Technical details on the SAGE SmartProbe tool
The connection to the developer’s PC is established via USB or Ethernet. The connection to target system is established via JTAG. Thanks to the GDB RSP (Gnu Debugger Remote Serial Protocol), the tool can be used flexibly with various development environments, whether GUI or command line based. The SAGE SmartProbe tool allows for flexible integration into various development environments such as the Sage EDK or GDB, EMACS and VIM.

The AMD at Work / Embedded Blog
James Edwards, senior product marketing manager for AMD Embedded Solutions on the launch of the new SAGE tools: “AMD has been in the embedded market for many years. In the recent past, with some exceptions of course, our customer base has developed embedded systems that closely resemble a PC or server – like storage, telecom infrastructure, thin clients, and of course single board computer boards. One of the reasons x86 has been so successful in the embedded market is because there is vast software infrastructure support and that provides a lot of efficiencies. This class of systems has not required the type of software development tools now being offered by Sage.”

So why is today’s announcement so important?
“The new Sage IDE and SmartProbe open the door for the development of “real” deeply embedded applications and this means the range of systems that can now take advantage of AMD’s embedded platforms is greatly expanded. With the Sage tools, such Embedded PC software can be developed at a manageable time and cost, similar to the efficiencies x86 developers enjoy. Software developers can create and edit bootloaders, drivers, and applications on their host PC and debug them symbolically on the actual target system with complete control over the debug process and with all the capabilities software developers need. With this all in one development environment, the target system does not need to have PC graphics for output or a USB/PS2 keyboard/mouse for input, and all the capabilities and features of AMD’s processors and chipsets can productively be utilized. And, all of this capability exists in one tool that was specifically designed for AMD platforms. This is a truly great product and we expect more from Sage in the future with more features and more capabilities.”
James Edwards is a senior product marketing manager for AMD Embedded Solutions. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

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