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Graphical Debug Features for Embedded Systems

Costa Mesa, California, March 22, 2004 - Micro Digital Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of graphical analysis features to its smxAware tool for CodeWarrior® for use with ColdFire, Power Architecture, and ARM processors.

The new version of smxAware (v3.6) allows users to take advantage of low-cost RAM in order to reduce debug time. This is accomplished by adding a trace buffer to the embedded target. The trace buffer, which may be any size, captures the start and end of ISRs, LSRs, and tasks. It also records smx calls, errors, and user-defined events. All of this is done in real time.

When the system stops, due to a breakpoint or user action, trace information may be uploaded via the high-speed JTAG connection. This is conveniently displayed via horizontal event timelines - one for each ISR, LSR, or task. These event timelines show sequencing of ISRs, LSRs, and tasks to high resolution. Convenient zooming in and out, scrolling up and down, and dragging and dropping or resorting event timelines, by sequence, facilitates user visualization of the operation of his system. This is enhanced by action bars, within event timelines. Positioning the cursor on the start of an action bar opens a detailed window showing what smx call or user event occurred, with its parameters. Positioning on the end shows the return value.

The Event Timelines display is a key tool to uncovering implementation errors. Also included in the package are Stack Usage and CPU Usage displays. smx has a stack padding feature, used during debug, which permits the system to keep running despite stack overflows. Then the stack usage display will clearly reveal overflows (red) and near overflows (orange). This is a huge aid for debugging multitasking systems.

Event Timelines
This view shows when tasks, lsr's, and isr's ran. Inside the bars it shows when ssr's (smx calls) occurred. User events can also be added to the application. This display can be zoomed to a very fine level of detail. Time resolution can be microseconds, or less, depending upon the capture rate in the target.

event screen
(click for larger image)

CPU Usage

This view shows how much time each task, lsr, and isr ran during the sample period, as a percent of the sample period.

cpu screen (click for larger image)

Stack Usage
This view shows how much stack each task uses. Orange indicates stacks that are close to their maximum allocated sizes. Red indicates stacks that have overflowed. To the left of each bar is the actual number of bytes used/stack size.

stack screen (click for larger image)

Full-size screen shots can be downloaded from the brochure at:

Pricing and Availability
Available now at $500 per CodeWarrior seat. Free evaluation kits are available to qualified users.

About Micro Digital
Micro Digital, Inc is located in Costa Mesa, California. Micro Digital has been in the embedded systems business for over 30 years and has been producing SMX for 18 years. The company is dedicated to providing quality products and support for embedded systems developers at moderate prices.

Trademarks used above are the properties of their respective owners.

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Press contact:
Betty Martin-Danner