Altium has announced its new software platform builder for rapid prototyping and development with ARM Cortex-M based microcontrollers at an attractive cost level. The platform includes a comprehensive range of middleware functionalities, such as an RTOS, CAN, USB, TCP/IP, I²C, HTTP(S), file systems, graphical user interface and touch panel control.
Through a few mouse clicks within the Eclipse-based IDE, the developer can put the middleware framework of an application together. After selecting the desired middleware options and the Cortex-M based microcontroller for the project, the platform generates the code that delivers the required functionality. All that is left for the developer is the design of the application software, which is then easily integrated with the generated code.
The system allows the developer to switch the Cortex-M microcontroller easily, both within the family of a particular semiconductor vendor as well as across vendors. The software builder takes care of collecting the middleware functionalities and the low-level drivers for the microcontroller, after which the code framework is generated and then compiled with the application code.
The software builder is seamlessly integrated into the TASKING VX-toolset, which includes a C/C++ compiler, debugger and an Eclipse-based IDE.
Support for HMI design with EVE
Altium is also now providing board design support for FTDI’s HMI solution, the FT800 series Embedded Video Engine (EVE) chips. The FT800 family combines display, audio and touch in a single chip.
By releasing board design content to support the FTDI FT800 family, Altium eliminates the need for engineers to spend time developing and validating PCB footprints, schematic symbols and 3D component bodies for the FTDI components.
The content release includes live supply chain solutions providing an accurate picture of overall project BOM cost, and assisting in sourcing the components quickly.
C compiler for Power Architecture
New TASKING compiler re-enforces Altium’s position as the premier vendor for advanced 32-bit multi-core microprocessors
Lastly, the company announced a new major release of its TASKING C compiler solution for automotive application development, supporting the Power Architecture-based microcontrollers from the Freescale Qorivva/5xxx series and STMicroelectronics SPC5 series.
In addition to various improvements on code optimisations for speed and size, the new compiler brings device support for the MPC56xx and SPC56x microcontroller series, while also allowing users to develop applications already for new devices by selecting the corresponding e200 core level.
With this new release of its VX-toolset, Altium is supporting the industry trend to bring toolsets under the Eclipse IDE, through a plug-in that enables a seamless integration of the compiler tools and the simulator user interface into the Eclipse framework.
The TASKING compiler plug-in enables customisation and optimisation of the build process by selecting the compiler chain options from a configuration explorer tree. This saves the developer from having to type options manually in text boxes or on the command line.