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Development kit speeds migration to 32-bit ARM microcontrollers
20 April 2005, DSP, Micros & Memory

Atmel and IAR Systems have announced a full featured ARM development kit, claimed to be priced to fit the budgets of cost-sensitive microcontroller designs in applications like remote controls, interface panels and USB accessories.

The companies claim the AT91SAM7S is priced at around 1/30th the cost of traditional 32-bit ARM development tools.

The 32 KB code limited KickStart kit facilitates the migration of existing 8/16-bit C-code to Atmel's AT91SAM7S32 ARM processor. It includes an evaluation board, JTAG-ICE debug interface, IAR's Embedded Workbench and a 20-state version of visualSTATE. Standalone JTAG-ICE debug interfaces frequently cost more than the entire KickStart package, says Atmel.

Atmel's AT91SAM7 architecture overcomes several weaknesses in the standard ARM7 architecture that make it less than ideal for realtime applications. These features include non-cached high-speed Flash, vectored interrupt controller with an 8-level hardware priority scheme and peripheral DMA controller. Two virtual registers in the Atmel device allow bits to be modified by a single atomic store instruction, eliminating the need for read-modify-write bit manipulation and interrupt masking. These features drastically reduce the software overhead required for many designs, improving the microcontroller response time to events.

IAR's AT91SAM Integrated Development Environment includes a C/C++ cross compiler, linker, debugger, editor and project manager. IAR's visualSTATE graphical verification and code generation environment allows designers to simultaneously view, in UML-compliant charts, multiple concurrent, interrelated processes or execution threads in complex realtime systems using UML-based state charts.

IAR's cross compiler is optimised to facilitate the porting of existing 8/16-bit code to the AT91SAM7 architecture. A library of API drivers greatly simplifies the conversion of assembly instructions. The JTAG In-circuit-emulator supports hardware breakpoints and software-controlled trace, and provides complete access to the processor registers and internal memory space.


Credit(s)
Supplied By: Altron Arrow
Tel: +27 11 923 9600
Fax: +27 11 923 9884
Email: info@arrow.altech.co.za
www: www.altronarrow.com
Supplied By: EBV Electrolink
Tel: +27 11 236 1900
Fax: +27 11 236 1913
Email: saro.murabito@ebv.com
www: www.ebv.com
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