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Products : DebugJet : Eclipse JTAG based Xpresso Debugger

DebugJet Xpresso Debugger

DebugJet comes complete with a multi-core debugger that supports the ARM and PowerPC processors and cores. The Xpresso debugger is based on the Eclipse IDE which is the worldwide standard for open source integrated development environments. The Debug interface is handled by a version of GDB that works with DebugJet software to achieve a complete debug solution from within the Eclipse IDE. Xpresso also uses a version of the GNU compiler to compile the source code within the IDE. All compile, debug and target board communications are done using an intuitive graphical user interface without leaving the IDE. A working snapshot of the Xpresso debugging an NXP/SHARP ARM processor using the JTAG port is shown below.

Xpresso Debugger
Eclipse based IDE Debugger

When developing the Xpresso debugger, EmuTec initially considered developing a new proprietary debugger to take advantage of DebugJet advanced hardware features. After evaluating this approach, EmuTec decided instead to use as many commercially available, widely adapted software while providing all the special software and drivers needed to take advantage of DebugJet features. There were two main reasons for that approach. First we did not want the customer to get locked into using a proprietary debugger and having the task to learn a new set of skills. With the Eclipse interface, the user will learn the Eclipse interface once and will be able to use the IDE for any future tasks.

The second reason as we have seen in the past few years, most of the companies that developed custom compilers and debuggers have discontinued their product lines or simply exited the market leaving their customers without any support. The cost of developing a custom debugger and/or compiler and maintaining the development is very high and in most cases cannot be sustained as a stand alone product. This will leave the customers that have invested both time and money to adapt to these solutions without any support and with the additional task and expense to adopt another provider hoping they will not exit the market at a later date.

With the Xpresso debugger EmuTec tried to achieve a balance between features and cost by adapting standard industry leading and proven software and developing the needed modules to provide a complete sold solution that can compete will the most advanced custom solution in the market today. Below are few highlights of the Xpresso Debugger features:

  • A single instance of the IDE supports multiple debug sessions with multiple similar or dissimilar processors connected to one or multiple DebugJet units.

  • A single graphical user interface to compile, debug and communicate with target without leaving the IDE.

  • All DebugJet custom features, operations and high speed downloads (up to 1 MB/S) are available from within the IDE.

  • Full support for debugging code located in Flash memory without using any external software tools or hardware Flash emulation such as PROMJet (pat. Pending). This feature is used with Flash based micro controller such as Atmel SAM 91 series ARM based chips to debug code in Flash memory.

  • Native support for hardware breakpoints to enable debugging of code located in Flash memory (pat. Pending).

  • PROMJet functionality to display memory contents without stopping the target CPU is fully supported from within the IDE.

  • Optional Flash emulation to support SPI, LPC and 8/16/32 bit Flash memory is supported from within the IDE and without using external software tools. This comes handy in the early stages of firmware development if a target board has an SPI Flash memory but no software driver was developed to program the on-board flash.

  • Software can be installed on multiple computers without any license restrictions.

The Xpresso debugger is available for free software download to registered users from the support page on our web site.