General embedded development kits using gcc/gdb.
Fri Jul 7 09:21:00 GMT 2000
My reply may be considered off topic -- but I think it's a cool idea....
| I would like to make some single board embedded development
| kits with some
| simple tools. Firstly I would like to use a board that has a
| more general
| (i.e. non DSP) type processor, something like a MIPS, ARM, PowerPC, or
| Pentium, or anything else that is deemed suitable. The
| programme for a board
| will be programmed using gcc on any type of host computer
| with target output
| for the embedded system processor, and I would like to have
| the facility to
| use gdb as the debugger. Such a system has many advantages.
One not-so-implied requirement is to lower the entry cost to develop on such
a system. IMO this is the key to making this type of system work. I have
been drawn to gcc/gdb/eCos for the same reasons: extremely high quality
tools, exceptionally low cost of entry (in $).
However, there is cost. In many cases you must converge the tools to your
system. To expand on your idea, wouldn't it be great if there were a "kits"
for not just this board (which BTW is an excellent combination) but for a
large number of development boards/eval kits.
I am approached by distributors/factory reps every week. They want to
"give" me an eval board. In almost all cases the development tool-chain
cost is extreme ($5k-$25k+). They will give you an eval license for the
development tools that lasts 30 days. This is not enough time. Also, all
of these compilers are different -- I have no desire to learn a new tool
chain each time I have to develop a project with a new processor.
There are development boards for all of these systems. The ultimate would
be to download a zip (windows) or tar-ball (Linux) that had binary versions
of the compiler, debugger, eCos, and maybe uC/Linux with a BSP for a
specific development board. Based on how much processor you have available
(MIPS, memory size, etc.) other excellent additions would be a portable GUI
and a TCP/IP stack. All ready to go. Download, install and you are ready
to develop in a familiar environment that has been pre-converged to this
Here's a list of processors that I'd love to see a binary distribution of
this "development kit" for both windows and Linux:
8bit: 8051/Atmel AVR
I'm sure there are more. These are the processors that I use (or would like
to use) on a regular basis.
I know a lot of people have developed parts and pieces of this. All of the
source code is available. But, there does not appear to be any _overall_
Sorry for the rant,
Principal Software Engineer
Clarity Visual Systems
vox: (503) 570-0319
fax: (503) 682-9441
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