Andes Unleashes AndeSight™ v2.1.0 IDEs, Offering Mature Development Suites to Satisfy Diversified Requirements


【Taiwan Hsinchu】Andes Technology Corporation, the leading vendor dedicated to 32-bit CPU IPs and associated SoC platforms in Asia, recently launched AndeSight™ v2.1.0 IDE in four different editions – STD (Standard), MCU, RDS (ReDiStribution), and Lite – to satisfy diversified market and customers. Prior to this release, the entry-level AndeSight v2.0.1 MCU/RDS IDE and the high-end AndeSight v2.0.1 STD IDE have already been widely adopted in the industry due to the user-friendly, powerful and fast-time-to-market characteristics. Inheriting advantages from these predecessors, the four AndeSight v2.1.0 editions are further enhanced to address specific needs of SoC developers. The STD edition is for Linux application development or development with virtual evaluation platforms while the MCU edition is designed to align with the development flow of MCU programs. Based on the MCU version, the RDS edition allows chip vendors to provide their customers an optimal development environment containing chip- or application-specific customized components, which include new graphical user interface (GUI), sample code, SoC settings and configurations, and an utility for flexible version control. Lastly, the Lite edition is a compact, evaluation AndeSight IDE targeting software developers of IoT or wearable devices. 

AndeSight v2.1.0 editions feature intuitive and refined GUI based on Eclipse CDT 8.0 platforms and enclose BSP v4.0.0 toolchains that boost code density and performance with better efficiency. They also provide complete support for AndesCore™ processor families (including N7, S8, N8, E8, N9, N10 and N13) and feature powerful functions like LdSaG editor, EVB profiling, code coverage analysis, function code size calculation, COPILOT (COProcessor Instruction DeveLOpment EnvironmenT) support, RTOS awareness debugging, flash ISP (in-system-programming), plug-in API, and internationalization support for three languages: English, Simplified-Chinese and Japanese. With outstanding debugging capabilities and significant code optimization, AndeSight facilitates program development on hardware platforms when working with Andes ICE solutions AICE-MCU or AICE-MINI. Designed to meet diversified requirements, the easy-to-use AndeSight v2.1.0 IDEs with high-performance toolchains enable Andes customers to gain competitive advantages and accelerate time-to-market.

AndeSight v2.1.0 MCU is the edition tailored for MCU programmers. Its toolchains support the extensible E8 core as well as standard Andes cores. Based on AndeStar™ V3/V3m ISA, these toolchains allow a development environment of All-C Embedded Programming and offer fine-tuned RTOS awareness support. To give users a jump start on using Andes cores and AndeSight, this MCU edition comes with startup demos in the package. Users may also utilize the simulator or target board profiling function to identify performance bottlenecks and tune application code accordingly. This IDE edition supports CPU cores with the ACE (Andes Custom Extension™) framework, such as E8. The ACE framework helps SoC developers simplify the instruction design process. Based on ACE descriptions, COPILOT generates the corresponding extension modules to be used with Andes standard development tools, debugging tools, simulator and AndesCore RTL, rendering an exclusive development environment for the CPUs newly created by SoC developers.

Regarding to debugging tools, AndeSight v2.1.0 MCU can work with Andes low-cost, high-efficiency ICE solutions AndeShape™ AICE-MCU and AICE-MINI through two-wire Serial Debug Port interface, benefiting developers from reduced pin counts and SoC costs. The AICEs support the advanced Debug-on-Reset and Secure Access features in addition to AndesCore’s standard debugging mechanisms such as hardware breakpoint and single step execution. They provide auto frequency calibration and use OpenOCD as its management software to achieve an even faster download speed compared to the last version. They also support new AndeSight features such as EVB profiling function, exception handling and problem diagnosis.

In terms of building custom development environment, AndeSight v2.1.0 MCU provides extensive supports including chip profile editor, plug-in API, and LdSaG editor. Based on the characteristics of individual SoC, the GUI chip profile editor facilitates developers to quickly specify parameters for relevant components like project template, toolchain, memory map, flash driver and SoC registers before generating chip profiles accordingly. The flexible plug-in API allows users to develop additional but fully-integrated GUI by directly accessing AndeSight resources. The LdSaG editor is newly introduced to AndeSight. It enables users to create the much simplified linking description SaG (Scattering-and-Gathering) files with ease through a drag-and-drop interface. A SaG file is automatically converted to a GNU linker script file for use in linking by Andes linker script generator utility.

AndeSight v2.1.0 Lite is a compact version derived from AndeSight v2.1.0 MCU and can be downloaded free of charge. It includes a V3m toolchain and has a code size limitation of 32KB. Poised for evaluation or prototyping development with virtual or physical platforms of Andes low-power processors, AndeSight v2.1.0 Lite is best-suited to develop a wide range of innovative IoT and wearable devices.

AndeSight v2.1.0 RDS is the redistribution edition descended from AndeSight v2.1.0 MCU too. It is for SoC vendors to provide their customers a tailor-made environment based on their SoCs for the best development efficiency. Examples of customizable items include new GUI designed through plug-in API, flash burner, SoC register definitions, memory maps, compiler/debugger options, sample code, and documentation.

Last but not least, AndeSight v2.1.0 STD is the version offering the most comprehensive features. In addition to functions in the MCU counterpart, the STD edition includes enhanced functionalities for development environment setup, debugging and verification. With regard to program debugging, this edition extends its support to Linux application development by providing in-time debugging and attach-to-process debugging through Process View. In addition, its performance profiling covers all activities in the system and allows users to analyze the time spent on user processes, system libraries and kernel. Supporting both Windows and Linux platforms, it enables a fully integrated GUI development environment, containing software management, compiling, flash programming, debugging, and profiling, for all Andes processors.

Dr. Charlie Su, Chief Technical Officer and VP of R&D at Andes, stated, “In Andes, the launch of quality and efficient development tools is deemed just as importantly as the release of leading AndesCore embedded processor IPs. That is why we set a continuous goal to deliver easy-to-use AndeSight IDE with higher efficiency, optimized code and all-around supports for hardware, software and system. The AndeSight v2.1.0 IDEs are the outcome of numerous internal discussions and revisions incorporating customer feedbacks. Its performance boost and compelling new features like hardware profiling, code coverage and LdSaG editor not only manifest Andes’ achievements on advancing development tools but also demonstrate our continuing commitments to customers.”

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