January/February 2016 - page 26

February 2016
& S
Tool environment opens door
to integrated development
By Stefan Ingenhaag,
This article introduces
the development environment
for the Renesas Synergy Platform
offering users a new opportunity
to focus on the innovative aspects
of their application. The tool support
and development environment
not only covers the entire
development spectrum, but also
adds specialized functionality.
The Renesas Synergy Platformwas designed
to simplify development for industrial and
IoT applications by offering a comprehensive,
integrated hardware/software solution. So it
should not be surprising that the tool support
and development environment for the plat-
form not only covers the entire development
spectrum from design and coding to evalu-
ation and verification, but also adds special-
ized functionality to help developers more
easily use the Synergy Platform and manage
the commercially licensed Synergy Software
Package (SSP).
Renesas Synergy MCUs will be supported
by e2 studio, a new Eclipse-based Integrated
Solution Development Environment (ISDE).
Eclipse is the de-facto standard when it comes
to embedded development environments
and by adding new, solution-oriented com-
ponents, Renesas engineers transformed the
environment and e2 studio into a true ISDE,
providing easy and innovative ways to develop
applications on the Synergy platform. Devel-
opers who have worked with Eclipse-based
development environments will find the e2
studio ISDE for the Synergy Platform very
familiar. As a standard Eclipse-based platform,
it can be extended by third-party tools that are
available as an Eclipse plug-in. By building the
ISDE on an industry standard, the product
can closely follow the release schedule of the
Eclipse CDT (C/C++ Development Tooling)
and users are ensured a future-proof develop-
ment environment.
A new Renesas Synergy Project Generator and
Project Editor make it easy to get started with
Synergy platform by working with various
graphical configurators on every aspect of a
project. To simplify and automate configura-
tion and code generation, the e2 studio ISDE
offers five graphical configurators for differ-
ent functions. A pin configurator allows the
developer to configure the function of each
MCU pin graphically, check consistency and
generate code for configuration automatically.
A clock-free configurator assigns clocks and
performs dynamic validation. A third config-
urator manages the setup of RTOS threads, a
fourth can be used to configure driver mod-
ules, and a fifth manages interrupts and pre-
pares a total consistency check. C source code
for initialization is automatically generated in
the background for use in the Renesas Syn-
ergy project.
Generally developers use a debugger to
step through their code from instruction to
instruction and review the series of instruc-
tions that are executing to find and fix errors
in the code. The debugger gives the user a
historical view that can lend insight into how
the software performed and what errors led
to a bug. While the instruction trail is stored
in internal memory, it can be exported to an
external tool like e2 studio which can illus-
trate how the software stepped through each
instruction. All of the Synergy Platform
development and starter kits feature on-board
Segger J-Link debuggers for access to high
reliability, low cost probes.
Trace buffering can be implemented in many
different ways. On the low end of the Synergy
Platforms MCU line, the S1 family featuring
the ARM Cortex M0+ core, trace buffering is
relatively limited in scope. The MCUs based
on Cortex M4 cores, the S3, S5 and S7 fam-
ilies use a dedicated SRAM to store instruc-
tion history. The size of the SRAM is flexible.
For the Synergy Platform, the Renesas design
team selected two different buffer sizes. The
team dedicated 1 KB of SRAM for the buf-
fer on the mid-range Cortex M4 cores which,
because of compression, traces about 64
branches. The high end S7 series MCUs fea-
ture an 8 KB trace buffer that not only offers
significantly more storage, but also includes
a feature called streaming trace. Using a few
data pins, streaming trace brings out informa-
tion in real-time while executing which allows
the developer to follow program execution as
it steps through thousands of instructions.
The Renesas Synergy Platform is designed
to save developers time by offering an inte-
Figure 1. To support the rapid
development of IoT solutions on
the Renesas Synergy Platform,
Renesas is offering a compre-
hensive, highly integrated,
standards-based development
environment, e2 studio.
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