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Technical Articles

Wireless Debugging – wireless Debug & Trace adaptor to support Cortex-M based embedded systems development and test.

Connecting to the target without a cable Wireless Debugging as a part of an embedded software test concept for corded and cordless electric tools. Embedded applications run in diverse environments. How to test the embedded software for mobile controls? A question many companies developing embedded systems are facing today. Read more …

User Trace Port – Trace Port Emulation on Processors without on-chip Trace Hardware

How can I verify Functional/Timing Correctness on Processors without on-chip Trace? An important aspect during the development of software, especially for embedded systems, is the possibility to observe the program execution flow and timing behavior of the application. Such functionality, typically referred to as “Trace”, is the basis for analyzing and verifying the functional and timing correctness of the application. These kind of tests are often a requirement to meet Safety and/or Security standards. Read more …

Testautomation @ iSYSTEM

How do manufacturers of Embedded Software Debugging and Test Tools test their products? Download article in German or English.

Collect Trace Information on MCUs without Trace Port

iSYSTEM supports with its development and debugger software winIDEA (since version 9.12.7) the so called Slow Run Mode. Slow Run allows the capture of the complete program execution and data trace - although the MCU does not provide a debug trace port ...

Tool Qualification for the new Automotive Standard from a Tool Manufacturer's Perspective

Chapter 8-11 of the ISO26262 standard, a version of IEC61508 specifically “adapted” to automotive, is dedicated to confidence in the use of software tools. This standard has a specific impact on not only vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers but also on the development processes of tool manufacturers and thus the development process of the actual software tool.

This article depicts the organizational and technical measures a manufacturer ...

How reliable is Code Coverage information shown in Source Code?

100%  code coverage measurement on source code is not equal to 100% code coverage measurement on object code level. The examples in this article show the the usage of complex instructions (e.g. for loop), complex conditions (e.g. if statement) or library/operating system functions add object code that is not directly traceable to source code statements. This inserted object code could include dead code or never taken code paths.... See how to find this untraceable code...

How reliable is Code Coverage information shown in Source Code?  

How to overcome/avoid High Frequency Effects on Debug Interfaces - Trace Port Design Guidelines

MCUs get more and more complex by higher integration and performance at less power consumption. Due to that the on-chip trace signals are subject to (increased) signal distortion which can prevent a trace tool from capturing the trace stream correctly. Design guidelines help to overcome these high frequency effects...

How to overcome/avoid High Frequency Effects on Debug Interfaces

Future trends in medical software development and test

Intense testing for software bugs has taken up more and more space in the overall development process. Different standards for various markets are reissued or adjusted over and over to enhance system and software safety. These standards and many more, have considerable impact on the actual software development process, particularly the specified test scope.

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Embedded Software Development and Test in 2011 using a „mini-HIL“ approach

This paper describes a basic workplace setup of an embedded software developer in the year 2011. It points out today’s challenges arising from low level functionality design as well as different ways of testing such software. It includes the aspect of test automation, how to test IO drivers and how to do functional testing (black box and white box, which is code coverage) within a developer's workplace […]

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Possibilities and Limits of Software Debugging Techniques Depending on the Microcontroller/Microprocessor

The first microprocessors and microcontrollers (CPU/MCU) did not supply any runtime information for an application. The detection of software errors was very difficult and required a lot of time and substantial measurement effort. Software projects, most of them based on 8 bit microcontrollers, required little memory and had manageable code size – mostly programmed in Assembler. Today, customers do have much higher demands on tools supporting software debugging and verification. […]

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Real-time Trace Reconstruction (RTR)
Solution to circumvent the limitations of the Nexus and ARM/ETM on-chip trace

Developers are using real-time analysis tools in the development stage, to debug real-time events either not observable during “run-stop” debug sessions, or limited by the requirements of the application; such as inherently not freezable systems like engine control or pace makers. Furthermore, engineers are using real-time analysis tools in their final development stage to do performance tuning and coverage or in the test stage for HIL (hardware-in-the-loop) testing and white box testing. A typical requirement is that the real-time analysis tool must not disturb the real-time behaviour of the system. [...]
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ARM On-Chip Debug Interfaces – Chances and Limitations

When selecting and evaluating debug interfaces and tools for ARM microcontrollers many aspects have to be regarded. This article provides some guidance what should be taken into consideration. More detailed information is available from ARM or the according chip manufacturer. [...]
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Error Detection by Code Coverage Analysis without Instrumenting the Code

Exhaustive testing to detect software errors constantly demands more time within development cycles. Software errors with catastrophic consequences have often pushed forward innovations in software analysis and testing. For example after the explosion of Ariane 5 the code analysis tool PolySpace was introduced which could have detected the fault in advance. [...]
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Complex Test System for the Automated Test of Standard Software Modules

The test system is capable of carrying out manual and automated tests of standard software modules. As these are standardized software elements that are parameterized in specific applications at a later stage, the test environment has to fulfil high demands on flexibility. [...]
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