In 1971 a first microcontroller (MCU) was introduced. At that time Embedded Software development was done with very limited tool support, mostly in Assembler, no PC. The first in-circuit emulator connected to a PC was brought to the market in the early 80ties, iSYSTEM did so in 1988. Developing and manufacturing a software development and test tool for embedded microcontroller application development, a tool manufacturer has to have a close relationship with semiconductor vendors to be able to come up with the right tools in time and with the highest possible integration.
The world of microcontroller has changed a lot since the very beginning in terms of complexity, number of cores, speed, power consumption, and variety. So did the software development tools. Emulation is replaced by on-chip debugging, a tool must be reusable over several projects and microcontroller architectures, more and more test and measurement functionality is built in, a flexible integration of such tools within the software development and test process is mandatory. Today iSYSTEM development and test tools do support more than 50+ MCU families, 3000+ derivatives, from 8- and 16- to 32-Bit. The Windows and/or Eclipse based development and test environment (winIDEA/testIDEA) is easy to learn and use. The flexible integration and application of iSYSTEM solutions within the entire development process is enabled by open and public interfaces (APIs).
iSYSTEM's fully software configurable iC5000 platform adapts to a multi-functional analyzer, development and test tool for many different processors and controllers. An optional I/O module adds the capability to generate, monitor and trace digital as well as analog signals. Additionally, iC5000 can measure the power and current consumption on target level.
iSYSTEM Tools from 1993 - today.
Since the very beginning iSYSTEM Blue Box Technology was driven by a single software called winIDEA (before that it was called dosIDEA). In the early times of in-circuit-emulation most of the development and test functionality was done in hardware. Today a vast part is software.
This is the most growing market since a while now. Lots of embedded application are already based on this microcontroller architecture, more will follow. Cyber-Physical Systems, a new buzzword for embedded systems, but an indication that shows already today that lots of small and mid-size embedded systems will be present on the market in the future. Most of them will be based on Cortex. iSYSTEM responds to the strong growth of the Cortex microcontroller market, offering customers a simple and cost-efficient entry into the Cortex embedded world. This is accomplished with a free IDE version called winIDEA Open with integrated support for iSYSTEM iTAG debugger hardware and 3rd party hardware such as Segger J-Link or ST Link from ST Micro. A GNU compiler for Cortex-M is also supplied. Extensive technical support as well as the use of additional compilers is available through an upgrade to a regular winIDEA version.