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In circuit emulators for microcontrollers

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  • Mario Becroft
    I am trying to find out about in-circuit emulators. I ve used various microcontrollers but never used an ICE. I would be interested if someone could explain
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
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      I am trying to find out about in-circuit emulators.

      I've used various microcontrollers but never used an ICE.

      I would be interested if someone could explain roughly how these things
      work and what is available.

      I understand in-circuit emulators for processors like the 680x0 are also
      available. I guess these are expensive though. What sort of products are
      available in this area?

      One thing I don't understand is how the ICE is implemented. Do they use an
      actual microprocessor of the same type as the target? If so, how are
      debugging facilities implemented in an ordinary microprocessor or MCU? Or
      do they have to design a custom version of the target MPU/MCU with
      debugging facilities included?

      Any comments would be appreciated.

      --
      +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
      | Mario Becroft * Tariland, New Zealand Atari User Group |
      | mb@... * Atari Hardware Developments |
      | http://www.pl.net/~mario/ * Atari Serial Mouse Interface |
      +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+

      --
      Author: Mario Becroft
      INET: mb@...

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    • Nic van der Walt
      ... They use what is usually called a bond-out chip. Most processors have extra bonding pads on the silicon that is usually not connected to pins on the
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
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        >One thing I don't understand is how the ICE is implemented. Do they use an
        >actual microprocessor of the same type as the target? If so, how are
        >debugging facilities implemented in an ordinary microprocessor or MCU? Or
        >do they have to design a custom version of the target MPU/MCU with
        >debugging facilities included?

        They use what is usually called a bond-out chip. Most processors have extra
        bonding pads
        on the silicon that is usually not connected to pins on the package. The
        bond-out chip
        has these pads connected, giving access to the signals needed by the ICE.
        The bond-out
        chip is usually very expensive because only a small number is made, and
        sometimes the extra
        bonding pads are much smaller than the standard ones, requiring a more
        expensive manufacturing
        process.

        Some chip designers, most notably Motorolla and ARM is moving away from
        bondout chips by
        adding serial debugging interfaces. Motorolla's is non-standard and usually
        called DBM.
        ARM uses a standard JTAG boundary scan port. Both allows you to take full
        controll of the
        uP and board though a serial interface, including doing production testing
        and programming.

        The ICE for a Motorola HC16 chip with BDM is only a PAL connected on the
        parallel port of a
        PC, while bond-out based ICE systems go for $10 000 and up....

        Regards
        Nic
        --
        Author: Nic van der Walt
        INET: nvdw@...

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      • William Altman
        Most ICE s work by having a pod that plugs into the microprocessor socket and thence to a cable which leads to the ICE device itself. The ICE may have its own
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
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          Most ICE's work by having a pod that plugs into the microprocessor
          socket and thence to a cable which leads to the ICE device itself.
          The ICE may have its own display, or (more commonly) an RS232-port
          that drives a terminal. Besides being able to breakpoint anywhere, ICE
          devices can usually remap the target ROM to their own RAM so as to
          make the target "BIOS" writable for debugging. ICEs are available for
          nearly every microprocessor, they are never very cheap, and their cost
          goes up quickly with the minimum speed required for emulation. In early
          development, particularly with a new device where the primitive display
          functions have to be debugged as well as othe system problems, they are
          invaluable.

          Cheers,

          Bill


          Mario Becroft wrote:
          >
          > I am trying to find out about in-circuit emulators.
          >
          > I've used various microcontrollers but never used an ICE.
          >
          > I would be interested if someone could explain roughly how these things
          > work and what is available.
          >
          > I understand in-circuit emulators for processors like the 680x0 are also
          > available. I guess these are expensive though. What sort of products are
          > available in this area?
          >
          > One thing I don't understand is how the ICE is implemented. Do they use an
          > actual microprocessor of the same type as the target? If so, how are
          > debugging facilities implemented in an ordinary microprocessor or MCU? Or
          > do they have to design a custom version of the target MPU/MCU with
          > debugging facilities included?
          >
          > Any comments would be appreciated.
          >
          > --
          > +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          > | Mario Becroft * Tariland, New Zealand Atari User Group |
          > | mb@... * Atari Hardware Developments |
          > | http://www.pl.net/~mario/ * Atari Serial Mouse Interface |
          > +-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
          >
          > --
          > Author: Mario Becroft
          > INET: mb@...
          >
          > Fat City Network Services -- (619) 538-5051 FAX: (619) 538-5051
          > San Diego, California -- Public Internet access / Mailing Lists
          > --------------------------------------------------------------------
          > To REMOVE yourself from this mailing list, send an E-Mail message
          > to: ListGuru@... (note EXACT spelling of 'ListGuru') and in
          > the message BODY, include a line containing: UNSUB CHIPDIR-L
          > (or the name of mailing list you want to be removed from). You may
          > also send the HELP command for other information (like subscribing).

          --
          ===========================================================
          U N I B R A I N
          William (Bill) Altman Altman@...
          Firmware Development Mgr.
          <<Take a peek at our web site: http://www.unibrain.com>>

          --
          Author: William Altman
          INET: altman@...

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        • Robert & Patricia Warner
          ... Actually, Motorola does support the JTAG interface in some of their products. DSP56303 as an example. Also, Moto uses a couple of background debugging
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 1, 1999
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            >>One thing I don't understand is how the ICE is implemented. Do they use an
            >>actual microprocessor of the same type as the target? If so, how are
            >>debugging facilities implemented in an ordinary microprocessor or MCU? Or
            >>do they have to design a custom version of the target MPU/MCU with
            >>debugging facilities included?
            >
            >Some chip designers, most notably Motorolla and ARM is moving away from
            >bondout chips by
            >adding serial debugging interfaces. Motorolla's is non-standard and usually
            >called DBM.
            >ARM uses a standard JTAG boundary scan port. Both allows you to take full
            >controll of the
            >uP and board though a serial interface, including doing production testing
            >and programming.
            >
            >The ICE for a Motorola HC16 chip with BDM is only a PAL connected on the
            >parallel port of a
            >PC, while bond-out based ICE systems go for $10 000 and up....
            >
            Actually, Motorola does support the JTAG interface in some of their
            products.
            DSP56303 as an example. Also, Moto uses a couple of 'background' debugging
            type ports, another is called OnCE and is on most of the DSP cores and is
            being
            moved to the JTAG standard.

            Bob Warner


            --
            Author: Robert & Patricia Warner
            INET: profwarner@...

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