Fault analysis added to TrueSTUDIO debugger for ARM Cortex-M3/M4 microcontrollers

Atollic has launched a new fault analysis feature for the Atollic TrueSTUDIO IDE when developing C/C++ projects for ARM Cortex-M3 or Cortex-M4 microcontrollers. Added to the debugger, the fault analyzer functions will help developers to identify and resolve hard-to-find system faults that occur when the CPU has been driven into a fault condition by the application software.

The fault analyzer feature interprets information extracted from the Cortex-M nested vector interrupt controller (NVIC) in order to identify the reasons that caused the fault. Typically, this may include division by zero errors, accessing invalid memory locations or accessing memory locations on misaligned boundaries.

Within the debugger, after a fault has occurred, the code line where the fault happened will be displayed. The user can then view the reasons for the error condition. Faults are categorised broadly into bus, usage and memory faults. Bus faults occur when an invalid access attempt is made across the bus, either of a peripheral or memory location. Usage faults are the result of illegal instructions or other program errors. Memory errors can include attempts of access an illegal location or rule violations of the memory protection unit (MPU).

To further aid fault analysis, an exception stack frame visualisation option provides a snapshot of MCU register values at the time of the crash. By isolating the fault to an individual instruction allows the developer to reconstruct the MCU to the condition they were at the time the faulty instruction was executed.

The fault analyzer feature within Atollic TrueSTUDIO’s debugger significantly aids embedded developers to quickly understand why the system has crashed thus improving productivity, speeding development time and quickening time to market.

Atollic’s TrueSTUDIO delivers a leap in software development team collaboration and developer productivity, and offers advanced features including ARM build and debug tools and Serial Wire Viewer (SWV) tracing. Also available to ARM developers are Atollic’s professional code-quality analysis and test-automation toolbox. Atollic TrueSTUDIO also includes static source code analysis with MISRA-C compliance checking and code metrics features.

Complementing Atollic TrueSTUDIO are a family of code analysis and validation tools. The TrueANALYZER facilitates in-target test quality measurement using MC/DC-level coverage using dynamic execution flow analysis, while Atollic’s TrueVERIFIER provides an embedded test automation function using auto-generated and auto-executed unit test suites on the target board.



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