17th November 2015

Imagination’s new end-to-end debug environment targets advanced heterogeneous CPU systems


  • New MIPS On-Chip Instrumentation enables flexible, modular debug
  • Latest Codescape SDK for development, debug and optimization supports MIPS Release 6 architectures
  • New Codescape SysProbes based on new debug technology allow fast and efficient debug
  • Support from a range of probes including those from Lauterbach and Green Hills

LONDON, UK – 17th November, 2015 – Imagination Technologies (IMG.L) announces a new end-to-end debug environment that simplifies integration and debugging of MIPS heterogeneous CPU based systems or systems that combine MIPS CPUs with other CPU architectures. Providing a flexible on-chip CPU debug architecture, MIPS On-Chip Instrumentation (MIPS OCI) hardware is the centerpiece of the environment. MIPS OCI works seamlessly with the new Codescape MIPS software development kit (SDK) and new Codescape SysProbe technology to create a seamless and efficient debug environment for next-generation designs.

Today’s increasingly complex chips present new debug challenges with SoCs containing many CPU cores and clusters, and often multi-threading capabilities. MIPS OCI is designed to enable customers to quickly access these many-core, many cluster CPU designs through a highly parallel approach, leading to fast chip-bring-up and very efficient software development, integration and debug.

Says Daniel Mandell, IoT & embedded technology market research analyst at VDC Research: “Debugging is a non-trivial effort for embedded designers, comprising a large percentage of total design time. It becomes even more complex with today’s multi-core, multi-cluster CPU designs. Imagination’s new debug environment for MIPS is a significant development in that it enables companies to more quickly integrate and debug a MIPS CPU in their SoC design – whether as a management controller or a cluster of data processors in heterogeneous CPU designs. This debug advantage in combination with Imagination’s developer ecosystem puts MIPS in a unique position among CPU architectures.”

Says Jim Nicholas, vice president of MIPS business operations, Imagination: “For our customers who are creating complex chip designs, our new debug environment for MIPS dramatically simplifies integration and debugging. And for potential customers who want to try a MIPS CPU in their SoC design alongside another company’s CPU, they can do so with the lowest possible risk and impact on their debug process. We believe this is a significant step in taking MIPS to the next level and breaking into new designs. With this move, we are alleviating any barriers for companies to choose MIPS.”

MIPS On-Chip Instrumentation
MIPS OCI represents a new modular approach to debugging MIPS systems that enables customers to employ the specific configuration needed for their design. It allows flexible probing of cores, and the combining of trace into a single flow. Advanced power management features let users power down CPU cores and clusters without any impact on other CPU cores that are still powered on and without breaking the JTAG chain. It enables breakpoint and trace configuration as well as on-chip data collection – and global state access in multi-cluster systems – without halting the core.

MIPS OCI is included in the newest MIPS Warrior CPUs including the entry-level M-Class M6200, 64-bit multi-threaded I-Class I6400, and high-performance 64-bit P-Class P6600 CPUs, and is backward compatible through JTAG to previous generations of MIPS CPUs. With the ability to interface to third party debug environments, MIPS OCI is designed to support a range of heterogeneous SoC designs.

For advanced multi-core, multi-cluster designs incorporating mid-range and high-end MIPS I-Class and P-Class CPUs, MIPS OCI includes JTAG / cJTAG / AMBA Advanced Peripheral Bus (APB) interfaces for maximum design flexibility. The system consists of a Debug Unit with dedicated memory and a register (ring) bus which connects the cores and global subsystems of a coherent system. For entry-level M-Class CPUs, an APB interface allows connection to a MIPS Debug Hub (MDH) or other debug access hardware.

Codescape SysProbes
Codescape SysProbes, based on a new probe design from Imagination, allow fast and efficient debug without requiring an intrusive software monitor or additional target I/O resources, by taking advantage of the advanced on-chip debug and trace features in MIPS IP cores. SysProbes are designed for use on coherent cluster/multi-cluster systems, and are designed to offer simultaneous debug of heterogeneous SoC designs.

Codescape SysProbes provide a full debugging feature set including software and hardware breakpoints, hardware triggers, reset control, power monitoring, code profiling and much more. These features provide the requisite tools to meet the needs of today’s cutting edge development teams for first silicon bring-up, hardware and software development, debug and verification activities.

SysProbes are tightly integrated with the new Codescape MIPS SDK. Interfaces include Codescape GUI based debugger with full RTOS awareness for the most prevalent RTOSes; and the Codescape Console, a command line interface ideal for low-level debug including silicon bring-up.

Codescape MIPS SDK
Codescape SDK is designed to provide everything needed for MIPS software development across the entire product lifecycle. The SDK supports software development, debug and optimization prior to first silicon. When silicon is available the SDK provides extensive support for chip bring-up, software/hardware integration and application development. The latest version includes support for Release 6 of the MIPS32 and MIPS64 architectures and the microMIPS code compression architecture.

Codescape MIPS SDK Essentials (MIPS SDK) and Codescape MIPS SDK Professional (MIPS proSDK) offer powerful capabilities for developers targeting MIPS-based platforms from entry-level development boards to high-end multi-core systems. The Codescape MIPS SDK includes all the tools and resources needed to get started with MIPS software development. The Codescape MIPS proSDK is a premium, feature-rich toolkit that provides professional software developers all the tools needed for advanced MIPS software development.

In addition to working with the new Codescape SysProbes, the MIPS SDK and MIPS proSDK work with a wide range of probes available from both Imagination and third parties. This includes high-end probes from Lauterbach and Green Hills Software, as well as the affordable MIPS Bus Blaster V3c for cost sensitive applications, students and hobbyists.

MIPS Developer Communities
Developers can join the growing MIPS Insider Community to participate in forums and discussion at http://community.imgtec.com/developers/mips/, part of Imagination’s extensive community of developers. There is also a growing community of developers in the new prpl Foundation open source community www.prplfoundation.org.

Availability
Codescape MIPS SDK, MIPS proSDK and the SysProbe SP55 – the first in the series of SysProbes – are available now. Codescape MIPS SDK is available as a free download. MIPS OCI IP is available now and is bundled with all MIPS cores. For more information, contact info@imgtec.com or visit http://community.imgtec.com/developers/mips/tools.

About MIPS CPUs
MIPS CPUs comprise a comprehensive portfolio of low-power, high-performance microprocessor IP cores and architectures, ranging from solutions for high-end applications processing down to solutions for extremely small, deeply embedded microcontrollers. MIPS CPUs power billions of products around the globe. The 64-bit MIPS architecture is widely deployed in a large number of products, and is supported by a vibrant and growing ecosystem built over more than 20 years.

About Imagination Technologies
Imagination is a global technology leader whose products touch the lives of billions of people across the globe. The company’s broad range of silicon IP (intellectual property) includes the key processing blocks needed to create the SoCs (Systems on Chips) that power all mobile, consumer and embedded electronics. Its unique software IP, infrastructure technologies and system solutions enable its customers to get to market quickly with complete and highly differentiated SoC platforms. Imagination’s licensees include many of the world’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, network operators and OEMs/ODMs who are creating some of the world’s most iconic products. See: www.imgtec.com.

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Imagination Technologies’ Press Contacts:
UK: David Harold                     
david.harold@imgtec.com        +44 (0)1923 260 511

USA: Jen Bernier-Santarini       jen.bernier@imgtec.com            +1 408-530-5178


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