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winIDEA Help

Version: 9.21.218

Hardware Breakpoints

Open Debug / Hardware Breakpoints in winIDEA to manually configure the hardware breakpoints.


On-chip debug logic is used to set the breakpoints with appropriate qualifiers, which is automatically done by winIDEA. Most microcontrollers in use today offer 4 or more hardware breakpoints for this purpose, which is usually enough for basic debugging purposes. Hardware Breakpoints offer the best debug experience, as they make the debugging fast and responsive.



Note that some high level debugging functionalities, such as source step, need one hardware breakpoint to function properly. To overcome the problems with these functionalities, winIDEA reserves one hardware breakpoint for high-level debugging. If you are sure you know what you are doing, you can free this breakpoint via option Reserve one breakpoint for high-level debugging in the Debug / Options / Debugging.


Hardware breakpoints are breakpoints that are already provided by the CPU. The number of hardware breakpoints is limited to four or eight, twelve, etc. depending on the core. The advantage is that they function anywhere in the CPU space, which is not the case for Software Breakpoints, which normally cannot be used in the FLASH memory, non-writable memory (ROM) or self-modifying code. If hardware breakpoints are selected, only hardware breakpoints are used for execution breakpoints.


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