winIDEA 9.21: Improved configuration user experience


Did you know that winIDEA is a go-to IDE for many embedded software developers ever since 1995? 

You can imagine how much winIDEA had to change already to match the technology's evolution to stay up to date for the last 25 years. Let’s take a look at the technology changes that warranted the latest changes in the configuration.


Evolution of embedded software

winIDEA at its very core is an integrated development environment that allows you to debug and test your embedded software that is running on a microcontroller. When microcontrollers grew from 8-bit single-core to 32-bit multi-core processors, new embedded software possibilities also opened.

More than one application running on a single chip is nothing out of the ordinary. Running more than one task concurrently can easily be handled by a Real-Time Operating System. With the introduction of Systems on Chip (SoCs) with 32-bit or even 64-bit processing power the possibilities of embedded systems expanded to almost everything that a personal computer can do.

Embedded software is no longer an application running on a single core as in the olden days. Hypervisors, virtual machines, multiple operating systems and more than one instance of a single application running at the same time is already a reality in the world of embedded systems too.


Application, Memory space, Process

Operating systems, hypervisors, virtual machines… Sounds more like a desktop application rather than embedded software development, right? So it only made sense to adopt the same basic concepts in embedded development. And it is a bit different that we are used to.

Simply explained, on your SoC (or microcontroller) you have applications that run inside separated memory spaces. Each application instance with its belonging memory space is called a process. This might remind you of a process list in Task manager on your Windows OS.


User interface adjustments

To adopt these new concepts in winIDEA, we remodeled the configuration procedure of the debug session. You specify the device (microcontroller, SoC, …) that executes your application, including its program and symbol files. Then you create the dedicated memory spaces for your application(s). Thus, full multi memory space (MMS) debug and trace support is available to develop and test your next generation embedded software.

But most importantly we used this opportunity to make debug session configuration easier for you regardless of the complexity of your embedded software.


Get new winIDEA 9.21

It is already available for download.


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