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Emulators of one sort or another are the tool of choice for many engineers. They can be used at all stages of development – with ICE starting the development of software before the hardware is available, through to speeding up hardware debugging, to the all-important integration stage. They are particularly useful when developing high level C code. Once developed the units can be used to flash programs into on and off chip memory.
NXP/Freescale have pioneered the inclusion on the chip of sophisticated debug aids with their background debug (BDM) and SDI capabilities. JTAG is an increasingly popular way of linking to on chip debug facilities for high end processors such as ARM, Kinetis, ColdFire and PPC. These interfaces can also be used for cost effective flash programming in development and production.
Supply low cost JTAG debuggers with USB and Ethernet interfaces for NXP/Freescale Qorivva PPC 55xx/56xx/57xx and the ARM based Kinetis as well as a BDM interface to 68HC08, HCS08, HCRS08, HC12, HCS12, HCS12X, HC16, CPU32, Coldfire and Power PC 500, and 800 series and MAC71xx,72xx. They also supply supporting debugging and flash programming software. Their Cyclone range of units can be interfaced by Ethernet, USB and Serial ports as well as being loaded with multiple memory images and disconnected from the computer to act as standalone flash programmers. When used in production programming multiple Cyclones can be run from a single PC. Cyclone units are now available for ARM Cortex, Renesas, Hitachi and STM chip families.
Not an ICE but only a fraction of the price these were the tool of choice before the BDM/JTAG link was devised. They are still a convenient solution where no on-chip capability is available as they can be used with any EPROM ,Flash, LPI and SPI busses.