Computer Solutions has set up a web site that's a "must visit" for engineers developing microprocessor and microcontroller based products.
Having helped design and develop everything from 32 bit multi-terminal systems with thousands of inputs to true single chip applications, Computer Solutions wanted to share their expertise with their customers. In order to help at the early stage of CPU selection they have put a database up on the web that makes it possible to browse each microprocessor family and see what tools are available to support that chip.
"Web sites are all very well, but I didn't want to just set up an electronic version of our catalogue" says Chris Stephens, MD of Computer Solutions.
"It was only once I realised that we could provide a unique information service to engineers, designing embedded microprocessor based systems, that we took the plunge. What we have done is create a database of CPU's and products so that engineers can easily see the range of tools available for each microprocessor family. Then they can follow the linked pages for more details."
It's an important part of selecting a chip to know whether the engineers' development environment of choice is available for the chip. Where time-scales are tight, hardware design complex or software development time critical, some engineers wish to use high level languages and a full feature ICE - are C and an ICE available for the chip? Where the major design effort is to be the software, many will opt for a lower cost ROM monitor perhaps with a ROM emulator. Maybe the project requires two CPUs each running a real-time executive - is the same executive available for both to reduce learning overhead? Will it support TCP/IP and a Web Server? Does the micro itself need programming and is there a gang programmer available for the production stage?
Now all of these questions can be answered at https://www.computer-solutions.co.uk, their web site for embedded microprocessor designers. For each family of processors they have listed the products supporting the generic device such as assemblers, compilers, ROM monitors and real-time executives. However it's not that simple as each specific chip in a family may need different ICE pods, simulators or programming capabilities so each chip is individually listed in these areas. To collect all the necessary information in one place, they have also listed other generally useful tools such as, EPROM emulators, Case tools and programmers along with RS232, USB and other protocol debug aids. All of these are linked to fuller descriptions of the tools along with that all-important factor in choice - the price.
Of course it's also possible to browse the site by product type - Compilers, Assemblers, ICE…. But the number of hits achieved since they announced their chip database has shown that this new format is very popular.
Go along and see for yourself at https://www.computer-solutions.co.uk.
Chris reports that "We started the web site early in 1998 with a modest hit target which we achieved within the first three months. By the end of the year we had reached the magic 5,000."
"We have ambitious plans for putting up an even wider range of microprocessor related information to make our web site the place to go every time an engineer starts a new microprocessor project." -
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Attached: Site map for https://www.computer-solutions.co.uk
List of supported chip families
Computer Solutions Ltd have the widest range of microprocessor development tools available in the UK. These cover both software tools such as assemblers, compilers, operating systems and debuggers as well as hardware, ICE's and programmers. COMSOL has an active consultancy business, has been in existence for
37 years and is based at West Byfleet, Surrey. It runs a comprehensive web site with details of its extensive product range which can be found at https://www.computer-solutions.co.uk.
Computer Solutions Ltd
3b Claremont Road,
Note to Editors:
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literature, or for any further information: Contact: Chris Stephens,
Computer Solutions Tel: 01932 355630
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