8051-based MCUs get a development tool upgrade, with IAR

December 10, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
IAR Systems’ latest release of its IAR Embedded Workbench for 8051 development toolchain includes high-performance compiler and debugger tools with extensive support for a wide range of microcontrollers from vendors such as Atmel, Intel, Infineon, NXP, Silicon Labs and Texas Instruments.

Version 9.10 includes further tweaked code optimisations, added debugging functionality and core support. 8051 technology, IAR has observed, has seen a revival in the form of 8051-based System on Chips (SoCs) targeting Internet of Things applications.

These fast, small, and power-efficient modern devices drive the need for powerful, easy-to-use development tools. CAST Inc. supplies 8051 IP cores that are among the fastest and smallest available, and complete development tools support for these cores is now available in IAR Embedded Workbench. The new support includes devices which implements a Multiplication-Division Unit (MDU). The MDU allows developers to use hardware accelerator options for multiplication and division from within the code. These tasks are inherently expensive in an 8-bit microcontroller, but are significantly faster using MDUs.

In the C-SPY Debugger, version 9.10 adds new windows for managing macros. The Macro Registration window controls which macro files are loaded and the Debugger Macros window shows a list of all macros available in the debugger. C-SPY macros are used to automate various tasks for debugging and verification. The macros can also be used to perform a variety of other tasks such as hardware configuration and simulation of peripheral drivers, as well as to feed simulated data to the application during runtime.

The C-SPY Debugger Reset button has been improved. It is now possible to select whether to run to main or not without leaving the debug session. The debugger will override the project settings and insert or remove this breakpoint. New is also the possibility to save C-SPY watch window content to a file that can be used for logging or analysis purposes.

In addition to the complete CAST device support, new devices from Silicon Labs are also supported. To simplify device selection, the Project Options menu has been improved to let developers select their device in a static menu selection entry.

With this release, IAR says its C/C++ Compiler for 8051 generates even smaller