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ColdFire development suite available from Alfatek

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Crossware, a leading embedded software tools developer, has enhanced its ColdFire development suite by adding comprehensive support for Freescale semiconductor's MCF532x and MCF537x ColdFire microprocessors.

Developers using these powerful embedded controllers can now work within Crossware's totally integrated and easy to use GUI-based environment to get their programs up and running quickly and efficiently thereby speeding up the whole development process.

Crossware's support includes a full set of code creation wizards, a full set of peripheral register views which can be displayed during simulation and debugging and a completely new feature register tool-tips which pop-up when the mouse hovers over a value in a register view and displays the name of the register and lists by name all of its bits and the value of each bit.

According to Crossware, this is a comprehensive support that Crossware has ever provided for a family of microprocessors, features originally introduced for Crossware’s 8051 tools and further developed and refined for its ARM development suite have now been harnessed and further enhanced for these powerful ColdFire chips.

The MCF532x and MCF537x families are based on the V3 ColdFire Core, which delivers performance up to 211 MIPS at 240MHz.

They feature a wide range of on-chip peripherals including a human-machine interface with flexible connectivity for consumer and industrial applications.

The MCF532x family includes an on-board liquid crystal display controller for applications with a graphical user interface.

The LCD display controller supports images up to 18 bits per pixel (bpp). Crossware's ColdFire development suite availabel from Alfa tek features example programs which drive, for instance, the 320x240 QVGA display available for the Cobra5329 starter kit. These programs show how to display images with 8bpp, 18bpp and 24bpp.

Demonstrating the simplicity of using Crossware's suite, 8bpp and 18bpp displays can be created without writing a single line of code. A utility is provided to convert Windows bitmap files into a C structure, enabling, for example, a photograph to be rapidly imported into the source code of a program.

The LCD controller GUI code creation wizards allow the structure name to be specified and all of the necessary code to display the image to be generated.

Since the MCF532x's on-board LCD controller outputs a maximum of 18bpp, some manual coding is required to generate a 24bpp image. This is achieved by separating the image into four frames each slightly different depending on the colour of the pixel.

These frames are then continuously swapped at the end of each frame in an interrupt handler (automatically generated by the LCD controller Wizard) to give the illusion of a 24bpp image.

The Crossware ColdFire development suite provides a complete and user friendly development environment for the ColdFire family of microprocessors and microcontrollers with its advanced C/C++ compiler, libraries, wizards, simulator, source level debugger and the optional FireFly USB BDM debugger interface.

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