A digital revolution is sweeping all areas of life, thereby making our activities more innovative and powerful. Embedded software plays a huge role in the rapid development of the internet of things ecosystem. You will be wondering what embedded software is and the necessary tools to build it.
What is embedded software?
Embedded software is the process of controlling several machines and devices that are from different traditional computers. It is integrated into non-computer hardware to control its functions. The hardware is monitored by various sensors, machines, devices, and modern electronics. This software is used in fields like manufacturing, automotive, transportation, and the medical industry. This technology, unlike the general one, serves a specific purpose and used on one particular device.
There are tons of embedded software development tools in the market, but I’ve chosen these five because they are the most popular and offer value. These are the top five embedded software development tools you need to get going:
MPLAB is created by Microchip Technology. It is based on the open-source NetBeans platform designed to create applications for various types of PIC microcontrollers. It runs on a PC and includes cross-platform support for Mac OS, Linux, and Windows. This software allows code writing, debugging, editing, and code managing. Previous users had demanded that new features be added, and the company has just done that. If you get this tool, you’ll enjoy features like macros, AVR, C/C++ compilers, disPIC, etc. With this tool, you can work with vectors, graphs, arrays, plots, matrices and make algorithms. There are countless advantages of using this IDE. What stands out more about this software is the auto-completion. It allows you to complete header files automatically without typing them in. The dashboard window contains helpful information on the project properties.
The Arduino is an open-source software that runs on a personal computer. It helps programmers create a program for their microcontroller and provides all the necessary embedded tools you need. The codes written on this software are called sketches and have an extension .ino. The IDE is user-friendly with lots of features that make the job pretty easy. For instance, you’re allowed to open multiple files with different extensions in a single window. You can also use various libraries like LedControl, Matrix, LiquidCrystal, Audio, etc.
Visual Studio is a popular integrated development tool created by Microsoft. Not only is it used to build mobile apps and computer software, but it is also used to build embedded software. The extension Visual C++ for the internet of things development enables programmers to debug native C/C++ code locally on Windows, microcontrollers, or Linux machines. With Visual Studio for IoT, you can build, edit and debug the devices running on Linux. VisualGDB interfaces between Visual Studio and the GNU toolchain to build and debug embedded firmware. Therefore, it is possible to configure your project by implementing third-party tools and compilers.
The ARM Keil development tool provides the ideal environment for creating embedded applications for the broadest range of ARM-based devices. This software package includes leading stimulation models, linkers, middleware libraries, debuggers, and C/C++ compilers. It offers a run/stop debugging, data trace, and non-intrusive instruction trace to facilitate and debug system optimization. Keil also offers evaluation boards for the most popular devices based on Cortex and ARM processors. The best part of using this tool is that it is suitable for beginners and professionals because it is easy to use and learn. The billions of ARM tools built today have penetrated all the embedded markets, and so far, the result has been marvelous. For this tool, memory space is a prized commodity. It uses a technology that reduces application footprint by 30%, unlike other compilers.
Embedded systems are mainly used in other devices and run independently for many years with little or no interference. As a result, developers must pursue a comprehensive troubleshooting strategy to ensure error-free operations and independence. Protocol analyzers are used to analyze traffic across a communication channel directly. They offer insights into the movement of data packets on the bus.
There are no strict hard and fast rules to choosing the best tool for creating embedded software because many of them are available. However, these five listed here tops the list. Your choice also depends on your skills, preference, and the uniqueness of the job. If you want to accelerate the development of embedded software, use this tool, and you’ll be grateful.