Renesas Debuts E8a Emulator for Debugging, Programming Embedded Systems

Renesas Technology America, Inc. announced the E8a emulator, an ultra-small, low-priced, environment-friendly on-chip debugging emulator for developing embedded systems that use Renesas microcontrollers. The new support tool, which replaces the popular E8 model, allows C source-level debugging to be carried out with a microcontroller in the M16C, H8/Tiny or H8/Super Low Power series, operating at full speed in the system. The E8a can also be used as a programmer to load code into the internal flash memory of most of Renesas’ microcontroller families, when combined with the Flash Development Toolkit (FDT) software provided by Renesas.

Renesas E8a Emulator, a Low-priced, Ultra-small Tool for Debugging Embedded Systems and Programming a Microcontroller's On-chip Flash Memory

The E8a emulator inherits the ease of use and all the emulation functions of the E8 emulator, but differs in several respects. Its flash memory programming functionality has been greatly expanded to cover previously unsupported Renesas products, including SuperH(R) family and H8S family microcontrollers. Moreover, its programming operating voltage range has been extended down from 3V-5V to 1.8V-5V, and a clock oscillator has been added to enable asynchronous communication in line with a microcontroller’s operating frequency. Finally, the E8a’s plastic case, which is made from a biodegradable material (a vegetable-based polylactide [PLA]), is about 60 percent smaller in volume, measuring only 92mm x 42mm x 15mm, and requires about 30 percent less space.

Uses dedicated on-chip resources for debugging, FDT software for programming
Like the E8, the new E8a emulator uses the dedicated debugging resources built into the Renesas microcontroller in the actual system hardware, and it connects to that system via a 14-pin interface that can be used both to debug the system and to program the microcontroller’s on-chip flash memory. A plug-and-play USB v2.0 (full-speed)/v1.1 compatible interface allows easy connections to a notebook or desktop Windows(R) compatible PC running the Renesas High-performance Embedded Workshop integrated development environment with complete set of software tools, and the FDT programming utility.

The emulator operates in bus-powered mode using the USB power supply, eliminating the need for a separate power cable. It can supply up to 300mA at 3.3V or 5.0V to the system to which it is connected.

When the E8a is used as an emulator for real-time system debugging in the R8C/Tiny Series, for instance, it allows access to all the device’s on-chip debug capabilities such as 255 software breakpoints, four hardware breakpoints including data and address matches, one forced breakpoint and a branch-origin PC trace of the last four instructions before a break (where supported by the on-chip hardware). It also allows referencing and modification of memory, on-chip I/O, and memory contents while a program is being executed.

When the E8a is used to write to on-chip flash memory, the FDT software utility on the PC implements features such as automatic disconnection after programming and automated operation controlled by a script (command-based batch processing). Other useful functions are available that can also be applied to volume production processes.

Price and Availability
The E8a Emulator will be available in Q2 of 2007 for $125.

About Renesas Technology Corp.
Renesas Technology Corp. is one of the world’s leading semiconductor system solutions providers for mobile, automotive and PC/AV (Audio Visual) markets and the world’s No.1 supplier of microcontrollers. It is also a leading provider of LCD Driver ICs, Smart Card microcontrollers, RF-ICs, High Power Amplifiers, Mixed Signal ICs, System-on-Chip (SoC), System-in-Package (SiP) and more. Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi, Ltd. (TOKYO:6501)(NYSE:HIT) and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO:6503), Renesas Technology achieved consolidated revenue of 906 billion JPY in FY2005 (end of March 2006). Renesas Technology is based in Tokyo, Japan and has a global network of manufacturing, design and sales operations in around 20 countries with about 26,200 employees worldwide.

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