Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

Microcontroller Development Environment on the NetBeans Platform

HEIDE is an IDE for a multiprocessor microcontroller platform named HElabor. The HElabor Multiprocessor Platform was conceived and developed by Elio Strollo, a researcher at the Electronic Engineering department of La Sapienza University in Rome.

HEIDE integrates the following features:

  • Editor for HElabor's own assembly language. Currently, only a lexer for syntax highlighting is implemented.

  • Interface to build code using an embedded compiler library.

  • Interface to configure the microcontroller. This is very flexible in terms of number of CPU cores, number and type of registers, memory sizes, and control elements.

  • Simulator of the HElabor microcontroller that supports step-by-step execution and breakpoints in the source code, and shows all the information about the registers, the memory (which is split in blocks), and the status of the system

A "watches" windows is provided to monitor the memory location defined by physical address or mnemonic symbols. A "processors" windows shows the program counter and executed code for each processor core, of which there can be up to 32 in a single system, but systems can be easily stacked and connected to further parallelize execution.

The team, led by Giorgio Daino, plans to add graphical views for plotting of input/output signals, and many other support tools, a full-fledged parser for the language, and more.

HEIDE will be released into the open source. Currently it is ready and functional, though the project including the microcontroller platform is under evaluation for European sponsorship.


Geertjan Wielenga (@geertjanw) is a Principal Product Manager in the Oracle Developer Tools group living & working in Amsterdam. He is a Java technology enthusiast, evangelist, trainer, speaker, and writer. He blogs here daily.

The focus of this blog is mostly on NetBeans (a development tool primarily for Java programmers), with an occasional reference to NetBeans, and sometimes diverging to topics relating to NetBeans. And then there are days when NetBeans is mentioned, just for a change.


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