This project aims at a demonstration of the commercial capabilities of the "Architecture Neutral Distribution Format" ANDF, recently developed by the Defence Research Agency from the United Kingdom and supported and partialy funded by the European Commission under the "OMI" program.
The application of ANDF is currently restricted to internal use at sites of several compiling tool providers although it has some basic features which are of great importance for embedded systems developers as well. Due to the rigorous separation between front-end (producer) and back-end (installer) of a compiler which uses ANDF intermediate format, the user has the following advantages:
All these features imply that the ANDF intermediate step is visible for the developer. On the other hand , a strong compatability between software tools (compilers, debuggers) and hardware tools (emulators, developing boards) is mandatory for succesful system development. This requires agreements about interfaces between hardware and software suppliers which are currently only present among certain companies. The adoption of ANDF as interface vehicle would be a big step towards more flexibility both for suppliers and customers.
In this project, Hitex GmbH, a supplier of hardware emulators from Germany will evaluate the benefits of ANDF directly at the market by introduction of a new line of software tools for their emulating devices. This new line starts with a selected family of microcontrollers for which the University of Karlsruhe will provide their technology for the automatic generation of installers. As it is the case for the hardware devices, the customers are then easily able to switch to another platform for which additional installers will be provided in the future . The project will analyse the acceptance of this approach at the market in order to stimulate further exploitation and additional development of the ANDF technology.
Hans Peter Otterstaetter
Hitex Systementwickelung GmbH
Hitex Systementwickelung (Germany)
University of Karlsruhe (Germany)