ASSET Acquires Arium to Boost System Development Visibility

July 9, 2013. ASSET InterTech, a supplier of tools for embedded instrumentation, today acquired Arium, a Tustin, CA, provider of software debug tools for systems based on Intel and ARM processors. Arium’s debug tools will be integrated into ASSET’s ScanWorks platform for debug, validation, and test, making it a powerful and comprehensive nonintrusive toolset for chip and circuit-board designers, manufacturing test engineers, and troubleshooting support personnel.

“Arium has a long history—35 years in fact—of developing innovative JTAG-based debug and trace tools for that layer of software between the operating system and the underlying hardware,” said Glenn Woppman, president and CEO of ASSET InterTech. “Of course, faster software debug on prototypes of circuit-board designs is crucial for moving designs into manufacturing sooner and accelerating new-product introductions, but there is more to this beyond the tools themselves. By combining the expertise of our two organizations we are going to be able to help engineers solve a broader spectrum of problems with the kinds of nonintrusive methodologies that are best suited to today’s technology—methodologies that work from the inside out, not from the outside in.”

Arium’s software debug and trace capabilities complement the ScanWorks platform’s ability to access, manage, and control test and measurement instruments embedded in chips. The expanding number of processing cores as well as the integration of more and more resources into system-on-a-chip (SoC) devices is causing explosive growth in the volume of software that is required to interface hardware with operating-system software and applications. Arium’s hardware-assisted debug tools give developers the ability to troubleshoot code quickly while the company’s trace tools help designers rapidly analyze the software transactions and interactions among cores, threads, and code modules. Arium’s debug and trace capabilities complement ScanWorks HSIO, a toolset that lets designers debug and validate the chip-to-chip buses on circuit boards. By combining these various debug, trace, and validation capabilities, designers will be able to bring up a prototype design faster so it can be moved into volume manufacturing sooner.

“We are very excited about joining forces with ASSET because we’re convinced that embedded instrumentation is the technology of the future, and it is well on its way to becoming a necessity for designers,” said  Larry Traylor, president of Arium. “Our tools have been deployed in design for the last 35 years, and much has changed during this time. High-speed buses above 5 Gb/s are now the norm while SoC architectures and new chip packaging technologies make it practically impossible to see what’s going on in systems. The time has come to bring together our strengths in software debug and trace with the excellent hardware validation and test tools in ScanWorks. Our users tell us that the software present today is expanding exponentially. That’s where our tools play a huge role. But users also say that visibility into the interaction of hardware and software is sorely missing, and this is slowing down new product development. Separately, our tools play distinct roles addressing these issues, but together they provide a level of visibility not found anywhere else. Together, ASSET and Arium will be able to shorten development cycles so our users can begin generating revenue sooner.” 

“Intel has a long history of collaboration with both Arium and Asset InterTech in enabling and validation work with our customers to bring the latest innovative Intel-based systems to market,” said Hussein Mecklai, vice president, Intel Architecture Group, and general manager, Intel Platform Validation Engineering. “We look forward to continued work with the combined expertise of the two companies.”

The full terms and conditions of the acquisition agreement between ASSET and Arium were not disclosed. ASSET acquired all of the assets of Arium, and all Arium employees accepted positions at ASSET. Arium’s user base will continue to be served by Arium service and support staff.

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