July 24, 2014. ASSET InterTech collaborated with SoftIron Ltd. to quickly debug and bring up the industry's first 64-bit ARM server motherboard based on AppliedMicro's X-Gene server on a chip. SoftIron's 64-0800 is an ultralow power, high-performance server motherboard for the enterprise-computing and data-center market.
The development team at SoftIron selected ASSET's SourcePoint debugger because it gives developers visibility into code execution from the point where the system is reset through the execution of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). SourcePoint also runs under the Linux operating system and can take advantage of its many capabilities.
SourcePoint's advanced run-control features helped engineers at SoftIron to quickly analyze hardware anomalies during development and bring the 64-0800 to market before any of its competitors. In addition to the enhanced visibility into firmware execution offered by SourcePoint, ASSET's consultation services and development support proved invaluable to SoftIron.
“With a very complex design like this and the type of accelerated development schedule we adopted, we knew we needed a best-of-class debug tool or we wouldn't be able to get our server motherboard to market ahead of the others. The visibility SourcePoint provided into code execution on the X-Gene turned out to be a difference maker for us,” said Gary Preston, vice president for hardware at SoftIron. “ASSET's support team and the advice they gave us exceeded our expectations and played a critical role in getting us to a successful launch.”
“We've provided debug tools for many years for Intel-based platforms,” said Larry Traylor, ASSET's vice president of software debug and trace. “Now, migrating SourcePoint's many capabilities and the visibility it has to offer engineers into the ARMv8 marketplace is quite exciting. Being a part of this very early ARMv8-based server solution for the enterprise market is very gratifying.””
SoftIron is an enterprise technology innovation company founded in 2012 and based at the University of Southampton Science Park, UK. Its next-generation enterprise computing products are focused on ultralow-energy servers.
ASSET InterTech is a supplier to the electronics industry of tools based on embedded instrumentation. Its SourcePoint debugger and the ScanWorks platform for embedded instruments overcome the limitations of external test and measurement equipment by applying instrumentation embedded in code and semiconductors to debug and validate software and firmware, and to perform design validation and manufacturing test on chips and circuit boards. ASSET's acquisition of Arium in 2013 added a suite of firmware debug and trace tools to the ScanWorks platform.