Automobiles that use between several tens to more than one hundred microcomputers are widely used today. The malfunctioning of components run by these computers, such as engines, brakes, and sensors, can place human lives at risk. Vehicle-related environmental and performance concerns likewise require precise control over fuel and engine function through these systems.

It is therefore critical that manufacturers be vigilant about potential problems with these devices. Microcomputers are thus always increasing in sophistication and their programs becoming more complex. To meet the requirements of elaborate new designs, central processing unit (CPU) debug functions and development tools must also be continually upgraded. In this article, important new functions of available debug and development solutions are discussed, and ARM’s Cortex-R4 and R4F solutions are introduced as CPUs suitable for real-time control.

Reprinted in its entirety from ARM IQ Vol. 6, No. 2, 2007