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Memfault Beyond the Launch

GCC compiler for ARM7-TDMI

Started by news.inet.tele.dk July 6, 2006
Hi all,

Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the 
GCC? We have been looking at:

http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm

We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive 
products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. complexity.

Any  comments on this choice ?

Best Regards

--
Morten Jorgensen, IA data.
http://www.iadata.dk 



-- 

"news.inet.tele.dk" <mj@iadataFJERNMIG.dk> wrote in message 
news:44ad19c5$0$14018$edfadb0f@dread15.news.tele.dk...
> Hi all, > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the > GCC? We have been looking at: > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. > complexity. > > Any comments on this choice ? >
GCC will generate larger code than the commercial compilers you reference, and in particular it will use more stack, but if you know GCC is ok for your application then I have found the Rowley IDE along with their CrossConnect debug interface to be stable and generally had a good experience. The Rowley library builds will use less stack and generate less code than the standard (unmodified) command line distributions of ARM-ELF-GCC that are about (http://www.gnuarm.org for example). I have examples running the same TCP/IP stack application in a multitasking environment with both GNUARM and Rowley, and find when using Rowley I am able to set the task stack sizes a fair bit lower. Regards, Richard. http://www.FreeRTOS.org *Now for ARM Cortex-M3!*
"news.inet.tele.dk" <mj@iadataFJERNMIG.dk> wrote in message 
news:44ad19c5$0$14018$edfadb0f@dread15.news.tele.dk...
> Hi all, > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on > the GCC? We have been looking at: > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. > complexity. > > Any comments on this choice ?
Firstly, bear in mind that there is no Keil any more and that it has been consumed by ARM. I've heard complaints about the ARM compiler so hopefully they will replace it with Keil's. I've been using CrossWorks for some time and have had very few problems with it (any issues were solved very quickly by their support). It took me a little while to get used to the interface but it's no problem now and is very powerful once you start getting into it. I begun my project with the IAR compiler but it is on ice until I can find time to get their flash loader to work on my board (which has only just been released 8 months after I first asked for it). It is an excellent compiler but I do find it hard to justify the extra expense when Rowley give you nearly as much for such a lower cost. Sure the code is a little tighter and a little smaller but I've got bags of flash and RAM on my board so it's not a major problem for me. The IAR support is pretty good and pretty fast - normally about a day's response. Rowley's is absolutely first class, though, and nearly all my queries are solved almost straight away. They really bend over backwards to help you out. However, even with the Rowley front end it is still GCC underneath and it never fares as well in benchmarks as IAR and Keil/ARM. Code will run faster and will be smaller with the more expensive compilers. Also, if your application is going to be safety critical or have to meet exacting standards then it is probably better to go the proprietary route just to make certification that bit easier.
"news.inet.tele.dk" <mj@iadataFJERNMIG.dk> wrote in message
news:44ad19c5$0$14018$edfadb0f@dread15.news.tele.dk...
> Hi all, > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the > GCC? We have been looking at: > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med.
complexity.
> > Any comments on this choice ?
My impression is that GCC generally does pretty well; not as good as the best commercial ones but better than some, depending on the code. The only benchmark I've found and trust is this comparison of KEIL, IAR, GCC and ARM - it may interest you too: http://www.raisonance.com/products/STR7/benchmark.php. I suppose one could be forgiven for thinking that the benchmarks at some compiler vendors sites seem 'not quite right' ;) DJ --
news.inet.tele.dk wrote:
> Hi all, > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the > GCC? We have been looking at: > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. complexity. > > Any comments on this choice ?
Apart from what other people have said, the Rowley debugger and simulator are excellent. It's also nice to be able to use similar tools for other MCUs like the MSP430. Rowley wrote their own compilers for their other tools. Leon
I've never used their products, but Green Hills also makes compilers
that compile for the ARM architecture.


news.inet.tele.dk wrote:
> Hi all, > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the > GCC? We have been looking at: > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. complexity. > > Any comments on this choice ? > > Best Regards > > -- > Morten Jorgensen, IA data. > http://www.iadata.dk
DJ, Help me understand this; you do not trust the benchmarks on some
compiler vendors site but you trust this compiler vendor who just did
not invest the resources to generate a better compiler, so Raisonance
has to defend the GCC (because they are using it).

Morten,
Our experience with the different compilers has been mixed. ALL
generated smaller code than the standard GCC as soon as libraries where
involved. Now, Rowley has own libraries that are better than the GCC
libs.

Keil is now using the ARM compiler but continue to support the superior
uVision IDE.
IAR compiler produces similar results as ARM / Keil compiler and also
supports many architectures but it is a little difficult in the setup.

If you do not have serious code size contraints and / or need the last
10% speed advantage, the Rowley is a great deal.

GJGO, Morten was asking for a lower cost alternative and while GHS
might be a good compiler, the tag is way too high and a few k extra for
support, which is at least for quite a while included with the other
packages.

An Schwob

Dr Justice wrote:
> "news.inet.tele.dk" <mj@iadataFJERNMIG.dk> wrote in message > news:44ad19c5$0$14018$edfadb0f@dread15.news.tele.dk... > > Hi all, > > > > Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on the > > GCC? We have been looking at: > > > > http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm > > > > We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive > > products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. > complexity. > > > > Any comments on this choice ? > > My impression is that GCC generally does pretty well; not as good as the > best commercial ones but better than some, depending on the code. > > The only benchmark I've found and trust is this comparison of KEIL, IAR, > GCC and ARM - it may interest you too: > http://www.raisonance.com/products/STR7/benchmark.php. > > I suppose one could be forgiven for thinking that the benchmarks at some > compiler vendors sites seem 'not quite right' ;) > > DJ > --
> The only benchmark I've found and trust is this comparison of KEIL, IAR, > GCC and ARM - it may interest you too: > http://www.raisonance.com/products/STR7/benchmark.php.
yes...I found that AN earlier today....very interesting results actually. So far it sound like the Crssworks is wurth an investment. -- Morten
"Tom Lucas" <news@REMOVEautoTOflameREPLY.clara.co.uk> wrote in message 
news:1152202504.21260.0@iris.uk.clara.net...
> "news.inet.tele.dk" <mj@iadataFJERNMIG.dk> wrote in message > news:44ad19c5$0$14018$edfadb0f@dread15.news.tele.dk... >> Hi all, >> >> Anyone that has experience with some of the lower cost IDE's bassed on >> the GCC? We have been looking at: >> >> http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm >> >> We seriously considers to buy this instead of the way more expensive >> products from IAR, KEIL...etc. We develop applications of a med. >> complexity. >> >> Any comments on this choice ? > > Firstly, bear in mind that there is no Keil any more and that it has been > consumed by ARM. I've heard complaints about the ARM compiler so hopefully > they will replace it with Keil's. > > I've been using CrossWorks for some time and have had very few problems > with it (any issues were solved very quickly by their support). It took me > a little while to get used to the interface but it's no problem now and is > very powerful once you start getting into it. > > I begun my project with the IAR compiler but it is on ice until I can find > time to get their flash loader to work on my board (which has only just > been released 8 months after I first asked for it). It is an excellent > compiler but I do find it hard to justify the extra expense when Rowley > give you nearly as much for such a lower cost. Sure the code is a little > tighter and a little smaller but I've got bags of flash and RAM on my > board so it's not a major problem for me. > > The IAR support is pretty good and pretty fast - normally about a day's > response. Rowley's is absolutely first class, though, and nearly all my > queries are solved almost straight away. They really bend over backwards > to help you out. > > However, even with the Rowley front end it is still GCC underneath and it > never fares as well in benchmarks as IAR and Keil/ARM. Code will run > faster and will be smaller with the more expensive compilers. Also, if > your application is going to be safety critical or have to meet exacting > standards then it is probably better to go the proprietary route just to > make certification that bit easier.
I think that rather than replace the ARM compiler, ARM/Keil are phasing out Keil's own compiler (CARM) and replacing it with the RealView compilation tools - together with Keil's IDE and RTOS. I just finished porting a small-so-far (few thousand line) project from CARM to RealView. I don't know how representitive this is, but I found RealView faster than GNU and GNU faster than CARM
Gary Pace wrote:

> I just finished porting a small-so-far (few thousand line) project from CARM > to RealView. I don't know how representitive this is, but I found RealView > faster than GNU and GNU faster than CARM
Yes, that was the consensus: Keil's own C compiler wasn't very good, but RealView's was among the best. But Keil's IDE was among the best, and Arm's wasn't very good. So they combined the best IDE with the best C compiler now. I think they've already switched C compilers in the latest release of uVision. For the best "bang for your buck", consider Rowley and Imagecraft. Or, just use Eclipse with the GNU tools. This is becoming an increasingly wise choice. By wary of benchmarks comparing gcc to other compilers. Keil's orignial benchmarks for their comparisons made a number of errors: they used an obsolete version of gcc, and they selected non-optimimum libraires, etc. To this day Keil still distributes an obsolete set of GNU tools, so you don't want to use the ones they provide. I don't like the idea of using gcc with the Keil IDE because you still have the 16K limit in the free version. Gcc doesn't have a limit, but Keil's debugger does. So I'd use either Eclipse or Rowley's CrossWorks if I definitely wanted to use the gcc compiler. Eric

Memfault Beyond the Launch