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'[PIC]In-circuit emulator vs. in-circuit debugger'
2009\06\19@001604 by Jason Hsu

picon face
Thanks for your responses on what surface mount programmer to get.

Now I realize that I need to understand the differences between an
in-circuit emulator and an in-circuit debugger.  Keep in mind that my
experience in programming PICs so far has been limited to the PICSTART Plus.

What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of an in-circuit emulator
and in-circuit debugger?  For what types of projects is an in-circuit
emulator more appropriate, and for what types of projects is an in-circuit
debugger more appropriate?  What other questions should I be asking?

--
Jason Hsu
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt.html
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt-c.txt
http://www.jasonhsu.com/swrwatt-asm.txt

2009\06\19@005035 by solarwind

picon face
On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 5:15 AM, Jason Hsu<spam_OUTjhsu802701TakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks for your responses on what surface mount programmer to get.
>
> Now I realize that I need to understand the differences between an
> in-circuit emulator and an in-circuit debugger.  Keep in mind that my
> experience in programming PICs so far has been limited to the PICSTART Plus.
>
> What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of an in-circuit emulator
> and in-circuit debugger?  For what types of projects is an in-circuit
> emulator more appropriate, and for what types of projects is an in-circuit
> debugger more appropriate?  What other questions should I be asking?

This may not be relevant to your topic, but I have a PICKIT2 and I
love it. You can easily debug with it in real time, with the hardware.
It's only $35 if I remember right so you should buy one as soon as
possible. I think that would count as an "in circuit debugger".

2009\06\19@040544 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of an in-circuit
>emulator and in-circuit debugger?

An in circuit debugger is functionality that is already in most of the
available PIC chips. All the 18F and larger chips have it as standard. Most
of the larger 16F series have it as standard, but some of the smaller chips
(e.g. 16F627/628/648) have a special chip on a plug in header available for
doing debugging, as the standard chips only have the programming capability.
In all cases the debug capability is an inherent part of the chip, and apart
from using some of the chip ram and program space, there is a special
register that can be set to an address that you wish to break program
execution at to investigate the state of the registers.

An in circuit emulator is a much more complex device (and thereby much more
expensive) with an expanded ability over the in circuit debugger. Typically
it will consist of a special probe that goes in place of the processor chip,
which contains a special chip where the debug facility has access to all the
registers as well as the program counter. So now not only can execution be
stopped when the program counter is at a certain address, as can be done
with the in circuit debug capability of the PIC chips, but multiple
breakpoint addresses can often be set up. Other capabilities can include
logic in the emulator unit that requires breakpoint addresses to be passed
in a certain sequence before actually stopping program execution (a useful
capability when debugging certain types of loops). Also because the
registers can be accessed while the program is executing it is possible to
stop program execution when a register reaches a certain value (or is
greater than, or less than), or even when an operation such as a write to a
register occurs irrespective of value (useful for catching errant program
execution or missed banking register settings). Note that chips like the
PIC24 series can have some of these emulator facilities on top of the basic
debug facility due to smart software tricks that can allow multiple software
breakpoints in the code.

>For what types of projects is an in-circuit emulator more appropriate,
>and for what types of projects is an in-circuit debugger more appropriate?

In general, it is the complexity of the debug task that makes an emulator
more appropriate. The cost of a person spending time debugging using the in
circuit debug capability of a PIC soon rises to a point where, for a
commercial operation, a proper in circuit emulator tool is the fastest way
to debug code. In circuit debugging is a cheap way of accessing the hardware
for basic systems, which can be appropriate in situations where having the
full blown emulator is not practical.

>What other questions should I be asking?

How much money am I prepared to spend? The in circuit debug capability is
available extremely cheaply by use of a PicKit or ICD, while an emulator is
going to cost probably ten to a hundred times as much.

2009\06\19@043632 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Alan B. Pearce<.....Alan.B.PearceKILLspamspam@spam@stfc.ac.uk> wrote:

> How much money am I prepared to spend? The in circuit debug capability is
> available extremely cheaply by use of a PicKit or ICD, while an emulator is
> going to cost probably ten to a hundred times as much.

ICE2000 is the only game in town from Microchip now that ICE4000is not
recommended for new designs. ICE2000 supports PIC12C/12F/16C/16F
and PIC17C/PIC18C/PIC18F. It does not support dsPIC30/33 and PIC24/PIC32
(better use ICD 3 or Real ICE for those chips).
ICE2000 does not support 3.3V only PIC18s like PIC18J.
http://www.microchip.com/ice2000
http://www.microchipdirect.com/ProductSearch.aspx?Keywords=ICE2000

At work, I used ICE 2000 for PIC16C72 and PIC16F872 back in 2000-2002.
I also used ICD 2 later for PIC12F629 in 2005 (with the debug header).
I like the
ICE2000 much better than ICD 2.

Real ICE is labeled as In-Circuit Emulator as well by Microchip. But
I think that is debatable.
http://www.microchip.com/realice

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2009\06\19@050014 by Mike Harrison

flavicon
face
On Fri, 19 Jun 2009 16:36:31 +0800, you wrote:

>On Fri, Jun 19, 2009 at 4:05 PM, Alan B. Pearce<Alan.B.PearcespamKILLspamstfc.ac.uk> wrote:
>
>> How much money am I prepared to spend? The in circuit debug capability is
>> available extremely cheaply by use of a PicKit or ICD, while an emulator is
>> going to cost probably ten to a hundred times as much.

You have to figure out how much your time is worth,.
A proper ICE like the ICE2000 will save significant time when debugging, and can easily pay for
itself solving a few 'difficult' problems.

Remember there are substantial discounts (40% I think) on devtools for users registered under
Microchip's developer progrem.

2009\06\19@055620 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>>> How much money am I prepared to spend? The in circuit debug capability
>>> is
>>> available extremely cheaply by use of a PicKit or ICD, while an emulator
>>> is
>>> going to cost probably ten to a hundred times as much.
>
>You have to figure out how much your time is worth,.

Yeah, well, I was really answering the OPs question about 'what other
questions should I ask?' to which my answer was 'how much money do you want
to spend?' ... I rather ineffectively tried to say what you have said, by
saying it from a different point of view.

2009\06\19@080857 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> Real ICE is labeled as In-Circuit Emulator as well by Microchip. But
> I think that is debatable.

Yeah, that is a really dumb name.  The one thing it's not is a ICE, so
putting "real" in front of it only emphasizes the incorrect.  Duh.

Real ICE is, however, the best in circuit debugger Microchip has made.  It's
definitely way better that awful ICD2.  It doesn't seem to disconnect from
the target randomly or need resetting when someone waved a dead fish in the
same county.


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Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2009\06\19@114439 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alan B. Pearce wrote:

{Quote hidden}

You didn't mention the trace history. That's one very helpful feature,
especially when coupled with complex triggers and trace ranges.

Gerhard

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