The Importance of a flourishing development tool ecosystem

One of the major attractions of adopting the Arm Cortex-M architecture is the healthy ecosystem of hardware and software development tools that support all Arm-based products.

Most engineers prefer to have a choice of different options that appeal to their personal preferences for look, feel, performance, support, functionality and cost. It is usually not straightforward to simply rate which is ‘best’. In many cases, engineers become accustomed to using a particular tool and stick with it because of familiarity, despite any shortcomings that they might identify.

VORAGO Technologies have recently added GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) support for the VA108x0 family of microcontrollers. GCC is a popular compiler for many engineers who favor the GNU toolchain. It is free, open-source and many engineers are enthusiastic about its performance and flexibility.

Arm has provided support for the GCC (GNU C compiler) and GDB (GNU DeBug) tools such that it is now a very reliable and often used development environment for Arm Cortex-M based MCUs. This application note covers all the steps necessary to get the suite running specifically with the VA108x0 MCU from VORAGO. This includes:

  • Instructions on how to install the Eclipse, GCC and J-Link GDB server packages,
  • Information on unique linker (*.LD), make (Makefile) and startup (*.S) files
  • Example project demonstrations

During the development, several challenges were encountered with download, options and tool nuances. These are addressed in the frequently asked questions. It is highly recommended to review this list if you have plans to “open-the-hood” and modify linkers, make files, startup or other components in the environment.

View the documentation and example GCC projects on Github

Download the application note

Vorago GCC IDE AN1215 - v1.0.pdf