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ANTI-CRASH: fast migration of embedded applications

With a number of microprocessor architectures (platforms) in use today, the flexibility to change from one target platform to another, in response to market or customer demands, is decisive for competitiveness for application developers. The Architecture Neutral Distribution Format (ANDF) developed allows a software application to be compiled once and then custom-installed for every target platform, reducing the effort and cost of re-targeting. This concept has now been implemented by the ANTI-CRASH projects as ReTargetPoint Technology, which integrates with platform-specific compile-and-develop tools. It has been evaluated using an avionics safety-critical real time application, demonstrating a clear reduction in development effort while simultaneously enhancing code reliability.

ReTargetPoint Technology simply plugs in to standard development environments with native compile-and-develop tools, delivering its inherent enhancements while retaining the convenience of developing within an existing environment. For C, an application-dependent configuration designer (ConfigPoint) is used to define any and all operations specific to the target. A C-to-ANDF compiler (producer) helps detect incompatibilities, which can be eliminated or encapsulated in safe-boxes where the target dependency remains clearly visible. Static code checkers (CheckPoint) automatically verify any coding constraints which are application-dependent, such as forbidden recursions. The final step installs the code. For this, a family of configurable code generators (installers) has been developed for all common microprocessor platforms (Intel x86 and MIPS). For embedded applications, special language features and safety critical requirements are being incorporated into the producer and installer.


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