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Free Toolsuite Brings Ada To ARM


AdaCore has released a freely downloadable version of its GNAT GPL Ada cross-development environment for Bare Board ARM Cortex processors.

GNAT GPL for Bare Board ARM Cortex processors provides an Ada 2012 development environment, including a tool-chain and GPS, AdaCore’s flagship Integrated Development Environment (IDE).

It also includes a configurable and customizable runtime library consisting of the “Small Footprint” (SFP) and Ravenscar profiles — and these (says Adacore) are “particularly relevant” to safety-critical systems.

The SFP profile corresponds to a language subset with minimal GNAT runtime routines, and the Ravenscar profile is a subset of the Ada concurrency features with a “predictable” small-footprint implementation.

AdaCore Bare Board product manager Dr. Pat Rogers says that the resulting Ada subset has “expressive power well beyond” that of other languages used for ARM-based devices.

“There are now billions of ARM processors in embedded systems, which has created a global ecosystem with many developers looking to take advantage of Ada’s strengths,” said Rogers. “By making an Ada cross-development environment freely available to the academic and hobbyist communities, we are responding to this demand and see great potential for significantly increasing the overall usage of the Ada language. With powerful ARM-based boards currently available for under $20, this new GNAT GPL release becomes a cost-effective development environment for everyone.”

Fully featured releases of the GNAT technology are already available for GNU Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

“Tools which enable the combination of high-integrity, real-time systems with concrete, real-world hardware will open doors to dependable, physical systems for many more students,” says Dr. rer. nat. Uwe R. Zimmer, Fellow at the Australian National University.


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