AdaCore brings the safety of Ada to ARM processors

February 28, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
At the Embedded World trade fair in Nuremberg, AdaCore announced the availability of its GNAT Pro Safety-Critical software development environment product for ARM Cortex microcontrollers. The product provides an Ada development environment, oriented towards systems that are safety-critical or have stringent memory constraints. Developers of such systems can now exploit the software engineering benefits of the Ada language, including reliability, maintainability, and portability.

ARM processors are becoming more and more prevalent in the aerospace, defense, and transportation industries. This is due in large part to the vibrant support ecosystem that ARM enjoys, and to the growing popularity of these low-cost, low-power microprocessors.

The ARM platform adds to the GNAT Pro Safety-Critical product offering, which is already available for PowerPC and LEON boards, allowing portability among all three platforms. The technology does not require any underlying operating system, so it can be deployed on very small memory boards. The tool suite includes the following:

  1. Support for Ada 2012 (including the important “contract-based programming” features that make it easier to reflect the program's intent) and all earlier versions of the Ada language;
  2. Support for the Ravenscar tasking profile;
  3. A set of static analysis tools;
  4. GNATstack stack analysis tool;
  5. GNATmetrics complexity metrics tool;
  6. GNATcheck coding standard verification tool;
  7. The GNATtest unit test harness generator;
  8. The GDB visual debugger.
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  • A native Integrated Development Environment (IDE) as well as an Eclipse plug-in

GNAT Pro Safety-Critical for bareboard ARM supplies a configurable / customizable run-time library and implements high-integrity profiles that are especially relevant to safety-critical systems. The Zero Footprint Profile (ZFP) in particular defines an Ada subset that does not require any run-time routines, thus reducing the memory footprint to user code only.

The development environment supports functional safety standards such as DO-187B, and facilitates the development of systems that are subject to automotive safety standard ISO 26262.

For more information visit www.adacore.com