Nexus 5001 Forum™ Introduces New Member Companies and Provides Details of the Updated Nexus 5001 Embedded-Debug Interface Standard

Visteon and dSPACE join as New Members; Member Companies developing New Nexus-Conforming Microprocessors

Embedded Systems Conference, San Francisco, 23, April 2003 – The Nexus 5001™ Forum announced today a major step toward establishing a de facto global standard for Embedded Debugging with the introduction of the two newest members to the Forum, dSPACE and Visteon Technologies. The Forum also announced details of the updated IEEE-ISTO Nexus 5001 Standard. The revised Nexus Standard is in the final states of review and is scheduled for a vote by the Nexus Forum by the end of April. Ratification of the new standard will enable member companies, as well as the industry as a whole, to work with an enhanced version that will provide new Data and Instruction trace capabilities and a recommended connector.

The recent inclusion of dSPACE and Visteon Technologies brings the Nexus Forum membership to 18 companies. These two companies have specifically joined the Nexus consortium to provide their customers with the flexibility and a common interface that the Standard provides.

dSPACE comes to the Nexus Forum with a strong knowledge base in rapid-prototyping tools specialized for the rugged environment found in automotive applications. Visteon provides the Nexus Forum with a wealth of system knowledge in automotive electronics as an end user of the tools that Nexus is defining.

“dSPACE is very pleased to be a new member of the Nexus 5001 Forum. The Nexus standard addresses many of the challenges we face as processor bus speeds increase and conventional external memory interfaces become less practical or even impossible in some applications. We plan to take full advantage of the new provisions in the updated Nexus standard in our upcoming product offerings,” said Kevin Kott, President of dSPACE’s North American Headquarters. The dSPACE product line includes systems for Rapid Controller Prototyping, Rapid Algorithm Development, Production Code Generation, Hardware-In-The-Loop Simulation and Calibration.

“We’re very pleased to welcome dSPACE and Visteon to the Nexus 5001 Forum,” said Peter Lefkin, COO of the IEEE-ISTO, which manages the Forum. “The addition of these quality organizations broadens the scope of knowledge for the Forum. We also fully support the updated release to the Nexus Standard as an enhancement to an already successful initiative.”

The Forum is committed to providing the microprocessor industry with the fist standardized method of connecting development tools to Nexus compliant microprocessors, DSPs and MCUs spanning multiple architectures. The method of transferring information between the processor and the development tool has been standardized to include the formatting of the data into compressed packets. The specification includes the common development interface functions on the processors, such as breakpoint and watchpoint registers.

“The Nexus 5001 Forum’s Technical Committee has been dedicated to providing more details to the existing standard, such as support for increased clock speeds and multi-processor devices. The updated Nexus 5001 standard improves data and instruction trace capabilities, enables a time stamping option for all messages and specifies connectors for the interface. The purpose of this revision is to include some of the new ideas and concepts that have been brought into the Nexus Forum by the members since the original version was published in 1999,” said Ron Stence, Sr. Strategic Marketing and Systems Engineer, Motorola 32-Bit Embedded Controller Division and Vice Chairperson of the Nexus Forum.

At a press conference today at the Embedded Systems Conference, the Nexus 5001 Forum also drew attention to the recent announcements of new embedded microprocessors from Motorola and ST, as well as myriad development tools that incorporate Nexus debug interfaces.

“Circulation of the new Nexus standard results from the successful use of this open debug standard by embedded-system developers, microprocessor vendors and debug-tool suppliers. With the increasing number of Nexus-conforming microprocessors now announced or available from several vendors, the Nexus Forum has further developed the range and usefulness of the standard,” said Micahel Healy, CEO of Ashling Microsystems, Inc., and Chairperson of the Nexus Forum for 2002/2003.

In addition, the Forum’s members outlined the wide array of Nexus debug tools from several worldwide suppliers, and their plans to further develop the global, open standard for embedded debugging. At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco, Ashling Microsystems (an active member of the Forum) announced the introduction of an Emulator, Trace system and Source Debugger for Motorola’s new MPC533 and MPC535 microprocessors for industrial-control applications, both of which feature Nexus debug and trace ports.

“Motorola has launched Nexus based debug ports on multiple architectures, including the PowerPC MPC500 Family of embedded controllers. The MPC565, which was the first device to meet the Class 3 level of the IEEE-ISTO Nexus 5001 specification has been very successful in the automotive market due to the features of the device including the advanced capabilities provided with real time instruction and data tracing development tool support,” said Franz Fink, vice president and general manager of Motorola’s 32-bit Embedded Controller Division. “The highly integrated MPC5500 Family is the next generation of devices from Motorola to meet the enhanced 2003 Nexus standard. The MPC5500 devices will offer system performance of up to five times higher than its predecessors, even more embedded Flash memory, enhanced timing mechanisms and a superior peripheral set. The H/W and S/W development interface on the MPC5500 Family is significantly enhanced by the multi-client development tool capabilities that allow for the four autonomous data processing modules to provide real time development information over a single industry standard Nexus Class 3 port.”

Also at the Embedded Systems Conferece, STMicroelectronics announced the availability of a portfolio of Nexus cells for its Super10 microcontroller for computer peripherals, automotive and consumer applications. Super10 Nexus emulation systems are available from Nohau, Lauterbach and iSystem. The Super10 trace port operates asynchronous from the CPU clock and enables program and data trace up to CPU frequencies of 300 MHz.

“Of the many automotive ECU interfaces supplied by ETAS Inc., the Nexus 5001 interface is the most versatile. Nexus 5001 allows multiple tools to access the controller at the same time via the same interface. This versatility has significant value for many of our customers,” said Martin Elbs, Director Strategic Marketing, American Operations, ETAS Inc., a Nexus Forum member.

“The IEEE-ISTO 5001 Nexus Standard attempts to minimize the amount of silicon and pins needed to bring out useful debug information at high speed in today’s highly integrated chips,” said Olle Hallengren, President of Nohau Corporation. “Nohau is pleased to offer tools that take advantage of the Nexus Standard.”

About the Nexus 5001 Forum

The Nexus 5001 Forum membership spans the semiconductor, development tools and automotive electronics industries. Although the Forum initially focused on the stringent requirements of microprocessor debug tools for automotive powertrain applications, its overall goal is to enable the continued development of state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, high-performance microcontrollers.

Other Forum members include Alphamosaic, Ashling Microsystems Ltd., Delphi, dSPACE, ETAS, Hitex, IAR Systems, Infineon Technologies, iSystem GmbH, Lauterbach, Motorola, National Semiconductor, Nohau, Renesas Technology, STMicroelectronics, Visteon Technologies, and Wind River Systems.

The Nexus 5001 Forum is a program of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO), which provides administrative and management support to industry consortia and other standards development forums. To download the IEEE-ISTO 5001™-1999 specification via the Nexus 5001 Forum Web site, go to: http://www.nexus5001.org.

Media Contact

Steve Curran
Program Manager
Nexus 5001 Forum
c/o IEEE-ISTO
+1 732 465 5857
+1 908 922 7686
stephan.curran@ieee-isto.org

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