Trace-based debug from Undo Software supports 64-bit ARM Devices

Trace-based debug from Undo Software supports 64-bit ARM Devices

Feature articles |
Undo's Live Recorder "software-implemented trace" debugging technology helps simplify porting code from alternative hardware architectures; Undo Software and ARM have extended their partnership to help the growing number of companies looking to move their software to the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture.
By eeNews Europe


Undo’s portfolio of advanced Linux and Android reversible debugging tools will support 64-bit ARM processors, enabling companies to simplify the process of porting code from alternative hardware architectures and legacy software environments to the world’s most ubiquitous CPU architecture.

Debugging is, Undo says, the number one challenge when moving existing code to new architectures. It is easy to miss subtle differences in a new architecture’s requirements and for software to be exposed to these in only relatively rare corner cases. Porting software can also uncover previously unseen bugs that may not be revealed until code is shipped to customers. Developers have to spend a significant amount of time and money trying to fix these problems, and solutions are not always guaranteed.

Undo’s Live Recorder addresses the process of porting code across hardware architectures. It enables Linux and Android programs to make a detailed recording of themselves while they are running, and contains everything needed for a developer to debug an exact copy of the bug as it occurred in production. The recording includes everything a program has done, including every memory access made and every instruction executed, but does this in a highly compressed and efficient way. The resulting recording file can then be sent back from the customer to the developer, where it is run through UndoDB, Undo’s reversible debugger for Linux and Android. UndoDB can be used in conjunction with GDB, ARM DS-5 or Lauterbach’s TRACE32. It enables developers to run and step their programs backwards, as well as forwards in time, allowing them to fix bugs much more quickly. Recordings made by Live Recorder can be loaded into UndoDB for off-line debugging of in-production failures.

Developers no longer need to write test cases that attempt to reproduce the error, or make time-consuming and expensive site visits, as they have all the information they need to fix the failure from their current location. Companies can now respond to software problems immediately and improve the quality of their code post deployment, accelerating time to market while maintaining confidence in their products and enhancing the customer relationship. Live Recorder can be used to diagnose in-production failures and to facilitate the bring-up and beta-testing phases of development, further reducing the time it takes to bring a product to market.

Live Recorder delivers particular benefits to companies in the telecoms, Internet of Things, enterprise server, High Performance Computing (HPC), mobile, and automotive industries. Businesses in these sectors are the most advanced in porting existing software to the 64-bit ARM architecture, and have made the largest investments in the new platform. The ARMv8-A architecture (which includes the 64-bit AArch64 execution state) powers the newest ARM Cortex processors. The ARMv8-A architecture delivers power-efficient scalable performance while maintaining compatibility with existing 32-bit software. Undo’s Live Recorder and UndoDB already support ARM 32-bit architectures, including the ARMv5, ARMv6 and ARMv7 processor families.

64-bit ARM versions of Live Recorder and UndoDB are being shipped to select customers now and will be generally available from Q1 2016.

Undo Software;

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