Enablement of a complete ecosystem for embedded processor cores and IP.

Ashling’s Tools-as-a-Service offering ensures every customer’s integrated toolsets are tailored to their specific requirements, supporting their specific configurations and extensions.

Ashling offers a unique tool model within the embedded industry called Tools-as-a-Service (TaaS). It is a model providing a toolset that is dedicated to each customer’s specific requirements for embedded processor and includes tools from compiler through to hardware debug and trace.

WHY TaaS?
Chip vendors, ASIC solution providers and other companies in the market offering devices, MCUs or SoC solutions, they all need to have their own software tool suite that is not only customized but mostly optimized to take advantage of their own devices. Differentiating features of each device can only be made possible if the tools solution has been fine-tuned to make use of these features.

Off-the-shelf and ready-to-use tools can be good enough if the device relies on common generic core. But when the case is different, then customization will be needed and required. Ashling has been offering this service for over a decade mostly to large companies, now we are offering it to the global market. With the advancement of competitive ISA’s such as ARC, MIPS and RISC-V, the need for custom tools is now much stronger.

Ashling’s skills and expertise in providing fast, quick and dynamic custom tools solution is unmatched in the embedded tools market. While off-the-shelf tool vendors are only focused on selling quantities of generic units, Ashling TaaS model is focused on the quality and services offered to its customers without the burden of unit count. Ashling TaaS model does not require any minimum quantities sold, customers can even chose to offer their custom tools for free to their end users.

THE RISC-V EXAMPLE
RISC-V is an up and coming open source ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) for everyone to use, it offers the unique capabilities for anyone to add their own instruction sets to the main core (not possible with other ISA cores). This can only succeed if the tools solution is able to take advantage of these extra instructions, both on the compiler and the debugger side. Ashling is filling that gap in the market by offering Tools as a Service in these situations where a custom tools need to be developed, supported, maintained and regularly updated.

BENEFITS
Through the TaaS model our customers have unlimited use of the software development tools within their own organisation as well as to their own end users. In most cases the customer will be able to own the IP of the toolset which gives them full control and longevity of their toolset.

Add to that the flexibility of being able to make changes and updates on demand driven by the customers’ own end users’ needs.

CASE STORIES

Synopsys
After looking for a tool vendor that can offer the right tools offering for its ARC users, Synopsys found out that off-the-shelf-tool vendors lack the skills, expertise and ability to provide a dynamic response to a fast moving and changing need. That’s when Synopsys selected Ashling TaaS model and Ashling became its preferred tools partner. Ashling and Synopsys have now in place a multi-year TaaS model for hardware and software tools development including extension, maintenance and verification of Synopsys’ MetaWare IDE and debugger tools for ARC processors.

One of Ashling’s key differentiators is integration of a real-time trace hardware probe which is key for code developers whose applications need high capability non-intrusive debugging or have real time constraints.

“Synopsys’ collaboration with Ashling on the development of their Ultra-XD real-time trace probe provides developers with integrated tools to accelerate the development and debugging of software for ARC-based embedded systems.” John Koeter, Vice President of Marketing for IP and prototyping at Synopsys.

In our partnership with Synopsys, we are leveraging our focused engineering expertise and our 35+ years of know-how in embedded design to develop a unique solution. Ashling is thrilled to be working on this challenge in collaboration with Synopsys, to create a complete deployable solution.

“SoCs targeting embedded applications must meet increasingly stringent cost and power budgets. By adding support for the IEEE’s Compact JTAG standard in their Opella-XD Debug Probe for ARC processor cores, Ashling enables designers to use fewer pins to debug their SoCs containing ARC microprocessors, saving both power and cost.” Mike Thompson, senior marketing manager for ARC products at Synopsys.

This relationship has flourished over the years and now the ARC processor market has not only one of the best tools offerings but also best-in-class support, maintenance, upgrades, updates that all ARC end users enjoy. Ashling TaaS has made the Synopsys ARC offering much more competitive in the embedded market and contributed to its success.

NXP Security
NXP is one of the big names in secure devices and Smart ICs. While scouting the market for a good reliable tools partner, NXP realized that it did not need to go far. As a certified and approved NXP design vendor, Ashling was the natural choice of tool supplier for NXP Secure devices. Ashling and NXP have in place a multi-year TaaS model for the development, supply and support of a hardware and software debug solution for NXP secure controller devices dedicated to the smart card, identification, and secure transaction markets.

“Ashling, with their extensive experience in embedded software and hardware development, enable NXP customers to rapidly get from design concept to end market with an optimized usage of the resources and technology we are integrating in our smart card and secure element products.” Gérard Maniez, Director, 3rd Party Technical Support Network at NXP.

As part of its TaaS agreement Ashling has opened up its solutions to work well with other tools in the market, in one such case integrating ARM/Keil tools offering with the Ashling offering to the NXP SmartICE market

“The Ashling SmartICE extends Keil PK51 to a complete solution for target debugging on the SmartMX hardware. SmartICE is fully integrated into the µVision Debugger and gives PK51 users powerful capabilities for program test and verification.” Reinhard Keil, Director of MCU Tools at ARM.

Ashling’s skills and expertise in providing fast, quick and dynamic custom tools solution to NXP Secure devices is unmatched in the embedded tools market. Ashling tools relationship with NXP is getting stronger each year and we will have more news to announce in the near future.