What is debugging and how do you do it on-chip?

At Kanda we know how much effort people put into their projects. We also understand how disappointing it is to find bugs causing issues. Luckily, we can arm people with the perfect products for development, programming, and debugging. We have some market leading options, including Atmel ICE. You can buy from us safe in the knowledge we will give you quality items for the best prices.


When you create code for any kind of product, you want to believe that it is all correct. However, there can easily be issues lurking, especially when there are so many lines. Even a tiny error could result in big problems. So, you need to look for bugs. This is known as debugging.

The process here is relatively straightforward. What you do is start the program and see if an issue occurs. If it does you must isolate the code as close to the problem as possible. You can put a breakpoint where you expect that to be. Then you need to go through the code and look for issues, fixing any you find.

There is a very important thing to keep in mind here though; fixing a bug can cause others to occur. This is particularly likely in situations where modules and subsystems are very tightly coupled. Any change here in one module or subsystem can cause errors in others.

On-chip debugging

When you have embedded applications where the program code is on a chip, you need to adapt the debugging slightly. What you do here is use a programmer like Atmel ICE to run the program on the chip. This will let you provide a JTAG interface for some chips or grant you access to the Debug Wire protocol.

You need three things for on-chip debugging. First you need a way to interface with the chip. As we said above, the best thing here is to choose a suitable programmer.

Next you need a program to control the debugging mode on the chip. There are lots of options here, with software to support a huge range of chips. You just need to make sure the one you choose works for your product and can give you the commands/config files.

Finally you need a program to compile the debugging details. In some cases this is incredibly easy and only requires the addition of a compiler flag.

From here it should be easy to run everything, set a breakpoint, and find where the bugs could be in the code. You can then make changes.

Speak to us if you want to use the Atmel ICE

At Kanda we supply some of the very best programmers in the world. This includes market leading models that can work with thousands of chips and boards. The ICE is noteworthy because it is cost effective and can handle programming and on-chip debugging. It supports a huge array of products and works with various interfaces.

So, if you want a reliable product that offers lots of solutions, choose Atmel ICE. You can learn more about it on our website or contact us for details. Then, it is easy to order if you want to purchase.

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