Competing with "Free" Software

Tough Survivors

As I said in the last blog entry, independent embedded C/C++ compiler companies are becoming rare birds. Of the independent companies that support multiple platforms, besides us ImageCraft, there are Green Hills (US), IAR (SE), Cosmic (FR), Rowley (UK), and… um, I think that’s it. Since being bought up, Hiware/Metrowerks primarily target Freescale chips; Hi-Tech clearly will concentrate only on Microchip’s PIC; Keil, despite being an “ARM company,” still sell tools for the 8051, C166 etc. probably because the money is good, but who knows how long that will last?… Most  if not all compiler companies were started by compiler gearheads (who else would be crazy enough to start a compiler company?) a while ago. In fact Cosmic and ImageCraft are tangentially related through our lineage with Whitsemiths. With the different product pricing and the vast number of embedded devices, most of us in fact do not compete directly with each other per se. However, there is …

The GCC Equation 

(dun dun duuuuunnnn…..)

Different embedded compiler companies “die” for different reasons, most likely financially related, and in 2009, the GCC equation must be a factor directly or indirectly. (Click on …more… to continue)


The Dinkumware Library

I have been fortunate to have worked with (or at least in the same room with :-) ) some really smart people over the years: people that worked at the Space Shuttle compilers, people that designed the ground breaking 200Mhz DEC Alpha system, the HP PA-RISC team etc., but the one that left the most impression on me is P.J. Plauger. He found Whitesmiths in the mid-70s after working with the early Unix/C people at Bell Lab. Whitesmiths produced one of the earliest C compiler outside of the Bell Lab and he wrote Idris, a Unix V6 compatible OS from scratch. He writes books and columns, served as editor for a couple magazines. He works tirelessly at various C, C++, Posix Standard committees, making considerable contributions especially in the area of the libraries. In the 1990s, he started Dinkumware, specializing in C and C++ Libraries.

His Dinkumware libraries are licensed by companies such as MIcrosoft, IBM and Green Hills. So it is with great pleasure for me to announce that we will be porting the Dinkumware Library to the ImageCraft platforms, starting with our best selling Atmel AVR ICCV7 for AVR products. The library set will be sold as an add-on package with significant discount when you order it bundled with our PRO compilers.

Our customers would have access to all the Standard C functions – including math, time, stdio with all the formatting, plus many others – complete and Stanard conforming, fast, and market proven. As a bonus, Dinkumware has a set of fixed point math libraries that is a fast alternative to floating point. Besides providing them as part of this library offering, we will investigate the possibility of adding native support in our compilers.

// richard