Why ImageCraft’s JumpStart C++?

JumpStart C++ addresses one of the conundrums with ImageCraft’s older (“V8”) JumpStart C for Cortex-M compiler. Namely, how do we ensure that we can build all the third-party and open source stacks, as well as be able to showcase examples both from silicon vendors and those found on the web? With this new release, ImageCraft has solved the problem by adopting GCC as the underlying compiler technology.


While GCC is open source and a user can download other open and closed source IDE that works it, from our users’ point of view ImageCraft’s core competencies have not changed:


1.    Support: ImageCraft has been in business supporting embedded development since 1994. Our customer base ranges from consulting engineers, to Fortune 500 companies, and to professors teaching classes at institutes of higher education. ImageCraft understands the importance of products that work “out of the box”; and when customers have an issue or questions, timely support is of utmost importance. These do not change, regardless of the compiler choice.

2.    Professional features: the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) has all the features you would expect: a code-aware editor, code browsing, workspace and project management with multiple-target support, plus compiler and debugging integration.

In addition, unlike IDEs written in Java or other slower languages, CodeBlocks is quick to start, as it is written natively in GCC itself.

3.    Ease of use: we have fine-tuned and continue to enhance the CodeBlocks IDE to offer user-friendly features, such as generating the compiler/linker commands automatically by allowing a user to select the target device by name.

In addition, ImageCraft’s JumpStart API (JSAPI) makes it easy to program the MCU’s peripherals at a functional level, rather than the tedium of manipulating the MCU’s I/O register level.


4.    World-class debugging: integrated with the IDE, our from-the-ground-up visual debugger JDB works with industry standard backends and debug pods. Features such as I/O register view, instruction trace etc. are highly valuable in difficult debugging situations.

5.    Sensible licensing policy and pricing: commercial embedded tools tend to be expensive. Indeed, ImageCraft pioneered the concept of “low cost professional embedded tools” back in 1994, with a professional high-quality $100 HC11 compiler. Unlike companies which still charge $7000+ for the initial license and $1000+ for annual support maintenance, our prices have remained significantly less than that. See our website https://imagecraft.com for details.

6.    NO Single Vendor Lock-in: it is common for a silicon vendor provide their own IDE or GUI tools, targeting (of course) only their own MCU offerings. Nowadays it is also common for a silicon vendor to buy a third-party compiler vendor company, and then release the vendor’s previous commercial IDE tool “for free”, again, for the vendor’s own products.

This may sound appealing to end users, except that any support which that compiler originally provided for other silicon vendors’ products would most likely disappear in future releases.