Being the Target

We don’t talk about our competitors much, if at all, because we believe any potential users can make the best decisions by us providing fully functional demo and they can see how well our tools fit their needs. Our dinosaur logo was something we did on a whim back in 1994. It’s whimisical and it drives right to the heart of our initial rationale for starting the company: we can make a living selling inexpensive compilers. Over the years, our products get more full features so it’s really about “Professional tools that don’t break your bank.”

Back to competitors. We must be doing something right, as we seem to be the targets of every company in competition with us. There is a well known 3-letter company who provided customers with benchmark data comparing their 5 year old compiler release with our then not yet released beta MSP430 compiler (have they no shame?). The guy who makes the cheap AVR compiler from Eastern Europe loves to use us in their release notes and forum postings, and how about that Aussie company who says their PRO M8C compiler is so much better than ours? It’s like we have a bull’s eye as our logo. Why mention all these now? Well, wouldn’t you know it, a seller of GCC ARM compiler with their own IDE now beating us on a 10 lines code fragment saying, see, GCC is really quite good.

Well OK, may be we can improve code generation in this case and that case, but I have expected better behavior from the last author. I have been in communication with him over the years, and I thought that he was a nice chap. While I don’t expect him not to publish whatever he likes, it would have been cordial to bring the matter to me? Oh well…

BTW, all these competitors neglect to mention that in terms of price performance, they can’t touch us. Also, we don’t exactly stand still as we improve our products all the time. Our customers use our $249 compilers to make commercial products everyday. Raw performance isn’t the only thing, usability, support, price performance all go into the equations.

BTW, eMOS has gone into beta testing. A full preemptive robust RTOS that doesn’t break your bank. Hmmm… wonder where I got the idea from? 🙂

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One Response to Being the Target

  1. Patrick F-J says:

    Hi, just reading your blog.

    I came from an embedded background so did try out a couple of C compilers, most of which you talked about here. (I’m no expert)

    Three letter one, was just so difficult to setup, tech support was useless and it was very expensive.

    The Eastern Europe one was ok, lots of embedded library functions , which might seem great at first but it makes your C code dependent on that C compiler. Also it needed to link with some Atmel files that you had to install separately. The one that really caught me out was a coding error (my fault), the compiler did not pick up the fact I had used a uppercase in a variable declaration, and lowercase within the program, it compiled OK, but would not run.

    With the imagecraft stuff, I just got it up and running instantly, had some LEDs running back and forth within half an hour on a development board. The Tech support is fantastic, does Richard ever sleep?? They have given me addition license files, when machines have crashed, moved over to macs, needed a laptop for going out to site etc.. They have even helped with writing / debugging some functions for me.

    I now write software used by most of the UK county councils, and big utility companies.

    In short I pay my mortgage every month and put food on my sons plate using ICCAVR because it and the support you get first class.


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