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This is the SPIRIT Sub-group

Lead: Aaron Spear (Mentor Graphics)


This sub-group is trying to accomplish some sort of standardization of "target descriptions". It seems that the current state of the art is that every different vendor does the same thing when they want to debug a new target board: they assign some poor soul to do the grunt work of reading a data book from a vendor and writing some kind of proprietary file that contains this info. Due to the sheer magnitude of the information, this is a terribly error prone process and a waste of everyones time and effort. "Wouldn't it be nice if there were a standard and the board vendors gave you the files?" We all asked. So, that is why we are doing this.

Current Status

  • 6/2/06: Still in a specification stage, trying to gather and understand requirements more clearly before proceding. No work on implementation has been done yet.
  • 6/2/06: Per Anthony Berant from ARM, the SPIRIT steering committee has officially added "SPIRIT for debugging" to their agenda. This is a great step forward, because it means that the SPIRIT folks are open to adding debugger specific information to the standard.

What the heck is SPIRIT?

SPIRIT stands for "Structure for Packaging, Integrating and Re-using IP within Tool-flows". It is an industry consortium/standards group that is driven by the EDA world (Electronic Design Automation), and they maintain a standard description of how IP blocks are connected together in a system on chip. There is a lot of information contained in SPIRIT files that is useful to debuggers


Current topics

How in the world do you want to use target info?

I think that it is key that we more clearly iron out various use cases for target description info regardless of the underlying format. Of particular importance is how we think that different debuggers

On the mailing list we are discussing the pro's and cons of a couple of issues:

  • What are the use cases for target descriptions? Where do we use them in a debugger?