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Software Development Cycle

The software development cycle is roughly the same with µVision as it is with any other development tool:

  1. Create a new project, select the target chip from the Device Database, and configure the tool settings.
  2. Create source files and write the code in C, C++, or Assembly.
  3. Build the application with the project manager.
  4. Correct the errors.
  5. Test the application.

The block diagram below illustrates the build process and the involved components.

Development Cycle

µVision Integrated Development Environment (IDE)

The µVision IDE is a window-based software development platform combining a robust editor, project manager, and make facility. µVision supports the MDK-ARM tools including C/C++ compiler, macro assembler, linker, library manager, and object-HEX converter. Use µVision to create source files and organize them into a project that defines the target application. µVision compiles, assembles, and links the application automatically and provides a single focal point for your development efforts.

C/C++ Compiler and Macro Assembler

Source files are created with the µVision IDE are passed to the C/C++ compiler or macro assembler. The compiler and assembler process the source files and create relocatable object files.

Library Manager

The library manager allows creating a library from the object files created by the compiler and assembler. Libraries have a special format and are ordered collections of object modules. Libraries can be used by the linker at a later time. When the linker processes a library, it links only those object modules that are necessary to create the program.


The linker/locator creates an absolute ELF/DWARF file using the object modules extracted from libraries and those created by the compiler and assembler. An absolute object file or module contains no relocatable code or data. All code and data reside at fixed memory locations. The absolute ELF/DWARF file can be used:

  • To program a Flash ROM or other memory devices.
  • With the µVision Debugger for target debugging and simulation.
  • With an in-circuit emulator for program testing.

µVision Debugger

The µVision Debugger is ideally suited for fast, reliable program debugging. The debugger includes a high-speed Simulator capable of simulating external hardware and most on-chip peripherals. The chip attributes are set automatically when selecting the device from the Device Database.

The µVision Debugger provides several ways to test programs:

  • Connected to a Keil ULINK USB-JTAG adapter, which allows downloading the program to Flash and debugging the program on ARM-powered devices.
  • Connected to the AGDI interface, which allows connecting to and using the µVision Debugger on target systems.
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