I have to use a TMS470 C/C++ compiler (TMS470 == ARM). The toolset wasn't my choice. The more I use it, the more nonsense I discover and more doubts I have. Also, in theory there is TI DSP BIOS for ARM, but zero documentation. I suspect those tools are kinda unloved by TI, and I am the only one who had ever tried them, and the earlier I switch to something different, the better. Is that really so?
Vladimir Vassilevsky DSP and Mixed Signal Design Consultant
Welcome to the club :-) (or the jungle?) If you just started with TI, you should be prepared to face in any field that they are involved industry-standard things (ARM, Linux, etc.) but done in unique "TI way". There is a lot of non-sense on many layers, which even TI field support in many cases fail to explain. But that's the reality, and their prices are good for most products (nonsense included).
I think that DSP/BIOS for ARM doesn't exist (at least I never heard about it existing for anything besides C3000/5000/6000 family). TI likes to focus on its core business and they see development of toolchains (like DSP C compiler) and OS (DSP/BIOS) as necessary evil. They introduced ARM-based DSPs for one of the main reasons the sake of taking advantage of Linux, GCC and other industry-standard tools and gradually phase out sales and support for own "side" software. However here the right hand doesn't know what the left hand does: in the mean time they have to support all the parts and provide interoperation between them; TI guys that do the work do it in their own way, and now we have what we have :-(
Just a month or so ago TI and CodeSourcery announced that CS would port GCC to C6000 to replace TI's toolset. A good beginning but there are yet "miles to go before" we get it, and if it will not be abandoned in the middle.
Sorry for long passage just to say at the end that we've got what we've got. There's a lot of "nonsense" in TI's infrastructure, but as long as there prices are good it's "take it or leave it" situation. If you absolutely can't get along with their tools then you may try some open-source support for their platform (my experience tells that in at least 95% of cases it will either not work at all or not do what is written on TI's product box) or switch to another vendor (not easy because TI's prices are tempting).
If you switch to something different and stick to TMS470 you will lose TI support.
The one is only reason is that if you later complain to TI or Spectrum Digital that something doesn't work and tell them you're not using the "authentic" tools they will tell you "we have no idea what you're talking about".
It won't work with TI. They are too big to care about any particular customer lost and they never claim that they do things in any way "sensible" to third-party judgement. OTOH their prices are usually too tempting to throw away their offer just because you can't fight stupid tools.
At the last MSP430 "event" I went to, the TI FAE openly discouraged anybody from using CC for the '430. The freebie demo kits they gave out contained an IAR demo toolchain. I did use CC for a TI DSP once, and though it basically worked, it wasn't nice.
Grant Edwards grant.b.edwards Yow! World War Three can
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