Undo’s Live Recorder “software-implemented trace” debugging technology helps simplify porting code from alternative hardware architectures
ARM TechCon, Santa Clara, USA, 4 November 2015 – Undo Software and ARM today extended their partnership to help the growing number of companies looking to move their software to the 64-bit ARM®v8-A architecture. Undo’s full portfolio of advanced Linux and Android reversible debugging tools will support 64-bit ARM processors, enabling companies to simplify the process of porting code from alternative hardware architectures and legacy software environments to the world’s most ubiquitous CPU architecture.
Debugging is the number one challenge when moving existing code to new architectures. It is easy to miss subtle differences in a new architecture’s requirements and for software to be exposed to these in only relatively rare corner cases. Porting software can also uncover previously unseen bugs that may not be revealed until code is shipped to customers. Developers have to spend a significant amount of time and money trying to fix these problems, and solutions are not always guaranteed, creating friction with customers, which can damage or even ruin business relations.
Undo’s award-winning product, Live Recorder, revolutionises the process of porting code across hardware architectures. It enables Linux and Android programs to make a detailed recording of themselves while they are running, and contains everything needed for a developer to debug an exact copy of the bug as it occurred in production. The recording includes everything a program has done, including every memory access made and every instruction executed, but does this in a highly compressed and efficient way. The resulting recording file can then be sent back from the customer to the developer, where it is run through UndoDB, Undo’s reversible debugger for Linux and Android. UndoDB can be used in conjunction with GDB, ARM DS-5 or Lauterbach’s TRACE32. It enables developers to run and step their programs backwards, as well as forwards in time, allowing them to fix bugs much more quickly. Recordings made by Live Recorder can be loaded into UndoDB for off-line debugging of in-production failures.
The benefits of Live Recorder are huge. Developers no longer need to write test cases that attempt to reproduce the error, or make time-consuming and expensive visits to the customer site, as they have all the information they need to fix the failure from their current location. Companies can now respond to software problems immediately and improve the quality of their code post deployment, accelerating time to market while maintaining confidence in their products and enhancing the customer relationship. Live Recorder can be used to diagnose in-production failures and to facilitate the bring-up and beta-testing phases of development, further reducing the time it takes to bring a product to market.
“Porting code across architecture is hard and debugging is the key challenge that businesses face,” said Greg Law, CEO and co-founder, Undo Software. “Software vendors need to derisk the process, reducing the potential impact of bugs finding their way into customer production code. Thanks to our partnership with ARM, developers are now able to move code more easily to the ARMv8-A architecture, paving the way for even more high quality software to be available within the ecosystem.”
Live Recorder delivers particular benefits to companies in the telecoms, Internet of Things, enterprise server, High Performance Computing (HPC), mobile, and automotive industries. Businesses in these sectors are the most advanced in porting existing software to the 64-bit ARM architecture, and have made the largest investments in the new platform.
The ARMv8-A architecture (which includes the 64-bit AArch64 execution state) powers the newest ARM Cortex® processors. The ARMv8-A architecture delivers power-efficient scalable performance while maintaining compatibility with existing 32-bit software. Undo’s Live Recorder and UndoDB already support ARM 32-bit architectures, including the ARMv5, ARMv6 and ARMv7™ processor families.
“The strength of ARM’s ecosystem comes from the broad software portfolio developed by our partners,” said Javier Orensanz, director of marketing, development solutions group, ARM. “Developing software that harnesses the full capabilities of the 64-bit instruction set requires comprehensive tools, test platforms and key open source components. Our collaboration with Undo will help companies accelerate the transition to ARMv8-A products, further increasing the diversity of available products for consumers.”
64-bit ARM versions of Live Recorder and UndoDB are being shipped to select customers now and will be generally available from Q1 2016.
Undo Software is a privately held company headquartered in Cambridge. It is a Gartner ‘Cool Vendor in Application Development’ and is the winner of Cambridge Wireless ‘Discovering Start-Ups 2015’ competition and Business Weekly’s ‘Disruptive Technology’ award. For more information, see http://undo-software.com