Browse Prior Art Database

Method and Apparatus for Blocking a Task

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000009588D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Sep-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Sep-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 33K

Publishing Venue

Motorola

Related People

Donald L. Tietjen: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Users need the capability to debug their code/system in real time. The ability to stop one or more threads of a multi-threaded program is becoming even more important as embedded systems are gaining popularity. If a system contains a simple debug trigger module and a machine which sequentially runs unrelated real-time tasks, a mechanism to debug one task without starving other tasks is required, especially if one of the others tasks is used to drive the debug monitor via a serial port, for example. This invention contains some programmable registers that allow individual tasks to be halted without freezing the entire system. At this point, the user may debug his task step-by-step or in a variety of other ways, depending on his debug software environment. The invention is relevant to systems with distinct tasks and some debug capability.

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Method and Apparatus for Blocking a Task

Donald L. Tietjen

Kristen L. Mason

Abstract

Users need the capability to debug their code/system in real time.� The ability to stop one or more threads of a multi-threaded program is becoming even more important as embedded systems are gaining popularity.� If a system contains a simple debug trigger module and a machine which sequentially runs unrelated real-time tasks, a mechanism to debug one task without starving other tasks is required, especially if one of the others tasks is used to drive the debug monitor via a serial port, for example.� This invention contains some programmable registers that allow individual tasks to be halted without freezing the entire system.� At this point, the user may debug his task step-by-step or in a variety of other ways, depending on his debug software environment.� The invention is relevant to systems with distinct tasks and some debug capability.

Body

Users need the capability to debug their code/system in real time, especially as embedded systems are gaining popularity.� If a system contains a simple debug trigger module and a machine that sequentially runs unrelated real-time tasks, a mechanism to debug one task without starving other tasks is required.� Debugging a task while the rest of the system is running is advantageous so that one does not have to halt the entire system.� This debug feature becomes necessary if one of the other tasks is involved in a debug monitor display via a serial port, for example.� Prior art consists of either a freeze bit or signal or software halt.� The freeze bit or signal disables all hardware within a block.� The software halt requires external stimuli such as an interrupt to restart the processor; hence the processor is disabled while debugging a problem.

This invention contains some programmable registers that allow individual tasks to be halted without freezing the entire system.� Therefore, this invention is relevant to systems with distinct tasks and some debug capability. In one such system, the implementation to block one or more tasks uses a trigger feature to block one or more requestors from one or more peripherals that are requesting one or more timeslots.� The trigger feature in this implementatio...