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Development Tools for Embedded Vision

The software tools (compilers, debuggers, operating systems, libraries, etc.) encompass most of the standard arsenal used for developing real-time embedded processor systems, while adding in specialized vision libraries and possibly vendor-specific development tools for software development. On the hardware side, the requirements will depend on the application space, since the designer may need equipment for monitoring and testing real-time video data. Most of these hardware development tools are already used for other types of video system design.

Both general-purpose and vender-specific tools

Many vendors of vision devices use integrated CPUs that are based on the same instruction set (ARM, x86, etc), allowing a common set of development tools for software development. However, even though the base instruction set is the same, each CPU vendor integrates a different set of peripherals that have unique software interface requirements. In addition, most vendors accelerate the CPU with specialized computing devices (GPUs, DSPs, FPGAs, etc.) This extended CPU programming model requires a customized version of standard development tools. Most CPU vendors develop their own optimized software tool chain, while also working with 3rd-party software tool suppliers to make sure that the CPU components are broadly supported.

Heterogeneous software development in an integrated development environment

Since vision applications often require a mix of processing architectures, the development tools become more complicated and must handle multiple instruction sets and additional system debugging challenges. Most vendors provide a suite of tools that integrate development tasks into a single interface for the developer, simplifying software development and testing.