Udy Hershkovitz

Intel (Israel)

A tale of lost print” – On the importance of Positive Printing and how to do it correctly

Debugging embedded system can be very frustrating!

Non-standard OS and compiler, limited resources and lack of tools – all make the process of debugging an embedded Software much harder, complicated and mainly frustrating.

One of the most powerful debug technics we still have even in embedded system is debug prints.

Unfortunately, many embedded systems are using debug prints only to track basic system progress and to report on errors and missing the power of “Positive Printing” to get critical and meaningful data on the system behavior.

Another painful issue with debug prints, is their cost. Debug prints impact code size and on some systems also boot and runtime performance.

This presentation will focus on the importance of “positive printing”.
It will show read-world scenarios were “Positive Printing” could have saved valuable time and resources.
Finally, this presentation will introduce simple but efficient mechanisms to optimize debug prints impact on production code.

Udy Hershkovitz is working at Intel for 20 years, in developing firmware for embedded security systems.

As part of his role as a system architect, Udy invested significant time and effort investigating methods and mechanisms to improve embedded software efficiency while keeping high level of system security and debug-ability.

This infinite fight between trying to keep the code small, fast, and secured, while still allow easy and usable debug features led to several improvements on the area of debug and trace infrastructure,
where some of them will be discussed in this presentation.