Free Tools for Embedded Engineers

One of the great things about working on embedded systems these days is the availability of high quality free tools.  Many of these tools are open source products maintained by a team of dedicated developers.  Sometimes they are produced by semiconductor companies to aid designers using their products and require registration to download.    All of these tools make life much easier for embedded developers and are easy to find via your favorite search engine.  Some of our current favorites are listed below:

  • Gnu Plot — an excellent plotting program for graphical analysis
  • Gnu Octave — a freely available alternative to MathCad
  • LTSpice — Spice simulator from Linear Tech — excellent tool, easy to use
  • GCC — open source compiler (no list is complete without GCC!)
  • Gedit — Easy to use  text editor with many handy features for writing software
  • Inkscape — High quality vector graphics drawing program
  • Wireshark — easy to use packet sniffer for your laptop
  • Xilinx Webpack — some device limitations but an excellent tool