Inspired by Building Bare-Metal ARM Systems with GNU series of articles, I recently ported the BACnet MS/TP datalink layer to an Atmel AT91SAM7S-EK board – an ARM7 processor – using a GCC cross compiler for ARM.

I evaluated GNU Toolchain for ARM, GNU ARM, WinARM, and YAGARTO toolchains on the Windows platform. They all have their merits, but all have some slight differences too. I followed an excellent tutorial by James P. Lynch called Using Open Source Tools for AT91SAM7S Cross Development to get me up and running quickly. Jim used the YAGARTO project as his toolchain.

I used the YAGARTO toolchain and created my own Makefile. Makefiles are an interesting bit of programming that seems to be a lost art. Any of the cross compiler toolchain builds should work with the Makefile with a slight modification to the name of the compiler (one of the differences in each of the various GNU ARM cross compiler projects).

During my travels down the GCC road, I found the GCC-AVR and WinAVR for Atmel AVR series of microcontrollers. I searched for GCC for an 8051. I found the SDCC project – Small Device C Compiler – for Intel 8051, Maxim 80DS390, Zilog Z80 and the Motorola 68HC08. Both projects are also in the Ubuntu Linux repository. I noticed that the Microchip PIC24 compiler C30 is based on GCC and the source code is available on their website.