NXP Semiconductors has decided to buy tools supplier Code Red Technologies.
Code Red has built a suite of tools around the open-source Eclipse framework, focusing mainly on NXP’s lineup of ARM-based microcontrollers with the LPCXpresso product, although the company has added support for Kinetis family from Freescale Semiconductor. The LPCXpresso integrated development environment (IDE) was designed to be a very low-cost development platform for NXP’s LPC microcontrollers.
LPCXpresso has clocked up 66,000 unique software activations of the LPCXpresso IDE since January 2010.
“Bringing the Code Red team into our organization gives us the ability to jump-start our in-house software expertise, deliver world-class software libraries and integrated tools to our customers, and rapidly build on the momentum behind the LPCXpresso IDE,” said Jim Trent, vice president and general manager of NXP’s microcontroller business line.
Although the balance between providing inhouse tools and nurturing a healthy third-party tools ecosystem has always been a delicate one for microcontroller vendors, NXP’s move marks a step up in the differentiation of suppliers in the increasingly crowded market for ARM-based embedded products. A suite of tools that make code development easy for a certain family could be enough to tip the balance in favor of NXP versus suppliers that may have only generic support from the third-party providers.
As part of NXP, Code Red’s efforts will focus on the company’s own products. Current Code Red customers using non-LPC platforms will continue to have support through May 2014 and it will be possible to buy those tools for non-NXP products through to the end of this year.
NXP said the Code Red team will be consolidated into three locations: San Jose, California; Cambridge, UK; and Syracuse, New York.