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HC11 C Cross-Compilers

  • Dunfield Development Systems

    This reasonably-priced ($99.95) compiler includes an assembler, linker, librarian, library (with ASM source), monitor (with source), and various utilities and sample programs. Dunfield also has low-cost compilers available for many other microcontrollers (HC08, HC12, HC16, 8051, etc.), including a freeware one for MS-DOS that produces very small and fast executables.

  • Avocet

    Avocet is a well-respected name in embedded development tools. They have two families of C compilers. AVCASE is $1595 and includes Avocet C, a macro assembler, a monitor debugger, and a simulator. Demos are available for download.

  • Cosmic

    I used this compiler a few years ago, when it was known as the Intermetrics (AKA Whitesmiths) compiler, and it did a decent job. This is a professional-level compiler (starting at about $1500) with support for most major emulators and debuggers. Documentation was voluminous, and poorly written, but adequate. Library source was included; however, the source comments were in French. It was relatively bug-free, except when I occasionally managed to cross some arbitrary limit in module size (or symbol table size, or whatever, and it would just go nuts. Download their Evaluation Kit and try it out.

  • Fabius Software Systems

    Fabius Software System's "Cross Tools C" development environment consists of an ANSI-C compiler, assembler, linker / locator and library for the Motorola 68HC11. This environment was developed for the embedded programmer to support ROMable code generation. Cross Tools C optimizing compiler produces exceptionally compact and fast executing code for ROMable applications. Cost: $395. Demo available for download.

  • GNU Development Chain for 68HC11 & 68HC12

    The cross compiler works on any host supported by GNU tools (Solaris, GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, HP/UX, MacOS X, Windows, etc.). The GNU Developpement Chain supports all variants of 68HC11, 68HC12 and 68HCS12 micro-controllers. There is no dependency on any board. This means you can use the tool chain to develop on any board based on a 68HC11, 68HC12 or 68HCS12.

  • Hi-Tech

    A high-end compiler at a mid-range price (~$850), it boasts full ANSI C compilance, an optimizing compiler, assembler, linker, library with full source, and a source-level debug monitor.

  • IAR Systems

    This is the compiler I'm currently using, and I have found it to be a quality product. It is also a high-end (starting at $1400) compiler, with good industry support. Documentation is fair -- good in spots, poor in others, with the most pronouced weakness being poor organization and indexes. Support has likewise been hit-or-miss -- generally fast, accurate, and helpful, but occasionally slow or even non-responsive. ANSI compliance is excellent, as is optimization, especally with the most recent upgrade (v4.11). I've encountered no major bugs. It supports bank-switched memory, though I found it's implementation problematic. The only major omissions are lack of library source, and no in-line assembly (all ASM code must be in separate files). Altogether, a fine product.

  • ImageCraft

    A low-cost but high-quality compiler, which includes an optimizer, floating-point support, assembler, linker, and librarian. Available in DOS command line ($100), Windows IDE ($199), and Linux command line ($100) versions. They also have a low-cost ($100-$199) HC12 compiler available, as well as tools for HC16 and AVR micros.

  • Newton Labs

    Makers of a commercial version of Interactive C, with prices ranging from $35 to $100, and versions for Windows 95/Windows NT, Macintosh, and various Unix platforms. The commercial version includes support for more Standard C features, as well as a better integrated environment, extensive peripheral libraries, and professional documentation.


Unless stated otherwise, I have no firsthand knowledge of these products -- I'm just providing links. Where I do have some experience with a product, I'll venture an opinion. You're advised to take what I say with a healthy dose of skepticism -- my opinion is quite possibly out of date (based on old versions) or just plain wrong. On the other hand, I've been known to be right on occasion ... your mileage may vary. Also, I'm providing pricing because some vendors insist on hiding that critical piece of information (ashamed?); pricing was accurate when this was written, but will inevitably become obsolete as time passes. Please check with the vendor for current pricing.

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