What's New in Astrobe for Cortex-M3, M4 and M7

ARM Oberon Development System for Windows
Version 8.0 Copyright © 2006-2021 CFB Software
Email: support@astrobe.com
Website: www.astrobe.com

Last Updated 29 Oct 2021
This version of Astrobe is supported on Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 11 with the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.x.  There is no longer any need to have older versions of the .NET Framework installed. The Installation and Uninstall executables are digitally signed to validate authenticity and integrity.

This is a summary of the new features and changes introduced in Astrobe for Cortex-M3, M4 and M7 since version 7.1.

Personal Edition

The Personal Edition of Astrobe now has exactly the same IDE features and capabilities as the Profession Edition.  In particular, the the Project menu commands Disassemble Module and Disassemble Application commands are now included. Also the source code of every library module, including FPU, for floating point support and MAU, the dynamic memory allocator, is provided.


When a new file which is still named Untitled.mod is saved, the Save As dialog box is shown to allow the filename to be changed

When the Editor Preference Trim whitespace (see below) is checked, trailing tab and space characters are deleted from each line of a file when it is saved.

Project > Compile

Order of Import Items

The items in an IMPORT list may now be included in any order. The sequence is no longer affected by dependencies or indirect imports.

Warnings for Unused Items

The compiler optionally reports a warning for:

Runtime Trapping of Undefined Procedure Variables

Code is generated which reports an error at runtime if an attempt is made to call an undefined (NIL) procedure variable.

SYSTEM.VAL for Non-scalar Variables

SYSTEM.VAL can be used to typecast non-scalar variables i.e. records and arrays. The sizes of the source and destination must be the same size.

Number of Entries Display

Items (variables, procedures etc.) whose actual runtime addresses are established by the linker, that are exported by a module, are included in a section of the object module known as entries. There is a limit of 256 entries allowed for each module. If this limit is exceeded the compilation terminates with the error message too many entries.

The number of entries is now reported in the compilation summary to warn if you are getting close to the limit and need to refactor the module.

Increased Module Code Size Limit

The limit of the size of the code which can be generated for a module has been increased from approximately 30 KBytes to approximately 100 KBytes to allow larger modules to be compiled. Note that there are other factors which determine the size of the largest module that you can compile. For more details, refer to the section titled Implementation Size Limits in the Astrobe - ARM Cortex-M Oberon Programmers Guide accessible from the Astrobe Help menu.


The Configuration menu now includes the names of all of the configuration files located in the current Config folder e.g. for Astrobe for Cortex-M3 :

Click on the name to set that as the current configuration.

Alternatively, select the Configuration > Open command to immediately set the configuration, or to change the current Config folder.

Select Configuration > Edit if you want to view the current configuration.

The configuration files are now generic. All manufacturer-specific features have been eliminated. The configuration files are designed to allow you to target Cortex-M3 microcontrollers other than those that we explicitly support.

The configuration file now includes a Warnings checkbox so you can enable / disable compiler warning messages.

Run > Upload

The Run > Upload command is now used solely for uploading to mbed-enabled development boards. It can be used with an extensive range of Mbed-compatible microcontrollers and development boards, including those which do not exist yet.

The built-in Upload via UART facility has been removed. The Tools menu can now be customised to include upload commands for specific microcontrollers using 3rd-party command-line utilities e.g. STLink and FlashMagic. Examples can be found on the Astrobe Forum.

Tools > Preferences


The Trim whitespace checkbox controls whether or not trailing tab and space characters are deleted from each line of a file when it is saved.


The number of levels of record extensions allowed is now configurable with the limit increased from 4 to 8.

Development Boards

Example source code and configuration files are included for use with a number of currently available development boards.

Problems fixed