The VFX Forth optimising compilers provide a proper framework for high level Forth in all environments. These can be large desktop systems of over 1 million lines of source code, or deep embedded systems with many interrupt handlers.
The code generation is good, producing fast code, but the compilers are also very fast. An application of 1.2 million lines of source code is compiled from source to executable in 29 seconds.
While VFX Forth provides great abstractions, you can always assert full control over your program as needed. All applications can be provided with an interactive Forth console from which you can run all words/functions. Hence most tools available to the compiler can be accessed by you at runtime.
You interact with the program at any level you choose, from disassembling the compiler output to controlling threads or writing new code online. You can do this locally or by using remote terminal access with a TCP/IP connection. Taking advantage of VFX Forth's interactivity will soon become second nature.
In embedded systems, console access by serial line, USB and TCP/IP Telnet are provided. In our world, this is the norm.
Runs on everything
Apart from the usual x86 and ARM CPUs for desktops, we support a wide range of CPUs for embedded systems. If your favourite micro controller architecture is not supported, we will probably be able to find a faster, cheaper, and more capable ARM/Cortex alternative, or you can convince us to support the architecture.
Our current compiler chassis has supported the following CPUs:
ARM32 and Cortex-A/M, x86, MSP430, Coldfire, 68xxx, 9S12/68HC12, 8051, and H8S/H8300H
We also have legacy compilers for:
8086, 80186, 80C196, 65C02/M740, 68HC11,H8/500, M7700, RTX2xxx, Z8/Super8, 6809/6309, 6801/3, and TMS7000.
Yes, we have been around for a long time.
Research is what we do to improve our products and to investigate new products. Research is where we generate our major design mistakes and discover the good ways to achieve our goals. The VFX code generator was an example of this. We successfully applied for European funding (a competitive process) for an five-company international project on tools for networked heterogeneous machines. A deliverable of this project was the first VFX code generator.
Since then we have always spent a deliberate portion of MPE's budget on research and development.
On some consultancy jobs clients have asked us to sign non-disclosure agreements covering not only the work but the client name as well. They regard Forth as a competitive advantage for their work. The following is thus just a partial list from our customer base.
Apple, Astell Scientific, AWE, BAE, British Telecom, British Gas, Brown Root Vickers, CDS Advanced Technology bv, CEGB, Cementation, CMON Systems, Construction Computer Software, Department of Transport, Disarmco, Europay International, Farnell, GEC Plessey Avionics, Intersil, ISRO, ITT, JWK International, Lucas CAV, Marconi Space and Defence, Metropolitan Police, NASA, Nuclear Electric, Philips, Rolls Royce, Rushton Diesels, Rutherford Appleton Labs, Saab, Safer Systems, Shell UK Oil, Sun Microsystems, Thorn EMI, Trafalgar House, Yorkshire TV, and many universities and research labs.
On one space shuttle flight, three out of four experiments were programmed in Forth, each team having chosen Forth individually. Forth is approved by NASA for high reliability applications.