AdaCore Blog

GNAT Community 2018 is here!

by Emma Adby , Fabien Chouteau

Calling all members of the Ada and SPARK community, we are pleased to announce that GNAT Community 2018 is here!

What’s new?

BBC micro:bit first class support

We decided to adopt the micro:bit as our reference platform for teaching embedded Ada and SPARK. We chose the micro:bit for its worldwide availability, great value for a low price and the included hardware debugger. You can get one at:

We did our best to provide a smooth experience when programing the micro:bit in Ada or SPARK. Here is a quick guide on how to get started:

  • Download and install GNAT arm-elf hosted on your platform: Windows, Linux or MacOS. This package contains the ARM cross compiler as well the required Ada run-times

  • Download and install GNAT native for your platform: Windows, Linux or MacOS. This package contains the GNAT Programming Studio IDE and an example to run on the micro:bit

  • Start GNAT Programming Studio

  • Click on “Create a new Project”

  • Select the “Scrolling Text” project under “BBC micro:bit” and click Next

  • Enter the directory where you want the project to be deployed and click Apply

  • Plug your micro:bit board with a USB cable, and wait for the system to recognize it. This can take a few seconds

  • Back in GNAT Programming Studio, click on the “flash to board” icon

  • That’s it!

The example provided only uses the LED matrix, for support of more advanced micro:bit features, please have a look at the Ada Drivers Library project.

RISC-V support

The RISC-V open instruction set and its ecosystem are getting more interesting every week, with big names of the tech industry investing in the platform as well as cheap prototyping board being available for makers and hobbyists. After a first experiment last year, AdaCore decided to develop the support of RISC-V in GNAT. In this GNAT Community release we provide support for bare-metal RISC-V 32bit hosted on Linux. In particular, for the HiFive1 board from SiFive. You will also find drivers for this board in the Ada Drivers Library project.

Find SPARK included in the package by default

For the first time in the community release, SPARK is now packaged with the native compiler, making it very easy for everyone to try it out. The three standard provers Alt-Ergo, CVC4 and Z3 are included.

Windows 64bit is finally here

By popular request, we decided to change GNAT Community Windows from 32bit to 64bit.

Arm-elf hosted on Mac

In this release we also add the support for ARM bare-metal hosted on MacOS (previously only Windows and Linux). This includes the support for the BBC micro:bit mentioned above, as well as our usual STM32F4 and STM32F7 boards.

Feeling inspired and want to start Making with Ada today? Use the brand new GNAT Community 2018 to get a head start in this years Make with Ada competition!

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About Emma Adby

Emma Adby

Emma Adby is the Managing Director of AdaCore Ltd. After co-leading the global marketing team for a number of years, she now manages marketing, financial, legal and HR business operations for AdaCore’s new UK technical centre-of-excellence. Emma also works to advocate for increased adoption and wider use of the Ada and SPARK languages globally by coordinating community centric activities and resources.

About Fabien Chouteau

Fabien Chouteau

Fabien joined AdaCore in 2010 after his engineering degree at the EPITA (Paris). He is involved in real-time, embedded and hardware simulation technology. Maker/DIYer in his spare time, his projects include electronics, music and woodworking.