For this project we are using a STM8S Microcontroller from STMicroelectronics. To be honest using this Micro wasn’t selected through a carefull research, but rather through the fact that STMicroelectronics gave away free-Kits of this uC on a number of occasions. So i had those kits lying around at home. The STM8S is certainly a descent 8bit uC with reasonable pricing so i don’t regret this decision. But it has one big drawback in my eyes – for developing with this uC one has to use Windows Operating-system. Again on the other hand the development kit for this uC is dirt cheap and it provides an integrated incircuit debugger – which also has some limited possibilities for non-intrusive variable monitoring.
The IDE for developing this uC comes directly from STM – it is called: ST Visual develop IDE
The C-Compiler (freely available, limited to 32kB) comes from Raisonance
To monitor variables in Realtime – STM provides the STM Studio Tool
Under http://www.emcu.it/STM8.html you can find valuable information about developing on the STM8 platform.