Not everyone is familiar with Git, and not everyone wants to use it. Although I think using Git or SVN is something every software engineer today needs to master To make it easier for the ‘non-Gitter’ to use the Processor Expert components, they are available now as *.PEupd files as described here. However, the *.PEupd files are just a snapshot, and not the latest and greatest. So how to use the latest component sources and example projects without Git?
As with any software drivers: they are never perfect. The same applies to the Processor Expert components delivered in CodeWarrior for MCU10 or the DriverSuite too. That’s why I have created many more components which are available on GitHub here. All these components are using other components to reach the hardware. But what if a functionality is not exposed through the low-level component? Or what if I want direct access to the hardware? Up to now I had to choose either the Processor Expert way, or to do it in the ‘traditional’ way using an SDK like CMSIS or vendor supplied header files.
With MCU10.4, I noticed that there is another way: PDD (Physical Device Driver).
The MCUonEclipse GitHub repository is great for everyone which is familiar with Git or GitHub. Prevsiouly I was hosting my Processor Expert components on steinerberg.com. Exporting and maintaining the Processor Expert Update Files (*.PEupd) one by one is a lot of effort. GitHub makes things a lot easier, but again: you need to be familiar with it. And not everyone is ‘gitting’ yet. To help the rest of the world (the non-Gitter), I have now published Processor Expert update files for all the components in the repository, so it is easier to install them.
What was missing in the FatFsMemSDHC component presented here is support for a ‘write protection’ pin. Well, that write protection is not present on micro-SD cards, and on normal SD cards it is a simple plastic thing with no real hardware meaning: it is all up to the software to respect it. While my other SD card components have support for such a write protection detection, it was lacking for the FatFsMemSDHC (for Kinetis) component. Time to fix this!
Bootloaders are a very useful thing: it allows programming an application file without a debugger. This makes it ideal for upgrading a system in the field.
Usually, there are application notes and examples from silicon vendors available. But typically they are for a certain microcontroller, and hard to change it to another system without a lot knowledge about its implementation. What I need for a project based on the FRDM-KL25Z is a bootloader which shall be small and portable. As I’m using Processor Expert to keep my applications portable across different microcontroller families: why not create a bootloader with Processor Expert components? With the Processor Expert drivers available, things can get a lot simpler compared to the ‘traditional’ approach. With less than 10 KByte footprint?
Freescale/Farnell/Element14 announced last week a new Freedom Board: the FRDM-K20D50M . As you can expect, I was not able to resist, and ordered one from my local Farnell store right away. So I did my first steps with it on this sunny and wonderful weekend (yes! we skipped Spring Time and entered Summer Time right away!).
I do not need to compare the board with the previous Freedom boards, as I have found an article here. I a nutshell: I get pretty much the same as with the FRDM-KL25Z, but instead of an ARM Cortex-M0+, it has an ARM Cortex-M4!
In “Tutorial: Accelerating the KL25Z Freedom Board” I used the MMA8451Q accelerometer on the FRDM-KL25Z board in a very primitive way: I’m reading directly some low-level registers from the device through an I2C low-level component. No calibrating, no special device feature setting, only raw values. Since then, things have been evolved: In “Tutorial: Creating a Processor Expert Component for an Accelerometer” I started to create a driver for this accelerometer, and since then a lot more functionality has been added.
If you are a frequent reader of this blog, then you know: I’m a big fan of Processor Expert components. While there are many Processor Expert components delivered with CodeWarrior, it lacks many components and device drivers beside of the normal on-chip peripherals. But value gets added to an embedded project with all the external devices, sensors and actuators. That’s why I have created many more components which are available on my GitHub site. Readers of this blog have asked several times to create a tutorial on how to create a Processor Expert component. So why not working on that on a long Easter weekend full of cold rain and snow?