FatFs with Kinetis

An SD (Secure Digital) Card interface is kind of standard for many applications today: it provides a lot of memory at a reasonable cost. Still, I need a software stack for it, up to the level of a file system. So far I was really happy with using FatFs: an open source FAT file system provided by Elm-Chan. I’m using the FatFs Processor Expert component already in multiple designs. What was missing: a port to the Freescale Kinetis ARM Cortex-M4 family of processors.

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Icon and Label Decorators in Eclipse

From time to time, I scratch my head and ask myself: Gee, that file icon looks interesting and different, what does it mean? What I’m wondering about is on Eclipse Icon Decorators. Label and Icon Decorations allow additional information to be displayed in an item’s label and icon. Very powerful. But as with many powerful things: if you don’t know it, it might cause harm or confusion. Unfortunately, that’s not so easy to find out.

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Debugger Shell: Test Automation

The development cycle does not end with debugging. Debugging is something manual, but for testing and automation I want to develop scripts I can run in an automated fashion. For this I use a tool in CodeWarrior: the Debugger Shell as command line debugger and using TCL as scripting language. This gives me a powerful way into automation and scripting with the debugger: from basic access to memory, to stepping and controlling the execution up to programming the flash memory.

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Software and Hardware Breakpoints

Using breakpoints is central part of debugging. I’m usually debugging my applications in flash memory. Because nearly all the microcontrollers I use have on-chip flash memory, and have more flash than RAM. With debugging in flash I limited by the number of hardware breakpoints. And here is the advantage with debugging code in RAM: availability of ‘unlimited’ software breakpoints. But how does this all works, and how to make efficient usage of hardware breakpoints?

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There is a Time and Date for both Worlds

The Kinetis ARM Cortex-M4(F) is a wonderful machine: a 32bit architecture, plenty of FLASH and RAM, an ideal play field. I love the Kinetis Tower boards, and even more the Freedom board which has an ARM Cortex-M0+ on it. I have a lot of projects on S08, S12 and ColdFire at the university, and they are all using a lot of Processor Expert components. Processor Expert is such a great productivity tool: having software in components allows easy software re-use. With Processor Expert abstracting from the hardware, I can easily port my applications to new boards and processors. Well, until Processor Expert changed for Kinetis :-(.

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Watching Static Variables

Debugging static variables, especially ‘static locals’ is sometimes challenging. Especially ‘static local’ debugging depends on the compiler capability how they are encoded in to the object file. I have found out that at least with CodeWarrior for MCU and ARM/Kinetis this works straight forward. Only ‘Watch Expressions’ need special attention.

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FreeRTOS with GCC, Cortex-M0+ and Kinetis KL25Z Freedom Board

Yesterday was my ‘lucky day’: My Kinetis-L Freedom board arrived :-). This board is really nice and features the KL25Z from the recently announced Kinetis L Family. And guess what is the first thing I want to flash on that processor? Yep: some FreeRTOS tasks. But to get there, a few important things have to be sorted out:

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Switching Source Files in the Eclipse Editor (CTRL+TAB)

Ever wondering what could be a keyboard shortcut for something in Eclipse? In my post on 10 Best Eclipse Shortcuts the question came up how to traverse through all the open files in the editor. Finding a shortcut is easy if you know the The Mother of all Eclipse Shortcuts :-). I press CTRL+3 and enter a search term like ‘switch’, and it shows me all shortcuts with ‘switch’ in the description:

CTRL plus 3 shows all shortcuts

CTRL plus 3 shows all shortcuts

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Filter my Problems

In CodeWarrior and Eclipse, the Problems view shows all kind of messages, from all open projects in the workspace. That way I have especially all the build messages in one view. The Problems view keeps the messages listed, until I have them resolved. By default, if I have multiple projects open in my workspace, it will show all the messages of all projects:

Problems View with Multiple Messages and Projects

Problems View with Multiple Messages and Projects

With many messages and many projects, that might be overwhelming, as messages can be mixed for different projects and files, especially with parallel build enabled. How to change the settings to have the messages listed just for a single project?

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