Updated P&E GDB Server for Eclipse: Connect/Attach and Advanced Flash Programming

P&E has upgraded their GDB implementation and interface used in combination with the GNU ARM Eclipse plugins: they support now advanced flash programming options plus the ability to attach/connect to a running target :-). This update is available as Eclipse update.

Advanced Options

Advanced Options

P&E has extended their support in the GDB implementation for Multilinks and OpenSDA (e.g. FRDM boards). What I was missing was the ability to protect some areas of the flash (see “Preserving Memory Ranges with Eclipse and P&E GDB Server“) and the ability to attach/connect to a running application (see “Attaching to a Running Target with Segger J-Link, GDB and Eclipse“). The new Eclipse update (2.0.8.201504092111) has that now supported :-).

Installation

Use the menu Help > Install new Software:

Install new software

Install new software

Select the following update site:

http://www.pemicro.com/eclipse/updates

From there, select the update and go through the installation process:

GNU ARM PEMicro Interface Debugging Support

GNU ARM PEMicro Interface Debugging Support

At the end, restart Eclipse.

New Debugger Tab Functions

Before the update, the debugger tab in the launch configuration looked like this:

Old Debugger Tab

Old Debugger Tab

After the upgrade, there are new items in the debugger tab of the launch configuration:

Debugger Tab

Debugger Tab

  • Software registration: this simply removes this message/area after entering an email address, with an option to be informed about updates. It is a very simple process: enter an address, done. Data seems to be stored in the workspace metadata, so if I use a new workspace, I have to repeat the registration.
  • Select Device: A new dialog allows to select/filter the device (instead of having a long scroll-down list):

    P&E Select device

    P&E Select device

  • Advanced Options: Now the GDB server includes functionality which was present in the CodeWarrior version: the ability topreserve FLASH ranges, programming the trimming and selecting the flash programming:

    Advanced Options

    Advanced Options

  • JTAG Daisy Chaining: if using JTAG debugging, then it supports now JTAG Daisy chaining. That way multiple microcontroller/cores can be debugged on the same chain (I have not tried that yet with the new plugin):

    JTAG Daisy Chaining

    JTAG Daisy Chaining

  • There are other options for program partitioning (for devices which support e.g. split between EEPROM/FLASH areas), or custom flash programming algorithms. I have not tried that out yet.

ย ๐Ÿ’ก As the name indicates: JTAG Daisy Chaining is only for JTAG, not SWD.

Startup Launch Configuration Tab

The ‘Startup’ tab has a new option added: ‘Attach to Running Target’:

Attach to Running Target

Attach to Running Target

By enabling this, it is possible to connect/attach to a running target on the board. This is useful e.g. if it crashed or is stuck somewhere: attach do it and I can inspect what happened. Basically ‘attach’ connects to the target, without changing it.

Disconnect

In Eclipse debug view I can disconnect from a running target:

Disconnecting from Target

Disconnecting from Target

The P&E GDB server does what I expect it to do: it keeps the running program in the running state. This is cool as other debug probes might reset or halt the target: keep it running is the right way :-).

Attach/Connect

To attach to the running application, check that option in the launch configuration:

Attach to Running Target Option

Attach to Running Target Option

Pressing now ‘debug’, it connects to the running target and keeps it running:

Connected to Running Target

Connected to Running Target

To debug it, press the ‘pause’/suspend button, and it can be debugged as normally ๐Ÿ™‚

Summary

The updated P&E GDB server plugin for Eclipse comes with nice extensions:

  • Easier way to select the target microcontroller
  • Advanced programming options: flash area preservation, JTAG scan chaining, trim configuration and program partitioning
  • Connect/attach to a running target

I have used the new plugin successfully with my Kinetis Design Studio V2.0.0, so it is backwards compatible. To be able to attach to a running target is a big plus for me, plus now it is possible to preserve flash programming areas as it was in CodeWarrior. So upgrading should be a good thing :-).

Happy Debugging ๐Ÿ™‚

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Updated P&E GDB Server for Eclipse: Connect/Attach and Advanced Flash Programming

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s