One of the major benefits of Processor Expert is that I can easily switch the device or processor used in a project. For example I can do my concept with a larger device with more FLASH and RAM, and then at the end easily switch to a smaller or even completely different device very quickly. For example I have a project working with the 64KByte FLASH version of the KE02Z (KE02Z68VLH2):
Many times it is not clear from the beginning how many pins, how much FLASH and RAM is needed for a project. What I use is to create the project with Processor Expert for a processor for which I think it would be a good fit. Then I add all the components and software to a proof of concept to see how much of the resources are really used. Then I can easily change the number of pins and the device in a later step if I have to. This article shows how I can change the device package (number of pins) or even the device or device family. Because Processor Expert knows all the pins and peripherals, even if the pin names are not the same, it is a matter of minutes to change from one device to another.
Changing Package and Pinout
If I only need to change the package, I can do this directly in the processor view:
This is useful if I can go to a smaller package to save costs. Or to go to a larger package with more pins if my design needs more of them. If using less pins, I might to have adjust the peripherals e.g. moving the UART to UART0 if UART2 is not available any more.
Another way to switch the package is in the CPU component itself:
If I need to change the device, say from moving from a 64 KByte Flash version to a 16 kByte one, then I can add that new one the project from the list of processors:
This adds a new active CPU to the components:
The processor and package does reflect this too:
The previous CPU is still there. There can be only one CPU active and I can switch between them:
If I don’t want the previous CPU any more, I can delete it from the components lists with the context menu too. If I want to have a way to switch easily between them, then check out “Configurations with Processor Expert“.
The above project does not end at the microcontroller family boundary: I can change to any of the processors listed, e.g. changing the project to a ARM Cortex-M4F:
So I could start developing my project with a big development board with completely different processor.
Because a different processors might use different pins, several components will flag an error:
Processor Expert tries to re-assign pins, but this is not always possible:
Reassigning pins is just a matter of a mouse click:
Changing the pinout/package and the processor is something I have to do often in an early development stage. It allows me to better fit the device to the software on it, cut costs or have the ability to scale the microcontroller used. That way I can port a firmware from one package to another or from one microcontroller to another in a matter of minutes. This not only works inside the same device family, it works very well from moving from a Cortex-M0+ to an M4 or M7 and back too.
Happy Switching 🙂