In addition to supporting the flash that resides in many different microcontrollers, PEmicro supports flash connected to an MCU via the SPI, I2C, and Address/Data bus interfaces. Depending on how the flash device is connected to the MCU, the programming algorithm may need to be set up to properly configure the external address, data, and bus control pins of the MCU.
In the case of flash memories connected to the address/data bus of an MCU, it can be difficult to understand when the chip select and/or other control pins are configured properly. Most often the issue is that the external flash memory Chip Enable (~CE), Output Enable (~OE), or Write Enable (WE) signals are not being driven properly. This blog post describes a way to look at these three signals to determine if they are being driven properly.
BOSTON - June 16, 2016 - P&E Microcomputer Systems, Inc. today announced the ability to add usage restrictions to programming images created for the Cyclone FX stand alone programmer. These usage restrictions include the ability to limit programming to a specific date range and also to set a maximum number of programming operations which can occur. The effect of this is that the user can limit the duration and amount of programming allowed by an image. This can be useful for protecting the IP contained within a programming image as well as making sure that programming images in production are not too far out of date. These restrictions persist even when the images are deleted/restored on a Cyclone unit's internal memory or SD card. Images are encoded in such a way as to deter tampering.
Image restrictions are set in the Cyclone Configuration Utility
The Cyclone FX programmer is a stand-alone in-circuit programmer which supports many NXP and ARM Cortex based devices. Cyclone FX owners who wish to update their Cyclones can download the latest software and firmware from P&E's website.
Programming count displayed on the Cyclone FX home screen
The Automated Control Package features a Windows dynamic link library (DLL), command-line script application, and supporting documentation making it simple to create custom software applications that directly control Cyclone units. It also enables users to control multiple Cyclones with a single PC, modify stored images, manage multiple images, and program non-sequential dynamic data such as serial numbers. Example projects are provided in several popular development languages.
The Cyclone Automated Control Package is available in Professional and Enterprise versions to suit both small and large production scales. The Enterprise edition includes documentation describing the RS-232 and Ethernet protocols. A Basic version is available for no cost.
BOSTON – March 15, 2016 - P&E Microcomputer Systems is now shipping the Cyclone Universal FX, which is the flagship model of P&E's next-generation Cyclone programmers. P&E's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. The Cyclone Universal FX was designed to offer the very best of the Cyclone platform with a focus on enhanced security, extremely fast performance, test, and expandability.
The Cyclone Universal FX combines support for many NXP 8-/16-/32-bit architectures with support for ARM® Cortex® devices from many different manufacturers. P&E has maintained compatibility with their existing product line while combining support for all of these target architectures into a single unit.
Cyclone Universal FX Features:
(Features in bold are key differentiators between the Cyclone Universal and Cyclone Universal FX
BOSTON – February 4, 2016 - P&E is pleased to announce that support has been added to its products for files using version 3 and version 4 of the ELF/DWARF format. This is in addition to existing support for ELF/DWARF version 2 and includes both debug and object information handling. Support for 64-bit objects and structures within the ELF/DWARF files has also been added.
Support for these additional file formats is available today in P&E's debug, flash programming, and test products.
BOSTON – November 13, 2015 - P&E Microcomputer Systems is now shipping the Cyclone Universal, which is the first of P&E's next-generation Cyclone programmers. P&E's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. The Cyclone Universal was designed as the first in a next-generation Cyclone platform with a focus on security, performance, test, and expandability.
The Cyclone Universal combines support for many NXP/Freescale 8-/16-/32-bit architectures with support for ARM® Cortex® devices from many different manufacturers. P&E has maintained compatibility with their existing product line while combining support for all of these target architectures into a single unit.
BOSTON – October 31, 2014 - P&E Microcomputer Systems has released Rev. C of it's popular, all-in-one USB Multilink Universal interface. The case color of the Rev. C interface has been updated from green to blue, however the functionality of the Multilink Universal remains the same.
Users should note that if they are using software purchased before September 2014 with the Multilink Universal Rev. C, they may need to update firmware manually when changing architectures. Information on software updates is available by contacting P&E.
BOSTON – September 9, 2014 - P&E Microcomputer Systems announced the addition of several new features to its popular Cyclone MAX stand-alone/automated flash programmer.
High-Speed Kinetis Algorithms
In addition to the above, the Cyclone MAX installation software now includes a faster, more streamlined set of pipelined algorithms that improves the flash programming times of Kinetis devices.
Qorivva MPC574x Support
The Cyclone MAX now includes stand-alone programming and device support for Freescale's Qorivva MPC5748G cut 2 and MPC5746C devices with its popular Cyclone MAX production programmer.
User Control of MCU Reset
Version 7.84 of the Cyclone MAX software also provides the ability to hold the reset line low upon a target device power up, a feature that is especially useful for devices such as Freescale's Kinetis KE02 that implement a multiplexed reset line.
P&E continues to expand on its line of all-in-one interfaces with the launch of the high-speed USB Multilink Universal FX. Like P&E's original all-in-one interface, the USB Multilink Universal, the new USB Multilink Universal FX supports a varirety of Freescale MCUs, including: Kinetis, Qorivva 55xx/56xx, ColdFire V1/ColdFire+ V1, ColdFire V2-4, HC(S)12(X), HCS08, RS08, Power Architecture PX Series, and DSC. However the new FX interface can download at speeds up to 10x faster and can provide power to the target processor, among other enhancements.
The new USB Multilink Universal FX is natively supported by recent versions of CodeWarrior®, current P&E software applications, and toolchains from many Freescale partners including Keil and Cosmic.
More information about the USB Multilink Universal FX is available on the product page at P&E's website.
presented its new USB Multilink Universal, an ALL-IN-ONE development interface, at the recent Freescale Momentum conference. The revolutionary ALL-IN-ONE interface concept
was very well received by conference attendees. USB Multilink Universal is a single interface that supports Freescale’s HCS08, RS08, HC(S)12(X), Coldfire V1/+V1/V2-V4, Qorivva
MPC55xx/56xx, and Kinetis ARM microcontrollers. Thus, it eliminates the need to
purchase different hardware interfaces to support specific devices that belong to those MCU families.
P&E also previewed two upcoming products: the USB Multilink
Universal FX and Tracelink. The USB Multilink Universal FX is an enhanced, very
high-speed version of the USB Multilink Universal. The Tracelink interface will support
trace capture for 32 bit Freescale device architectures.
P&E has released its groundbreaking new USB Multilink Universal all-in-one interface. The USB Multilink Universal is an economical, reliable USB-to-target interface that uses multiple headers to support Freescale's HCS08, RS08, HC(S)12(X), ColdFire V1/+V1 & V2-4, Qorivva MPC55xx/56xx, and Kinetis ARM microcontrollers. The USB Multilink Universal includes multiple ribbon cables to allow connections to the various supported devices. The USB Multilink Universal's case simply flips open for easy access to the headers.
It is supported by P&E software, in addition to Freescale's Codewarrior and software from other third party vendors. A configuration utility is available on P&E's website which allows configuration of the USB Multilink Universal for use with older software packages.
P&E is also developing the USB Multilink Universal FX, an enhanced, high-speed version of the USB Multilink Universal interface.
This video provides a brief comparison of the features of two popular P&E hardware interfaces, the USB BDM Multilink and the Cyclone PRO. This overview is intended to help users determine which interface is best suited for their project. More information about each interface can be found on the USB-ML-12 and Cyclone PRO product pages.
P&E is pleased to announce that 64-bit Windows support has arrived, including support for Windows 7. P&E software has been upgraded to work under Windows 7 (and other Windows 64-bit operating systems) by using the latest version of our drivers - P&E Hardware Interface Drivers 10. There is no need to worry about P&E software compatibility if you're migrating to a Windows 64-bit OS at home or in the office.
P&E is committed to ensuring a smooth transition to these newer operating sytems for our customers. Customers who have purchased P&E software within the last 12 months can contact us for a free ugprade. Customers who have purchased software between 12 and 24 months ago are eligible to upgrade by purchasing the latest version of the software at a 50% discount from the full price.
Unfortunately, due to OS and hardware driver limitations, P&E legacy products such as USB-ML-12 Rev. A, USB-ML-CF Rev A, the BDM Lightning Card and also parallel port versions of our programmers are not supported under Windows 7 and 64-bit systems. However, we are committed to supporting these products under 32-bit operating systems such as Windows 98/2000/XP/Vista by continuing to offer Version 9 of our P&E Hardware Interface Drivers. These can be downloaded from the Documentation and Downloads section of P&E's website, or directly at the following link:
We're pleased to announce the release of our latest device drivers. This update includes support for Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 Operating Systems for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures, as well as some minor bug fixes.
Run the file drivers_10_install.exe. If you have an older version of our drivers installed, the setup will automatically perform the update.
NOTE: The latest drivers no longer include support for Windows 98 and ME, but P&E will continue to make our older drivers available. Support for PCI devices (e.g., BDM Lightning) and Parallel port devices has been removed for Windows Vista and later, as well as all 64-bit operating systems.
P&E drivers allow P&E applications to communicate with P&E hardware via the parallel port, PCI bus, Ethernet, Serial, and USB.
This video gives a demonstration of how to load a programming image onto a
CompactFlash card in the expansion port of P&E's Cyclone products.
CompactFlash activation is a powerful feature that lets users expand
the memory and versatility of their Cyclone:
Systems that use memory-mapped external flash require special considerations from a programming perspective. Because there are so many variables, questions about external flash are among the most common types of technical support inquiries that we receive. In this article, we provide an overview of how the P&E PROG software handles external flash and offer some tips to help debug a system. The examples in this article relate to Freescale ColdFire devices, but the concepts can be applied to most microprocessor systems.
Hardware connections The following is the minimum set of signals required to access a memory-mapped external flash:
A[X:0] – Address signals D[Y:0] – Data signals CS – Chip Select WE or R/W – Write Enable OE – Output Enable
How PROG works P&E’s PROG software forces the processor into background (or "debug") mode, where it gains full access to the processor’s resources. The flash programming algorithm is then loaded into the processor’s RAM. The algorithm contains all of the routines necessary to erase and program the external flash.
PROG always moves the external flash so that it begins at address 0 for programming. If your own memory map is different, PROG will need to account for this with the correct base address.
Accessing the external flash The PROG software uses the processor to access the external flash. This means that from the processor’s perspective, it must be able to read and write to the external flash. Usually, this is all handled by the processor’s external bus interface. Most of the external flash algorithms provided by P&E assume that this configuration is already handled by the user.
For example, most processors automatically start up with CS0 as the global chip select. The processor uses this chip select for all external memory accesses until it is reconfigured by the user. Likewise, the processor checks certain signals during bootup to determine the width of the data bus on CS0.
Extra initialization Depending on the processor and external flash used, there may be some extra initialization that is not automatically performed by the processor on bootup, but is necessary before flash programming can take place. Users may perform this extra initialization by adding commands to the beginning of the algorithm itself. The algorithms may be edited with a simple text editor such as Notepad. Refer to the PROG help file for more detailed information on these commands.
1) Processor’s internal SRAM needs to be enabled, because it is disabled at bootup NO_ON_CHIP_RAM CONTROL=80000001/0C05/ ;set up rambar to place ram at $80000000
2) Processor has a software watchdog that needs to be disabled WRITE_WORD=0000/40140000/ ;kill extra sw watchdog
3) External bus interface is not properly configured after bootup WRITE_WORD=0000/40000080/ ;CSAR0 - CS0 at address 0 WRITE_LONG=00000101/40000084/ ;CSMR0 - Enable CS0 WRITE_WORD=3D80/4000008A/ ;CSCR0 16-bit data bus
Troubleshooting - Make sure you are using the correct algorithm. Please refer to this previous blog post for more information about algorithm selection. - Double check hardware connections between the processor and the external flash. - Check if the processor is actually able to access the external flash. The PROG software has a command called “Show Module” which will attempt to read the contents of the flash. If the data is displayed as XX, then the processor was unable to read the external flash. - If the hardware connections are good but the processor’s external bus configuration needs tweaking, a debugger will allow you to check the processor’s settings on bootup to make sure they match up with the external flash.
P&E has updated its Cyclone PRO Image Creation Utility to provide a way for users to set a custom trim frequency for HCS08, RS08, and CFV1 devices that have an internal reference clock. To use this feature, the user must first select a programming algorithm, because not all devices have the same maximum and minimum internal reference clock frequencies.
Once the programming algorithm has been selected, the utility will determine the allowed frequency range from which the user can choose. The user also has the option of enabling or disabling this feature. When it is enabled, the user can input a desired frequency. If the user does not enable this feature and input a frequency, or if this feature is disabled, the utility will simply select the default trim frequency as specified in the device reference manual.
Please note that this feature is only effective if the "PT ; Program Trim" command is included in the programming sequence. This custom trim feature in the updated Cyclone PRO Image Creation Utility is similar to the one available in CodeWarrior for Microcontrollers (RS08/HC(S)08/ColdFire V1).
To download the latest updates, please visit our Cyclone PRO product page.
P&E’s PROG programming software will sometimes prompt the user to enter a “Base Address”. In this article, we discuss what the base address is and why it exists.
On most 8-bit and 16-bit processors, the internal flash/eeprom is located at fixed address locations. If this is the case, the associated programming algorithm will NOT prompt the user for a base address, since the address is fixed and already known.
On 32-bit processors and any systems using external flash, the address of the flash may be configured to reside anywhere within the processor’s address space. The developer will decide on an appropriate memory map early in the design process.
For these situations where the flash can be relocated, the PROG software will always move the flash so that it begins at address 0. However, the developer may not have an object file that matches this new memory mapping. To account for this, the “Base Address” (specified by the user) is subtracted from all addresses in the object file prior to programming.
Below is an example of how the developer’s memory map may differ from the one in PROG. Although the external flash is located at different addresses, it refers to the same physical memory. Here, the user would specify a base address of FFC00000.
The base address should always be the starting address of flash in the developer’s memory map, and not the “first” address where data exists (although in most cases they are the same!)
Today's tip concerns P&E's Cyclone automated programmers. With the release of the Cyclone Automated Control Package,
users have been inquiring if there is a way to automate the creation of stand-alone
images. Fortunately, with the standard Cyclone
PRO/MAX installations, users already have command-line executables that
can accomplish this task.
For each architecture there is a corresponding CSAPXXXX.EXE application that can be used to create a stand-alone image file. For example, to create an image for the Coldfire V2/V3/V4 devices, the user would use CSAPBDMCFZ.EXE. For this blog, we will demonstrate how to create a stand-alone image for a 9S08QE128 device by using CSAPHCS08Z.EXE.
Begin by creating a stand-alone configuration file. You can create a configuration file by configuring the programming sequence in the Cyclone Image Creation Utility and then saving it thorugh File ->Save Cyclone Configuration. You can also create a configuration file by using a text editor, typing in the commands, and saving it as a .CFG file. A typical configuration file might use the following sequence:
CM C:pemicrocyclone_proAlgorithmsHCS089S08QE128.S8P SS C: esthcs089S08QE128.S19 EM ;Erase Module BM ;Blank Check Module PT ;Program Trim PM ;Program Module VM ;Verify Module VC ;Verify Checksum
In this example, we will save the .CFG file as "9S08QE128.CFG" in c:. With the configuration file created, we can now create a stand-alone image or .SAP file by using the command prompt. In the command prompt, we can invoke the configuration script file as follows:
The first parameter, "c:9S08QE128.cfg", specifies the location of the input configuration file.
The second parameter, imagefile "c:9s08qe128.sap", specifies the name and output location of the .SAP file.
The last parameter, imagecontent "9S08QE128_1_26_2009", specifies the image description.
You can use the '?' character option to cause the utility to wait and
display the result of the configuration in the CSAP window. You can also use the '!' character option to cause the utility to wat and display the result only if the file
failed to generate.
After invoking the configuration script in the command prompt, the file 9S08qe128.sap is generated in the C: directory. The 9s08qe128.sap file can now be loaded into the Cyclone PRO/MAX by using the Cyclone Automated Control Package or the Cyclone Manage Images Utility.
P&E's ICD In-circuit Debugger and PROG Flash Programmer software, included with the Starter Editions, natively supports several object file formats, including s-record and ELF. Soon, P&E software will natively support Intel Hexadecimal files.
After installing one of the Starter Editions, run OBJCOPY from the Windows command-line. The program is located in the gnuin subdirectory within the installation directory. View the help screen for OBJCOPY from the command-line by typing "powerpc-eabispe-objcopy" or "m68k-elf-objcopy". You will see a list of all program options. To determine which formats are available with OBJCOPY, take note of the final lines of the help screen. You will use these format names, BFD names, when running OBJCOPY.
To convert a file, use the "-O" option followed by the name of the desired output format. The input format may be specified with the "-I" option, though this is often unnecessary. For example, to convert the object data in a COFF file "file1.coff" to an s-record file "file1.srec":
If you are looking for greater control of file conversion, look at the options on the OBJCOPY help screen. For example, with powerpc-eabispe-objcopy you may specify s-record length, force S3 records, and manipulate the linker sections in object files.
P&E’s product line of Cyclone stand-alone
provides a fast, robust, and automated solution for production-scale
programming of microprocessors. However, production facilities may
even higher level of automation than the single-button touch capability
offered by the Cyclone. P&E offers several means of automating
control, including a command-line executable, UDP/Serial
communications, or the .DLL included in P&E's new Cyclone Automated
Control Software Package. In this article, we discuss automated control
using the automated control package and the unprecedented level of
power and flexibility that
1.) Introduction – Controlling a Cyclone through the PC
P&E’s new Cyclone Automated Control Package provides
the developer with a dynamic link library (DLL) and supporting documentation to
allow custom software applications to directly control the Cyclone.
By storing the binary data information, algorithm
information, and settings directly into the FLASH memory of the Cyclone,
programming operations can be initiated by the simple push of a button.
However, the DLL enables us to use the PC to issue a command to the Cyclone to
start the same programming sequence!
The use of a PC to control the Cyclone enhances the
functionality of the stand-alone programming operations, but also introduces
new capabilities that were not available previously. In the following sections,
we explore the features of the Cyclone Automated Control Package and present
practical examples of how to use it in your own production line.
2.) Setup – Image Creation
The first step is always to create the actual stand-alone
images that will be stored onto the Cyclone. These images contain the algorithm
needed to program FLASH / EEPROM, the actual binary data to be programmed, the
sequence of programming operations, and many user-specified Cyclone settings.
P&E’s “Cyclone Image Creation Utility” allows the user to properly
configure the stand-alone images.
Above is a screenshot of the dialog in the Cyclone Image
Creation Utility which allows the user to configure the stand-alone image. The
field on the right shows the programming steps and also the order in which
these steps execute.
1.)First, we select the appropriate algorithm for our
processor. In this example, we are using the Freescale
2.)Next, we specify the target object file that represents
the binary data to be programmed into the processor’s FLASH memory. Here, we are
using a Motorola S-record file.
3.)Once the algorithm and the target object file are
specified, we are ready to begin programming. Typically, the procedure is to
erase the device to make sure it’s blank, program the target, and verify that
the contents were written correctly.
In addition to the programming sequence, there are also
settings for the Cyclone that we can configure. In the above screenshot, we are
using the Cyclone PRO’s power relays to provide the appropriate voltage to power
up our processor. This way, we do not need a separate power supply for our
target board, simplifying our production line.
Finally, we specify the Image Description so that we can
easily identify the image later on. By using the “Store Image to Disk” option,
we are able to save this image and its configuration as a .SAP file for future
3.) Using the DLL – Simple Example
The above code example shows the most basic operation that
is supported by the Cyclone Automated Control Package. Below are the steps we have
Step 1: Contact the desired Cyclone by specifying its
IP address. The handle of the Cyclone is returned, and is used to identify the
Cyclone in all subsequent function calls.
Step 2: Send a command to the Cyclone to begin the
programming operations specified in image #1. These operations were specified
during the image creation process.
Step 3: Wait for the Cyclone to complete the
programming operations before proceeding.
Step 4: Check to see if any errors occurred during
programming and provide a message to the user.
Step 5: Terminate the current session with the
4.) Using the DLL – More Advanced Operations
Programming a serial number
Note: The following are placeholder functions used to
simplify the example, and are not provided by the automated control package:
The above example code is an event handler written for a
visual MFC application, which is executed each time a button is pressed by the
user. Here, we again instruct the Cyclone to perform the stand-alone
programming operations of the image stored on the Cyclone. Afterwards, we
program a dynamic 2-byte serial number into address 0x100 of the target
processor. The serial number is then incremented and written back to a file for
Although there are many different ways to program a serial
number without needing to use the automated control package at all, this code example can easily be
modified to program dynamic data that is not sequential. For example, if we
wish to program the current date or a lot number, using the automated control package and writing
your own custom application is by far the easiest and most automated way to
accomplish this task.
Automatically update image stored on the Cyclone
This is a very simple example of how to ensure that the
image stored on a Cyclone is always up to date. A comparison is performed
between the image which currently resides on the Cyclone and an image file at a
specified location on the host PC. If there is a mismatch, then we update the
image. Afterwards, we proceed with the normal programming operations as seen in
the previous examples.
5.) Can I Control Multiple Cyclones?
Up until now, we have discussed some uses of the
Cyclone Automated Control Package with a single Cyclone unit. Since the host PC only
sends minimal control information to control each Cyclone, a single PC is
actually capable of controlling many Cyclone units simultaneously.
Here, we begin programming operations on 3 separate Cyclone
units and wait for their completion before proceeding. In essence, we are
programming 3 separate devices in parallel. This can be easily extended to 10,
100, or even 1000 Cyclone units controlled in parallel from a single host PC!
6.) More Examples
Here are a few more real world examples:
·Quality Control : automatically
record statistics on the number of devices that fail during programming.
·You’re a developer and just completed the
firmware development for a brand new product. Now you need to get your
production facility up to speed, but they are halfway across the country.
Streamline this process by writing a simple application that will add a new
image to the Cyclone. Send this along with the new stand-alone image SAP file
and you’re done.
·You use multiple Cyclone units for programming
your devices in parallel. Each Cyclone has 4 different images, one for each of
your 4 different products. Write an application that allows the user to
automatically select the correct image for the current production run.
Whether you are performing small production runs in-house or
programming a large number of chips in a high-volume facility, P&E’s
Cyclone product family provides a powerful, yet affordable, solution. With the
advanced parallel programming, image management, and error tracking features
provided by P&E’s new Cyclone Automated Control Package, you now have the power to
completely automate your production programming process like never before.
In a previous post, we showed how to use PKGPPCNEXUS and PKGCFZ_PRO to display the contents of an ELF/DWARF file using Readelf. In this post, we look at the Readelf output and explain its description of your object code.
We will use this example Readelf output to illustrate the kinds of information that Readelf provides.
The first item of interest is labeled "Entry point address". This is the address of the first instruction executed after reset. Your compiler or linker determines this value. The P&E debugger optionally uses the entry point address to execute your target application.
The "Section Headers" portion lists all of your linker sections that made it to your ELF/DWARF file. The ".debug_info" section is where ICD looks for the debugging information entries. Note that not all of these sections contribute to the application memory map.
The portions titled "Program Headers" and "Section to Segment mapping" describe the application memory map. ICD and PROG use the program headers to determine where to place object code on your target. Check that a linker section is included in the final memory map by examining the section to segment mapping. Note that the first entry in the program headers corresponds to the first entry in the section to segment mapping.
From the program headers, you can gather the following information about the memory map: Type - Only LOAD types contribute to the final memory image VirtAddr - load time location of code MemSiz - number of bytes that the code segment occupies in the final memory image
P&E's PROG and ICD software support an uncommon feature of the GNU compiler. GCC uses both the program header VirtAddr and PhysAddr fields, the former for run time address and the latter for load time address. For more information on this useful feature, please refer to this document.
Did you know you can safeguard data while erasing your Flash/EEPROM module during programming? P&E has added a “preserve range” function that can be used in a programming algorithm to preserve memory ranges. The function looks at the range to be preserved, saves it, and restores it after the Flash/EEPROM has been erased. The user can easily preserve code segments stored in flash with a couple of modifications to the header of the programming algorithm.
A flash programming algorithm is a text file which describes how a particular flash block is to be programmed. The algorithm contains a configuration section as well as some s-record data which implements the programming process. User's commonly will modify the configuration section to change the behavior of the programming algorithm, such as to add ranges of data to preserve.
Flash algorithms describe flash blocks as having either a fixed address (common for internal flash on a microcontroller) or a variable address (common for flash chips external to a microprocessor). Algorithms which do not have a fixed address for the flash will prompt the user for the base address of the flash at the time of programming. In either case, the algorithm can be used to specify ranges of flash to preserve relative to the start of the flash block.
For an algorithm with a fixed address for the flash block, the following line will indicate the flash block location:
NO_BASE_ADDRESS=NNNNNNNN/ ; NNNNNNNN is a Hexadecimal value indicating the start of flash
Do not modify the NO_BASE_ADDRESS line! You are simply going to add some lines after it which indicate that you wish to preserve certain ranges relative to the base address. The configuration line(s) you should add directly after the NO_BASE_ADDRESS line should have the following format (very strictly formatted - no spaces allowed and include all forward slashes):
PRESERVE_RANGE=SSSSSSSS/EEEEEEEE/ ; SSSSSSSS is the starting offset, EEEEEEEE is ending offset
Adding this line would preserve the following memory range : NNNNNNNN+SSSSSSSS to NNNNNNNN+EEEEEEEE.
If there was an algorithm which was designed to program a flash block with address range $4000-$FFFF, you would see the following configuration in the flash algorithm:
NO_BASE_ADDRESS=00004000/ ;Fixed at $4000 ADDR_RANGE=00000000/0000BFFF/00/FFFFFFC0/FFFFFE00/ ; $4000-$FFFF
Do not modify these lines! If you wanted to preserve a certain memory range, you would specify it after the line with the NO_BASE_ADDRESS command (which sets the base address) and before the lines with ADDR_RANGE. If you wanted to preserve the memory from address $F000-$F001, you would add the bolded line as follows:
Note that the preserve_range command requires the offset from the base address of your memory. If you add $4000 to $B000 and $B001, you have $F000 and $F001.
In addition, this functionality does not limit the user to preserving only 1 range or one address. The function can be called several times in the algorithm if several ranges and/or addresses need to be preserved, or if the Flash/EEPROM is segmented into several fields or extended into pages.
For the flash block above (from $4000 to $FFFF), if the user wished to preserve addresses $5001, $5006 and ranges $CCAA-$CCBB and $D123-$DFFF, the following segment would be added to the algorithm:
It is also possible to preserve several different segments across different pages of Flash/EEPROM. The user should know how to access each page of memory logically in the software. Let's look at the HCS08 AC128. The paged Flash memory can be accessed with the following ranges. This will typcially be described in the configuration section of the programming algorithm.
$08000-$0BFFF --> Page 0 $18000-$1BFFF --> Page 1 $28000-$2BFFF --> Page 2 $38000-$3BFFF --> Page 3 etc. If the user wanted to preserve memory on page 0 from $08000-$08005 and on page 3 from $38000-$38005, he would add the following commands :
Note again that the offset $20F0 is added to the parameters of the command to calculate the correct paged memory ranges to preserve. Add $20F0 to $5F10 to get $08000 and add $20F0 to $35F10 to get $38000.
The PROG software will report a checksum error and warn that the algorithm has been modified. This error can be ignored. If you wish to remove the warning, please use our command-line ADDCRC utility to update the checksum.
The Blank Check command will now fail because of the preserved data. Also note that the Verify Module command will ignore the addresses that are preserved when comparing memory against an S-record.
Any information which follows a semicolon (;) on a configuration line is a comment. P&E can provide more a detailed specification of flash algorithm construction upon request.
P&E has added a new Chip Select Diagnostic mode to its interactive
flash programmers to allow the user to diagnose memory map configuration
P&E’s flash programmers support an extensive array of
external flash devices connected to the processor. P&E’s algorithms are designed to work by default when
the flash device is connected to the boot chip select and no modification is
needed to the reset configuration of the output enable and write enable lines. However, there are numerous ways in which the flash can be
connected that may require changes to the default reset configuration
of the processor’s chip select, write enable, and output enable operation.
When another configuration is used, the algorithm may
require some modification to work. This
often involves writing to the chip select registers to change which chip select
is used, to make certain chip selects read only or write only, or to change the
base address of the chip select. P&E’s algorithms expect the flash to be located at a
specific location in the memory map. This location is listed in the algorithm
itself as a comment. An example can be seen here:
This line indicates that the flash must be configured to be
in the memory map at address 0, and that the full range $00000000-$00800000
must be configured to address the flash. This is separate from the “Base
Address” capability in the programmer user interface which makes the flash
appear to be anywhere the user selects it (internally it physically resides at
a specific location).
On many devices the boot chip select is enabled everywhere.
If a configuration change is needed, there are many commands which allow the
registers on the device to be written during startup. The WRITE_LONG,
WRITE_WORD, and WRITE_BYTE commands are examples of commands which can be used
to write to memory mapped registers. There are also commands on some
architectures to allow the configuration of where the registers are located,
such as the CONTROL command on the ColdFire architecture. Here is an example of
initializing the CS1 chip select on a 5272 device instead of the default CS0
chip select (the boot chip select).
CONTROL=20000001/0C0F/ ;set mbar on with address $20000000
WRITE_LONG=00000078/2000004C/ ;proc=5272 cs=CS1 on
The question often comes up : How do I know my chip select
configuration is correct?
P&E has added a diagnostic tool to it’s interactive
flash programmers which allow the user to test the chip select configuration to
make sure the chip select, write enable, and output enable signals have been
properly configured. The utility may be chosen from the “ChipSelectsDiagnostic”
selection on the main menu bar. A portion of the utility is shown here:
The user will need a scope or a logic probe to see if the
signals maintain the proper state during the test read and test write functions.
Setting the chip select registers properly solves the majority of support
questions P&E receives regarding external flash algorithms.
P&E's Cyclone programmers are sophisticated and flexible tools designed for in-circuit flash programming. Field service updates, an important part of a field system, often occur in places where there is no access to a PC or power outlet. However, P&E's Cyclones are lightweight, compact programmers that have been designed to operate in stand-alone mode – i.e. they can be loaded with a programming image, detached from the PC, and then be controlled via the LCD menu and control buttons. This makes it simple to update the firmware of a field system, for example. In the field, the Cyclone unit may be powered by using a Cyclone_PowerPack, which is a lightweight and compact lithium ion battery. The combination of the Cyclone programmer and the battery pack creates a fully operational field programming setup that is lightweight, compact, and extremely portable.
All that is required for a field update is to connect the battery-powered, pre-programmed Cyclone to the target. Flash programming occurs directly from the Cyclone image to the target by a simple touch of the Start button. Once initiated, programming launches and the on-board LCD displays the current state of the programming process. The final result, which is displayed on the LCD screen and with highly visible LEDs, clearly indicates a successful programming result.
If you use the ELF/DWARF file format with P&E's Programming or Debugging software, download one of our free C development kits to view the information within the ELF/DWARF file. Use Readelf to examine your application memory map, check your linker script, determine application size, view detailed debugging information, and more.
We include the GNU Readelf utility with our C development kits, PKGPPCNEXUS for PowerPC 55xx and PKGCFZ_PRO for ColdFire. These packages give you a complete set of development tools including the P&E ICD debugger, PROG Flash programming software, register viewing software, WinIDE editor, target specific project templates, and a GNU compiler toolchain.
You can control Readelf and the entire compiler toolchain from WinIDE. During compilation, you can automatically process the compiler output file with Readelf and dump the information to a text file. Also, take advantage of Readelf with any target architecture - if you're not targeting ColdFire or PowerPC 55xx, you can install one of our free C development kits and use WinIDE as a stand-alone ELF/DWARF viewer.
When it comes to production programming, a lot of times one or more serial numbers are required.
P&E has developed a utility called SERIALIZE, which allows the generation of a .SER serial number description file. This graphical utility
sets up a serial number which will increment according to the parameters set by
For P&E interactive programmers (PROGx software), the .SER files are stored on the PC and updated every time a serial number is programmed
to the target.
For Cyclone stand-alone operations, a
similar mechanism has been implemented, except that the serial number
structure is stored in the Cyclone's non-volatile internal FLASH memory. The .SER
file is used to obtain the initial serial number. Below we'll describe how a user
can take advantage of this feature in stand alone operations.
that a user only needs one serial number for his product, the following
sequence of operations can be specified when he creates the SAP image:
CM Corresponding programming algorithm for his product
SS Corresponding object file for his product
CS Corresponding .SER file for his product created using the Serialize utility
storing the image on the Cyclone, a user can simply press the "START"
button and watch the target be programmed with the serial number
specified in the .SER file. Another press of the "START" button will
program the target with the next serial number.
modules and multiple serial numbers can co-exist in one SAP image. The
following are example scripts of two programming algorithms and
three serial numbers:
CM Programming algorithm 1
SS Object file 1
CS .SER file 1
CM Programming algorithm 2
SS Object file 2
CS .SER file 2
CS .SER file 3
Once the SAP image is stored in a Cyclone, pressing the "START"
button will automatically carry out all the operations listed above in
sequence. Memory module 1 will contain the serial number specified
in the first .SER file. Memory module 2 will contain the serial
number specified in the second .SER file, and the serial number
specified by the third .SER file. Another press of the "START" button
will automatically program the next serial numbers in the target.
This serialize mechanism may even be used when a user
wants to program some static data to different locations without using
the "PB" or "PW" commands - the user can simply create a .SER file with all constants.
Please refer to this post for more information on the Serialization utility.
P&E offers a set of In-Circuit Debuggers that are packed with powerful scripting features. Whether you are stepping through a couple of lines of assembly code or debugging a C-level source, P&E's toolset can help you get the job done. P&E's In-Circuit Debuggers are designed with repeatable test and debugging procedures in mind. Therefore, the user can completely automate software tests by creating a macro script and saving the outcome in a log file. As a result, the user can avoid hours of repeatedly setting up software and firmware tests.
Here's a small demonstration of how the built in macro commands can be used to create and perform a repeatable firmware test on a 9S08AW60 processor. We'll be working with a simple assembly loop that's designed to toggle Port A every 20 CPU cycles. Please note that while the example below will be based on ICDHCS08 debugger, the same set of macro commands is present in all P&E debuggers. For a complete set of built-in macro features, please refer to the ICD COMMANDS section in the corresponding ICDxx.hlp file.
The macro outlined below will load our loop_example.s19 and .map files. At the same time it will set the program counter, set the breakpoints, and initialize variables. As the code executes, it will also capture the contents of the desired registers as well as the contents of all on-screen windows. All information will in turn be stored in a log file for later comparison and analysis:
; creates log file
; load an .s19 with a map file
; set program counter to point to the beginning of the
; add a variable to a variable window
; add a variable to a variable window
; run through initialization part of the code to the loop
; dump the contents of registers $00 to $01 into the log
; set a breakpoint at the beginning of the loop
; run the code until it hits a breakpoint
; captures the current data in all open windows and stores
; them in a log file.
; close log file
To execute the above macro, enter “macro” in the command line (located on the bottom of the ICD status window). Browse to the location where your macro is saved and open the file. Please note that any built-in commands can also be executed individually. This gives the user the opportunity to perform a step-by-step test of the macro prior to starting the automated debugging procedure.
P&E has updated its ColdFire software products so that they no longer require use of the processor status (PST) pins on the debug connector. These pins are traditionally used to determine if the part is running in user mode or halted in debug mode. The default is still to use the PST pins for status, but this can be optionally disabled in the connection assistant. When disabled, the software will use the BDM communications pins to determine the processor status. This results in a slight slowdown in communication and download rates, but the advantage is that the target board no longer has to wire the PST signals to the debug connectors. This also alleviates some problems in the case where the customer application needs to make use of the alternate functions of the processor status pins instead of using them for debug.
, MA— P&E Microcomputer Systems continues its commitment to
programming automation and efficiency by announcing the release of an
Automated Control Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Cyclone family
SDK features a dynamic link library (DLL) and supporting documentation
which allow the user to create custom software applications that
directly control P&E’s Cyclone PRO and MAX units. It also enables
users to control multiple Cyclones with a single PC, modify stored
images, manage multiple images, and program non-sequential dynamic data
such as serial numbers.
Cyclone Automated Control SDK is available in Professional and
Enterprise versions to suit both small and large production scales. A
Basic version with limited features is available for download at no
More information is available on the P&E website on this link.
- P&E Microcomputer Systems announces the release of an upgraded
version of the Professional ColdFire Development Package for the Cyclone
MAX and ColdFire Multilink. The package is already a powerful
and inexpensive development suite for the Freescale ColdFire MCF52xx,
MCF53xx, MCF54xx microcontroller families. These tools have now been
extended to include support for the ColdFire V1. The professional
package supports the GCC toolchain compiler and GNU target template
projects, specifically for the ColdFire V1, and additional GNU template
projects for the ColdFire V2 (MCF52xx, MCF52xxx).
- P&E Microcomputer Systems now offers a rechargeable Power Pack
for use with the Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX stand-alone programmers.
When powered by a lithium ion long-runtime battery, a Cyclone unit is
the perfect solution for field firmware updates that require portable,
stand-alone programming. The Cyclone and PowerPack are lightweight,
compact, and extremely portable.
- P&E Microcomputer Systems’ Cyclone MAX is an extremely flexible
tool designed for in-circuit flash programming, debugging, and testing
of Freescale microcontrollers. The Cyclone MAX’s architecture
support has now been extended to include the PowerPC Nexus family (MPC55xx).
Architectures already supported include the ColdFire (MCF5xxx), PowerPC
(MPC5xx/8xx), and ARM (MAC7xxx).
- P&E Microcomputer Systems publishes an API in the form of UNIT
Libraries that allow third-party developers to customize interactions
with microcontrollers via Serial, USB, or Ethernet ports using P&E
hardware interfaces. For example, the UNIT library can be used to build
custom production line testers. P&E has now expanded its offerings
to include UNIT Libraries for the ColdFire V1 architecture.
- P&E Microcomputer Systems announces the release of the DEMOJM
development board, available through Freescale. The DEMOJM is a low-cost
development system that supports Freescale MC9S08JM60 and MCF51JM128
64LQFP microcontrollers. It consists of a DEMOJM Base Board, a DC9S08JM60
Daughter Card and a DC51JM128 Daughter Card. P&E’s Embedded Multilink
circuitry on the DEMOJM board allows the processor connected to the
DEMOJM to be powered, debugged, and programmed via USB from a PC.
- The ColdFire V1 professional development packages are complete, powerful,
and inexpensive development suites for Freescale ColdFire 51xx family
microcontrollers, including the JM and QE families. The package is now
available in either a C-level or ASM Development Suite. Packages include
P&E's in-circuit debugger, flash programmer, development environment,
assembler, register decoder. The C-level package also includes the GCC
C Compiler. A P&E debug interface is used to connect to a
standard debug connector on target and provides the ability to debug
in real time.
- P&E Microcomputer Systems announces the release of the DEMOQE128
development board, a low-cost development system designed for demonstrating,
evaluating, and debugging the Freescale MC9S08QE128 and MCF51QE128 microcontrollers.
P&E’s Multilink circuitry is embedded onto the DEMOQE128 board
so that it can be powered, programmed, and debugged via USB from the
PC. An optional BDM port is provided to allow use of an external BDM
interface such as P&E’s Cyclone PRO automated programmer or USB
P&E has developed Linux-supported versions of many of our UNIT Library Interface Routines.
For several years, P&E Microcomputer Systems has offered the UNIT
SDK in order to allow users of P&E's hardware to create custom
applications for testing and other designs. With the addition of Linux
support for many of the UNIT products, P&E continues to expand the
range of users who can take advantage of these powerful tools.
UNIT Library Interface Routines for Linux are available for:
Power PC Nexus
For more information on UNIT software for Linux or Windows, please visit P&E's website.
Boston, Massachusetts - P&E
Microcomputer Systems announces the release of the powerful but
cost-effective $99 ColdFire MCF5213 Development Kit. This kit includes
the DEV5213CF evaluation board, which features an embedded P&E USB
to BDM interface. The embedded interface provides for easy debug and
FLASH programming of the resident ColdFire MCF5213 processor. The
resident MCF5213 device is a 32-bit ColdFire processor which
incorporates 256KB of flash, 32KBytes of ram, ADC, QSPI, PWMs, timers,
a PLL, I2c, QSPI, and more. The processor runs at a system clock speed
of up to 80MHZ, with 76MIPS of performance.
64K Starter Edition of the P&E’s PKGCFZPRO software development
package is also incorporated into the MCF5213 kit. This software suite
provides user with the capability to compile, debug, and flash program
up to 64KB of user C code. This software suite includes the P&E
In-Circuit Debugger, Flash Programmer, and WinIDE integrated
environment, with a built-in GCC Compiler. The 64K Starter Edition also
includes a sample template project to give you a jump start on an
interrupt driven firmware design.
Massachusetts - P&E has released a complete, powerful, and
inexpensive C-level Windows-based development suite for Freescale
ColdFire MCF5xxx microcontrollers. The package includes P&E's
in-circuit debugger, flash programmer, development environment, GCC C
Compiler, assembler, register decoder, and USB-ML-CF hardware debug
interface. The USB-ML-CF debug interface is a high speed USB 2.0
peripheral which connects to a standard Freescale ColdFire debug
connector and provides the ability to debug your target in real time.
P&E has also released a 64K-limited edition of the development suite which is available for download at no cost.
Whether you are porting your existing C code to the GNU
compiler or creating an application from scratch, learning to use any new
compiler and development environment can be time consuming.For those who are new to GCC, setting up
compiler options, linker scripts, and target startup code takes even more
time.And, if you have never developed
a C application for an embedded system, then you might be working late a few
nights this week.PKGCFZ PRO reduces
your down time by simplifying all of these tasks.Follow the steps below to speed through the development process.
Boston, Massachusetts— P&E Microcomputer
Systems announced the availability of two new USB Multilink interface
cables. The first is the USB-ML-PPCNEXUS, a JTAG/BDM interface for
Freescale MPC55xx devices. The second is the USB-ML-16/32, a BDM
interface for Freescale 68HC16/683xx devices. Both new interfaces
connect from the USB port of a Windows-based PC to the target. P&E
offers these new USB Multilink interfaces individually, or packaged
with software (debugger, programmer, IDE) as part of a development kit.
P&E Microcomputer Systems, Inc. is pleased to annouce the release
of the Cyclone MAX automated programmer and debug interface. The
Cyclone MAX programs PowerPC (MPC5xx/8xx), ColdFire (MCF5xxx) and ARM
(MAC71xx) devices, and operates either as a stand-alone unit, or
connected to a PC. Like P&E's popular Cyclone PRO, the MAX allows
the user to communicate using either Serial, USB, or Ethernet ports.
P&E expects to add functionality to the Cyclone MAX, including the
possibilty of support for new architectures, expandable storage, and a
new visual interface.
Massachusetts— P&E Microcomputer Systems announces the launch of a
PRO development suite for ColdFire 5xxx devices. With the PRO suite,
P&E looks to expand on the success of its PKGCFZ, a popular,
cost-effective Windows-based development suite for the
Motorola/Freescale MCF5xxx microcontrollers. The PRO version now
represents a comprehensive solution for developing with either the C
language or assembly language. The GCC component of the PKGCFZ_PRO
Configure the compiler options within WinIDE
Run GCC directly from WinIDE and Windows - no complex UNIX shell is required
WinIDE builds your C application using a modifiable Windows batch file - no makefile is used.
Auto-create GCC initialization code and linker scripts for the ColdFire 527x/528x
Debug your C code using the ELF/DWARF(v. 2.0) file format
WinIDE highlights syntax errors in your C source code
PRO ColdFire packages are available in both parallel port and USB versions.
Massachusetts— P&E Microcomputer Systems continues to expand its
offering of USB Multilink BDM Interfaces by proudly announcing the
release of two new interfaces for the ColdFire and PowerPC families.
The USB-ML-CF is a USB-port-to-target BDM interface for the ColdFire
MCF52xx/53xx/54xx families of processors. P&E has also released the
USB-ML-PPCBDM, which is a USB-port-to-target BDM interface for the 5xx/8xx families of PowerPC devices. Both new USB Multilink BDM interfaces feature:
interface from PC to Multilink for fast programming and debugging, with
the ease and compatibility of the USB interface. Higher download rate
is over 3x faster than P&E's parallel port cable.
Wide target operating voltage of 1.80v-5.25v.
No separate power supply required - power is drawn from the USB interface (draws less than 1mA from the target)
As always, P&E is offering these powerful new tools at an affordable price. Please see the USB-ML-CF and USB-ML-PPCBDM product
pages on P&E's website for more detail.P&E Microcomputer
Systems, Inc., established in 1980 and located in Boston, MA, is an
industry trendsetter in hardware and software development tools for
Motorola / Freescale microcontrollers.