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Using Multilink Universal with Broadcom BMC2836 (ARM Cortex-A7)
Paul M. Mar 6, 2016 at 05:41 PM (17:41 hours)
Staff: Johnny N.

  • I have a PE Micro Multilink Universal which I got for designing HCS08-based processors. However, I have gotten interested in the Raspberry Pi just because they are manufactured in such high volumes. I see that this debug interface has a header for ARM processors so I am wondering if this can be used to communicate with an ARM Cortex-A7 that is part of the Broadcom BCM2836 at the heart of the RPi 2B. While one of these boards does not have a JTAG header for connecting a debugger, I believe all of the signals are routed out to the GPIO header so a custom ribbon cable could be made to connect it up to the MLU's ARM connector. The obvious question is whether any software exists for windows to interface to the Multilink and talk with the ARM core on board for assembly debugging purposes. The Cortex-A7 is supposed to support 64-bit operation. In lieu of debug software, is there a document that describes the protocol on the Multi-link so that I can access the device? The ML does show up as a COM port and I presume that it can be accessed easily using the same methods used for communicating over asynchronous serial interfaces.


  • This web page describes how to bring signals out to the GPIO header for a JTAG debug interface:

  • Hi Paul,

    We currently do not support ARM devices from Broadcom but it is certainly a possibility to add it to the USB-ML-Universal's capabilities. If you fill out our custom algorithm request form, I will forward it to the development team and they will discuss it in a future meeting.

    If there is enough demand from our users for Broadcom support, I am sure they will add it.


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