We are pleased to announce the beta version of the mbed Interface v2.0 firmware!
This beta firmware adds support for the new CMSIS-DAP USB debug connection. In addition to the drag n drop flash programming and the virtual serial port interface, you can use a CMSIS-DAP compliant offline toolchain to connect to your mbed to be able to develop and debug your programs!
Here are some more details...
A few months ago we mentioned we were doing some experiments with adding CMSIS-DAP to mbed hardware, and based on the great feedback we decided to develop it further and it is now available as a beta trial.
CMSIS-DAP is a open USB interface standard for connecting to the coresight debug infrastructure on Cortex-M microcontrollers, making it much easier to build low-cost boards that have on-board USB debug interfaces.
The primary goal for this trial is to get more people testing; different use cases, different projects, and really prove the CMSIS-DAP implementation we have for the mbed Microcontroller.
To use it, you just need to update the firmware on your mbed (don't worry, it is easily upgraded and reverted) and connect with a CMSIS-DAP compliant toolchain. We've been using MDK as one of our test toolchains, and it has CMSIS-DAP support in it publicly from MDK uVision 4.60. To find out more about enabling your mbed microcontroller with CMSIS-DAP, installing Keil MDK and debugging your first applications, please see the following page:
If you have any queries, questions or feedback, please contact email@example.com or discuss in the forums.
We also plan to release in the near future a CMSIS-DAP python library which will allow:
- debugging using GDB, as a gdbserver will be integrated on the library
- writing python applications that can communicate with the CMSIS-DAP and coresight debug interface:
- read/write memory
- read/write core registers
- set breakpoints
- flash new binary
- run/stop/step the execution
- act as a great reference to show how the CMSIS-DAP protocol works
We are also supporting others adding it to their tools, and expect to see CMSIS-DAP support in OpenOCD soon!
Looking forward to the feedback!
We are pleased to announce the release of the VodafoneUSBModem mbed library, enabling you to connect your microcontroller to a mobile network using a cheap off-the-shelf USB 3G modem!
This extends the networking capabilities supported by the mbed NXP LPC1768 to cover the full range of ethernet, wifi and 3G, so mbed will be even better for rapid prototyping of M2M and IoT devices, however they want to connect to the internet!
Here are some more details of what it enables...
The VodafoneUSBModem library has been under development in collaboration with Vodafone and our mbed beta testers, and is now stable and ready for widespread use. By adding a Vodafone USB Modem to your mbed LPC1768 setup (plus a few wires!), the functionality that you'll have available over a cellular connection is:
- SMS send/receive
- TCP/IP Sockets interface
- NTP Client
- HTTP Client
- Web Socket client
There are of course other protocols that can be supported, and the library has been published as open-soucre under the permissive MIT license, so is open for porting and extension - we expect more features to be published back to mbed.org as the developments get underway!
To give this technology a try, see the Vodafone USB Modem page for information on where to get your modem, how to set up your hardware and some hello world programs for the various protocols and APIs. Take a look at the Internet of Things Demo for some more ideas:
It also works with the upcoming Application Board, meaning you can just plug in an mbed and USB modem and you have a fully functional development platform. Please contact us if you'd be interested in purchasing a complete bundle, as we'll consider making one available if there is enough interest.
The library uses the same Networking architecture as the Wifi and Ethernet libraries, so switching your prototype between the different transport types can be as simple as changing a few lines of code; this addition really makes mbed an ideal prototyping platform for connected microcontroller devices!
Please feel free to comment if you have any interesting or unusual applications! We'd love to hear what you create with this. Now go and prototype your bit of the Internet of Things!
In the past couple of months we've been focused on making the Compiler faster, more reliable, while expanding its capabilities.
The online IDE already makes it easy to log in from any PC and carry on where you left off, but we've just pushed that portability one step further...
The Compiler now supports iOS and Android based tablet browsers. It's simple statement, yet there's much more to it:
- Editing - an efficient point-and-select method for state of the art editing - better than the majority of text editors on tablet devices.
- Interactivity - very close to a native tablet application - buttons, grids, dragging, resizing, panels, dialogs and all key UI components.
- Workflow - feels natural and responsive, and doesn't slow down the development process.
The wiki guide to mbed Compiler on tablet device does in-depth review of the touch support, plus a demo video, tips and tricks, and other useful information.
Alongside the touch support we also extended the Editor, both for desktop and touch platforms to introduce...
- New functions and shortcuts - popular editing functions such as line and block comment toggle, line duplicate and erase, case toggle and more - the complete list of shortcuts is available in the Compiler shortcuts page.
- Copying and pasting - refactored copy/paste to achieve reliable cross-platform functionality and better formatting of the pasted code.
More features here and there...
- Middle mouse click on an editor tab closes the corresponding file.
- Right mouse button dragging for the navigation tree and the file list - creating a copy of program/library/file have never been easier!
- The drag and drop integration between the navigation tree and the file list has been greatly improved.
- The navigation tree has been improved, both as loading time and less data transfer.
- Various backend calls have been either omitted or cached to minimize the waiting time and save traffic.
- The Compiler IDE rendering has been refactored so it "feels" lighter and faster.
- The input fields would properly receive focus when the corresponding dialog is opened.
- Input fields can now filter input keys, text pasting and indicate their focus state.
- Textarea fields can now have length limit (no more silent truncates of very long commit messages)
- It's now possible to rename a file from the file list as well as the navigation tree.
- Context menus options can now be navigated using keyboard.
And last but not least...
The plan for the next Compiler release is to integrate the API Documentation of programs, libraries - and more notably the mbed library - right inside the Compiler!
If you are curious about the upcoming features and want to participate the closed beta (which starts on 26th Oct), drop us a message.
Since the public beta trial was announced back in May, we've been collaborating with the guys at Vodafone and a small group of mbed developers who were keen to experiment with this technology. After a busy time developing, testing and debugging the USB modem driver, we're almost ready to publish it.
The release is expected to happen at the end of October, and so now seems like a good time to start showing some of the things that have been happening, and the projects that have been built around the modem.
First up is a project from Dr Ashley Mills, one of the Vodafone research guys we've been working closely with.
Ashley put together this SMS feedback machine when we attended Over The Air 2012 back in June. The idea is simple. It is a Vodafone USB Modem that can receive text messages, and a thermal printer that can print them out. Publicising the number at the beginning of a presentation enables people to text questions during the presentation. This might be useful to avoid forgetting the question before the end, or to avoid having to ask a question in front of a big audience.
It worked really well, and Ashley has been using it ever since. It is a good example of the SMS receive functionality that the Vodafone USB Modem library provides being used for an application that didn't exist before.
To read more about the project, visit Ashley's notebook page on the the project.
Keep and eye out for the announcement and book mark Vodafone USB Modem Library ready for the end of October!
Over the last few weeks I have been responding to Robbie King's questions about reference design issues (See Patching functions and libraries and USB line termination in mbed LPC11U24). Robbie is turning his mbed NXP LPC11U24 design into a PCB level design, and so wanted to make sure he was building the right thing. It occurred to me that there are probably lots of other mbed users making custom PCBs to take their prototypes to the next level, but we don't often hear about it.
For custom PCB prototypes I have been using Seeedstudio Fusion PCB Service. The one shown here is an LPC11U24 breakout for testing the mass storage boot loader. At 5cm x 5cm, it only cost $9.90 for 10-off, and as I wasn't in a hurry (I have plenty other things to do here at mbed HQ!) the $3 delivery option was fine. The whole thing was $14 delivered.
Seeedstudio recently introduced a gift certificate feature on their site, and have offered some gift certificates for sponsoring some PCBs.
If you'd like to showcase what you've been working on, and maybe win a gift certificate, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell us a little about the design you're working on, why it is cool, and why you should get your PCBs for free! I'll keep entries open until 18th October (you have a week!), after which we'll award the certificates. Once the PCBs are made, you'll have the opportunity to write a guest blog article showcasing your design!