How to start with Digital Signal Processors with Ti DSPs

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How to start with Digital Signal Processors with Ti DSPs

Post by Neo » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:52 pm

In this tutorial, I explain you the basic steps required to setup and run a standard DSP program on an evaluation module.
  1. Hardware & Software Requirements
  2. Install Software and Drivers
  3. Connecting to Evaluation Module
  4. Standard components of a DSP application
  5. Where do we store the firmware

Hardware & Software Requirements
First check whether you have the following equipments with you.
  1. Evaluation module with Driver CD
  2. JTAG with driver CD
    This is to connect your board to PC that helps advance debugging. Usually comes with Parallel or USB interface.
  3. Code Composer Studio commonly known as CCS
    Usually a free 60 day trial version is coming with the CD. If it is not there, then you can get it form ... tudio.html
    * The link contains CCS 4, However some evaluation modules have drivers for CCS 3.3. I couldn't ind a CCS 3.3 free trial download link from Ti website. You may check on that.

Install Software and Drivers
If you have these things, you can move on to next step.
  1. Install CCS
  2. JTAG drivers (under CCS folder)
  3. Install board drivers (under CCS folder)
    These usually a set of libraries that comes with source code.
  4. Go to CCS Setup (There is an icon that comes after installation) and add the board you have under the correct JTAG
  5. Run CCS

Connecting to Evaluation Module
Here, there are few things to consider.
  1. When you run CCS, you will see that you will get a project window on the left side of the screen
  2. Note that you have a folder called GEL files
    The GEL file is used to initialise the board when you try to connect to it.
    You can see the coding of this file and edit it (always keep a backup) according to your resulting hardware.
    * In an evaluation module, you have several components that are not required to your final hardware. You need to remove these codes at the final step of your firmware developments. But this is not required at the beginning
    * When you add your board from CCS Setup, the standard GEL file for your board is correctly assigned.
  3. We are now ready to give power on the boards
    Usually we first provide power to the evaluation module and after about say 2 seconds to the JTAG (There must be some instructions on your board's manual on this as the procedure may differ from board to board). However, we found that this is not much important as the JTAG protocol can handle it.
  4. Now connect to your board, Debug menu -> connect (or simply Alt+C)
    Verify the status bar at the bottom that indicates whether you are correctly connected to the board with a green coloured symbol
  5. You can disconnect the board in the same way.
  6. Now you are ready to start programming

Standard components of a DSP application
I always recommend people to start with an example program that came with the board (after you have installed board drivers, you will get a folder named as Examples). Load one that matches the most to your project from the list. Then load the project file.

Lets briefly analyse the standard components of a DSP application.
    This is a tiny, super efficient operating system that provides advance tasks like multi-tasking, memory management (dynamic memory allocation), Semaphores, Cache handling, etc...
    You can see a folder called DSP/BIOS when you load a sample project. Double click on that and see the list of features it has. In addition to those features, you can easily configure the memory modules, cache, CPU speed, source includes, linking libraries, compiler settings, etc...
    However since you have loaded a factory build example, the settings must be already done.
  2. Source files
    C, CPP, H (header files), SA (linear assembly files ), ASM (assembly files) can be found under source folders
    You can set the compiler and linker features from DSP/BIOS. It is a nice feature that you can set debugging features to each individual file. For example, if you want to debug just one C file, then you can simple enable compile with debug instruction and disable optimisation on that file. (Note that compiling a whole project with debug instruction and without optimisation is okay at the initial steps. But later when you are about to run the firmware in your own hardware, you will have to remove debug instructions and compile with optimisation.
  3. CMD file
    This is really an important file if you are not using the DSP/BIOS OS. In that case, all memory configurations, Cache settings, compiler-linker settings must be defined here. If you use, then we only use it to link the DSP/BIOS configuration file to the project.

Where do we store the firmware
We can write the program to External RAM (usually SDRAM or DDR) and Internal RAM at the stage of development. Later we need to use the Flash utility that comes with the board CD/DVD to program the code to Flash. We also have to configure the board to define the booting method. This usually done by jumpers.

Hope you enjoy the article. If you have question, submit them on the same post.
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