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Robert Bowen
02/13/12 12:05
Read: 1134 times
St. Peters

#185908 - Learing SiLabs C8051020
I was just informed that I was "hi-jacking" a previous thread regarding NXP's obsoleting my favorite 8051 micro. So I'll start a new thread here.

As it turns out, I am not the only person currently looking to change/explore new 8051 flavors/vendors. So maybe we can share our experiences with which 8051 flavor and vendor we are considering.

I'll start by sharing my story/process with everyone and I am open to comments/tips/suggestions...

I was kindly turned on to SiLabs. After reviewing their products, I really liked what they had to offer. After 3-days of reading tech notes/data sheets, etc., I choose the C8051F020 micro. I downloaded and printed out all 277 pages! Still impressed with it's offerings, I decided to purchase the Development kit.

I installed the SiLabs IDE, applied juice to the Dev Board and off I went. Wrote my first App, blink the LED, Detect Switch pressed, Output to the DAC and some basic Serial Port Tx/Rx data to a remote PC. All worked fine.

While not overly-impressed with the SiLabs IDE, I decided to download the KEIL DLL plugin.(offered by SiLabs). I've been using KEIL for years, and I really like it... so why not stick with it?

Well, it "kinda" worked for a short while then it kept hanging KEIL and crashing! (Keep in mind, this is Hardware Debugging via JTAG.)

I can successfully "Single-Step" through my firmware (written in C) without the JTAG interface and Keil IDE. This still allows me to examine all registers, Port I/O, Stack, etc. and verify behavior. But for using KEIL to do hardware debugging, I'm still struggling.

I can successfully "hardware debug" using the JTAG interface in the SiLabs IDE, but the IDE lacks some of the features in KEIL that I have grown acustom to using. For example, let's suppose you "think" you configured your serial port for a baudrate of 9600. In the KEIL IDE I can examine all of the *CON registers and it will display the actual BaudRate configured. (Yes, I know, this is elementry, but you get the idea...)

Single-Stepping through the C-Source in SiLabs seems a little flakey to say the works, it doesn't. It's slow. It's confused.

So for now, I am leaning towards using KEIL for writting and debugging my code. I 'think' I am going to keep a copy of SiLabs IDE for Hardware debugging for now. Although not perfect, it may come in handy.

Personally, I don't care too much for hopping around multiple IDE's for development. I want one IDE for everything. But, who knows, I still have a lot to explore and hopefully I can sort through some of these little issues...???

Next thing to consider is the JTAG interface, also used for downloading my firmware. The Dev Board came with a "USB DEBUG ADAPTER". It connectes from my PC's USB to the Dev Boards JTAG interface. Right now, I am not sure I like having this adapter as my only source for downloading my firmware. I can see it now, develop a project, have it out in the field, and require my users to have this 'special' adapter to download new firmware. I can hear them screaming already!

I am used to providing a simple RS-232/USB port on my "device" that the user can connect directly to any laptop/PC and download new firmware using FlashMagic or something similar. No special harware required.

I'm sure there's something similar on the SiLabs C8051's but I have not gotten that far yet in my discovery.

For the others considering changing micro's, yes there's some homework and footwork to do. Selecting a new micro and vendor is the easy part. It's getting all the right tools to work properly that can slow the process down.


List of 10 messages in thread
Learing SiLabs C8051020      Robert Bowen      02/13/12 12:05      
   for my SILabs jobs      Erik Malund      02/13/12 12:36      
   Boot Loader        Michael Karas      02/13/12 12:40      
      more than one way to skin a cat      Erik Malund      02/13/12 13:10      
      Bootloader      Robert Bowen      02/13/12 17:03      
   Learing SiLabs C8051020 - HLL steping?      Jim Granville      02/14/12 23:32      
      F8051F5*      Robert Bowen      02/16/12 05:12      
         maybe      Erik Malund      02/16/12 07:26      
   HLL stepping      Andy Peters      02/16/12 09:10      
      Ditto      Rob Klein      02/16/12 09:33      

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