Exploring Embedded C Programming

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1 Laboratory Short Course Exploring Embedded C Programming Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners Freescale Semiconductor, Inc Document Number: LABS12CINTRO06S /REV 2

2 Reading this Document Answers provided to the Instructor assume that the reader is using Freescale HCS12C Family Student Learning Kit, and CodeWarrior development software. This short course has been created using an adapted version of the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) method. For more information visit Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 1

3 Overview We must change some of the ways we think about programs and learn some new tools and techniques when we change from programming a desktop application to an embedded application. This module assumes you have learned C in another course and will help you explore the features that have been added to your compiler to deal with the special requirements of an embedded application. Learning Objectives In this module you will learn some of the additional responsibilities of a programmer writing an application for an embedded system instead of a desktop or personal computer application. You will learn what the startup code does and how and when to use the volatile property of a variable. You will also learn how a C program can access I/O registers, how assembly language programs can be mixed with C functions, and how a C program can be written to handle interrupts. Success Criteria When you complete this module you will be able to explain what the C program startup code does and will be able to show when a volatile variable must be declared. You will also be able to demonstrate that a C program can access a control register in a fixed memory location and how to use bit set and bit clear instructions when needed. Prerequisites You must be able to write assembly or C programs for your microcontroller, be able to produce a list file showing the assembly code produced by the compiler, and be able to simulate C programs or run them on a student learning kit in the laboratory. More Resources and Further Information Cady, Fredrick M., Software and Hardware Engineering: Assembly and C Programming for the Freescale HCS12 Microcontroller, 2 nd edition. (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2008), Chapter 10 Program Development Using C. Freescale HC12 Compiler, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Austin, TX Revision 1.2, 9/9/03, (hc12compilerrm.pdf) HC(S)12 Compiler Manual, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Austin, TX, Revised 30 November 2006, (CW_compiler_HC12_RM.pdf) MC9S12C/MC9S12GC Family Data Sheet, Freescale Semiconductor, Inc., Austin, TX 03/2006 Comparision of Embedded and Desktop C Programs Although C gives embedded system programmers a high-level language, we must be aware of differences between the embedded and the desktop application worlds. In an embedded system the programmer must pay closer attention to the memory architecture and I/O capabilities than when writing desktop applications. In particular, you should be able to answer the following questions: What are the locations and the number of bytes of RAM and ROM in your microcontroller? What I/O capabilities exist and what are the addresses of control registers? How does the C program address a specific memory or I/O control register location? If an application needs an assembly language routine, how does the C program interface with an assembly language function? Can assembly language instructions be included in your C program? If so, how is that done? Can the C program address memory locations in expanded memory where the address range is outside the "normal" addresses of the microcontroller? How does the C program deal with interrupts and interrupt handlers or interrupt service routines? What data types does your compiler support and how are they stored in memory? Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 2

4 Explore Find the memory map of your microcontroller and list the address ranges of RAM and ROM. 2. What data types does your compiler support and how many bits of storage are required for each? The Outline of an Embedded C Program Any C program contains the following elements: Start-Up Code: The start-up code initializes the microcontroller hardware such as the stack pointer, watchdog timer (COP), and other microcontroller features. It also initializes any variable data in RAM either with a value as specified in your program or with zero. void main( void ): Your program must always have a main(), which is executed after the start-up code. Program Functions: Any well designed program will have functions in addition to main() to do required processing. Interrupt Handler Functions: Interrupt functions are not normally found in desktop applications but are used frequently in embedded systems. Special extensions to an ANSI C compiler are required. Variables: Variables in C may be automatic or static depending on where and how they are defined. Static Variables: Static variables may be declared either inside or outside a function. They are allocated a specific memory location in RAM and although they may or may not be globally visible, their lifetime persists from one function call to another. Automatic Variables: Variables that are declared inside a function but are not also declared as static are called automatic variables. No other function can access them and they are valid only during the functions execution time. Automatic variables are allocated storage on the stack. As an embedded system engineer, we must be sure the system has enough stack storage space to accommodate the automatic variables in a function. Volatile Variables: A volatile variable is one whose value may change due to an outside force or event. n example is data that are read from an I/O port. We must declare these volatile to avoid compiler optimization that may eliminate necessary code. Stimulate What does "scope" of a variable mean? 2. A variable is defined inside a function and the compiler does not allocate a specific memory location in RAM for its storage. a. Is this an automatic or static variable? b. Where is it stored? c. What is its scope? d. Is data stored in this variable during one function call available to the function in the next call? 3. A static variable is defined inside a function. a. What is its scope? b. Where is storage space allocated for it? c. Is data stored in this variable during one function call available to the function in the next call? 4. A variable is defined outside a function. a. Is this a static or automatic variable? b. If another separately compiled function wishes to use this variable, what must be done in this function to do this? Initializing Variables Static and externally defined variables are allocated storage in RAM and initialized by the start-up code to either zero or to an initial value given in your program. Automatic variables are allocated storage on the stack. Any automatic variables that must be initialized Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 3

5 are done when a function is entered. Automatic variables that do not have some initial value are simply written when the code requires them to have some value. Explore 2. Enter the small C program below. Choose ANSI Startup mode when creating the project in CodeWarrior. It will allow you to explore the start-up code provided by your compiler. Compile it and prepare to run it on your simulator. /* External data */ char i2_final = 0x22; /* Initialized value */ void main(void) { char i1; /* Automatic variable */ static char i2; /* Static variable */ char i3=3; /* Automatic initialized variable */ static char i4=4; /* Static initialized variable */ } for (i1=0;i1<i4;++i1){ i2 = i3 * i1; } i2_final = i2; for(;;) {} /* wait forever */ Run the program in your simulator. Change the memory watch window to display the RAM memory (0x08F0 0x0920) and step through the start-up code using the assembly language single step feature. 1. Where is storage allocated for the variable char i2_final? 2. In what part of the code is i2_final initialized with 0x22? 3. Where is storage allocated for the variable char i1? 4. Is i1 initialized with any value by the _Startup() code? 5. Where is storage allocated for the variable char i2? 6. Is i2 initialized with any value by the _Startup() code? 7. Where is storage allocated for the variable char i3? 8. Is i3 initialized with any value by the _Startup() code? If not, when is it initialized? 9. Where is storage allocated for the variable char i4? 10. Is i4 initialized with any value by the _Startup() code? 11. What do you predict the final value of i2 to be? Is it? Explore 3. Repeat Explore 2 but this time creat a new project and select the Minimal Startup option. 1. You should get an error or warning when you make the project? What does it mean? Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 4

6 2. What changes must you make to your program to compensate for the problem? 3. Make the changes to your program and verify that the final value of i2_final is the same as in Explore 2. Stimulate If you are familiar with assembly language programming you may know that comparing signed and unsigned numbers requires different assembly language conditional branches. What changes would you expect to see in the assembly code for the program if you changed all char variables from signed to unsigned char? Volatile Variables Volatile variables are those whose values may change from outside the program. For example, you may wish to read an A/D converter several times. Explore Enter the following program using the ANSI Startup option and investigate what happens when p_atd is not declared volatile and then is declared volatile. /* Define pointer to the ATD data register */ #define p_atd (unsigned char *) 0x0090 void main(void) { static unsigned char atd_input1; atd_input1 = *p_atd; /* Do something else for a while */ /* Now read the atd again */ atd_input1 = *p_atd; /* Did you get code to read the atd_port twice? */ } for(;;) {} /* wait forever */ 2. What happens when p_atd is not declared volatile? a. Check the listing file produced by your compiler showing the assembly language code produced for the program shown above. Compile the program twice. Once with the p_atd definition #define p_atd (unsigned char *) 0x0090 and then again with #define p_atd (volatile unsigned char *) 0x In this exercise you should find that in the first case the compiler generates code to read the ATD value only once; when ATD is declared volatile, the value should be read twice. 4. There are no instructions between the two lines that read the ATD in the example above. What does your compiler do if you add something to the program between these two instructions, say a function call or some other instructions? Connecting a C Program to an Assembly Language Program There are two components of a C program's assembly language interface. The first allows you to insert assembly language Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 5

7 instructions "in-line" with ordinary C statements. You may wish to do this for special purposes such as unmasking or masking interrupts if your compiler does not provide a library function to do this. Another aspect of the assembly language interface arises when you wish to use an assembly language function in your C program. This is done often for special purpose I/O or to take advantage of assembly language features. To transfer arguments to and from the assembly language program, the C program will use CPU registers as much as possible and use the stack for the remaining arguments. Explore Does your compiler allow you to insert assembly language instructions "in-line" with your C code? If so, how do you do this? 2. How does your C program transfer arguments to and from the assembly language program? Accessing I/O Registers In most microcontrollers the I/O registers are at fixed addresses, and often we must read from or write to these registers. Your compiler may have a special way to define these registers or you may use the following, more portable, definition: /* Declare p_portb to be a pointer to the address of PORTB */ #define p_portb (volatile unsigned char *) 0x0001 Explore Determine if your compiler has a way to assign a global variable to a specific address. If so, add sufficient statements to the following program to test that using the compiler's assignment generates code that reads from and writes to a port. /* Define pointers to the HCS12 ATD port registers */ /* ATD Data register */ #define p_atd (volatile unsigned char *) 0x0090 /* ATD Start convert register */ #define p_atdctl5 (unsigned char *) 0x0085 /* Value to start the ATD */ #define START_CONVERT 0x81 /* ATD Status register */ #define p_atdstat0 (unsigned char *) 0x0086 /* Sequence complete flag */ #define SCF 0x80 void main(void) { static unsigned char atd_value1; /* Start the ATD */ *p_atdctl5 = START_CONVERT; /* Wait for the ATD to finish */ Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 6

8 while ( (*p_atdstat0 & SCF) == 0); } /* Read the ATD */ atd_value1 = *p_atd; for(;;) {} /* wait forever */ Using Individual Bits in a Memory Location Unlike a desktop application, your embedded application has many instances where it must either read or write a specific bit in a control register. Your microcontroller probably has instructions specially included to set or clear these bits without disturbing other bits in the register. It is important that your compiler generates the proper bit set or bit clear instructions when you want to do this. Explore ANSI C provides a way to define bit fields that are addressed individually using the bitwise inclusive OR and bitwise AND operators. Enter the following program and verify that your compiler generates bit set and bit clear instructions. /*****************************************************************/ /* Define the bit positions */ #define B0 1 #define B1 2 #define B2 4 #define B3 8 #define B4 16 #define B5 32 #define B6 64 #define B7 128 /* Define location of PORTX */ #define PORTX (*(volatile unsigned char *) 0x0270) /* Define a pointer to PORTY */ #define p_porty (volatile unsigned char *) 0x0280 void main(void) { /* These instruction generate bit-set and bit-clr * instructions */ /* Strobe PORTX bit-0 */ PORTX = PORTX B0; /* Set the bit high */ PORTX &= ~B0; /* Set the bit low */ /* Strobe PORTY bit-1 */ *p_porty = B1; /* Set the bit high */ Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 7

9 } *p_porty = *p_porty & ~B1; Using Interrupts Interrupts are an important part of many embedded applications. Although an interrupt request is much like a hardware actuated function call, it differs from a "normal" function call in several important ways. Before entering the interrupt handler function, all CPU registers must be saved on the stack. Any transfer of information between the interrupt handler and other parts of the program must be done with globally defined data. A special return from interrupt instruction must be executed at the end of the interrupt handler to restore all CPU registers from the stack. Explore Does your compiler support interrupt service routines? If so, how do you signify to the compiler that a function should be treated as an interrupt handler or service routine? Stimulate What makes an interrupt handler or service routine different than an "ordinary" function? Problem Your ANSI C compiler uses the const declaration for a "variable" to specify that the value is not to be changed. This is useful to make sure that you do not accidentally write code that changes it. In some situations the compiler may use this definition just like #define (a constant known at compile-time) and in others it may allocate (and initialize) a ROM memory location. Write a small program that demonstrates how the compiler may use a "constant variable" in these two ways. Make sure that your compiler will give an error message if you try to change the variable. Communication Reporting Submit a memo report including listing files for any modules written for Problem 1. Point out the specific lines in your code where the compiler has used a const as a defined value at compile-time and where it has allocated and used ROM memory storage. Reflection on Learning In this module you have explored how the C language compiler creates code for you. Are you curious about how the compiler does other things? What strategy would you use to investigate and satisfy your curiosity? Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 8

10 Revision History Revision Comments Author 0 Initial Release Fred Cady 1 Updated to CodeWarrior 4.6 Fred Cady 2 Miscellaneous edits Fred Cady Freescale Semiconductor LABS12CINTRO06S, Rev 2 9

11 How to Reach Us: Home Page: Web Support: USA/Europe or Locations Not Listed: Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. Technical Information Center, EL East Elliot Road Tempe, Arizona or Europe, Middle East, and Africa: Freescale Halbleiter Deutschland GmbH Technical Information Center Schatzbogen Muenchen, Germany (English) (English) (German) (French) Information in this document is provided solely to enable system and software implementers to use Freescale Semiconductor products. There are no express or implied copyright license granted hereunder to design or fabricate any integrated circuits or integrated circuits based on the information in this document. Freescale Semiconductor reserves the right to make changes without further notice to any products herein. Freescale Semiconductor makes no warranty, representation or guarantee regarding the suitability of its products for any particular purpose, nor does Freescale Semiconductor assume any liability arising out of the application or use of any product or circuit, and specifically disclaims any and all liability, including without limitation consequential or incidental damages. Typical parameters which may be provided in Freescale Semiconductor data sheets and/or specifications can and do vary in different applications and actual performance may vary over time. All operating parameters, including Typicals must be validated for each customer application by customer s technical experts. Freescale Semiconductor does not convey any license under its patent rights nor the rights of others. Freescale Semiconductor products are not designed, intended, or authorized for use as components in systems intended for surgical implant into the body, or other applications intended to support or sustain life, or for any other application in which the failure of the Freescale Semiconductor product could create a situation where personal injury or death may occur. Should Buyer purchase or use Freescale Semiconductor products for any such unintended or unauthorized application, Buyer shall indemnify and hold Freescale Semiconductor and its officers, employees, subsidiaries, affiliates, and distributors harmless against all claims, costs, damages, and expenses, and reasonable attorney fees arising out of, directly or indirectly, any claim of personal injury or death associated with such unintended or unauthorized use, even if such claim alleges that Freescale Semiconductor was negligent regarding the design or manufacture of the part. Japan: Freescale Semiconductor Japan Ltd. Headquarters ARCO Tower 15F 1-8-1, Shimo-Meguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo Japan or Asia/Pacific: Freescale Semiconductor Hong Kong Ltd. Technical Information Center 2 Dai King Street Tai Po Industrial Estate Tai Po, N.T., Hong Kong For Literature Requests Only: Freescale Semiconductor Literature Distribution Center P.O. Box 5405 Denver, Colorado or Fax: Freescale and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. ARM is the registered trademark of ARM Limited. ARM9, ARM11, and ARML210 are the trademarks of ARM Limited. Java and all other Java-based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. The PowerPC name is a trademark of IBM Corp. and used under license. Freescale Semiconductor, Inc Document Number: LABS12CINTRO06S /REV 2

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