This application note explains the process of creating and debugging a hardware abstraction layer (HAL) software device driver. The included example of a HAL software device driver, called my_uart_driver, illustrates various software development stages. The example driver targets the Altera_Avalon_UART device, connected through a Vectored Interrupt Controller (VIC) to the Nios® II processor.
This application note helps you with custom device driver development for Nios II systems in the following ways:
- Shows the development process steps, from sending bits out the transmit pin in the main() through the construction of device access macros and automatic device initialization in alt_sys_init()
- Shows how to develop a driver with the command-line based Nios II Software Build Tools (SBT)
- Shows how to create applications and a board support package (BSP) based on your driver
- Shows how to import and debug the applications and BSP with the Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse
- Explains interrupt latency, interrupt nesting, and determinism
- Identifies system calls that cannot be included in a device driver interrupt service routine (ISR)
- Describes debugging tips and techniques, such as identifying UART transmission errors
For more information about the HAL, refer to the "Overview of the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook. For more information about interrupt latency, refer to the "Exception Handling" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
This document targets advanced systems developers with a basic understanding of the following concepts:
- Nios II application development, including creating and building software applications and BSPs with the Nios II SBT, including the Nios II SBT for Eclipse.
- The Quartus® II software, including opening Quartus II projects that match the target board, launching the Qsys system integration tool, and examining various peripheral settings.
- Using the Quartus II Programmer tool to program an SRAM Object File (.sof) to an FPGA through an Altera® USB-Blaster™ download cable.
- The "Nios II Hardware Development Tutorial", available on the Nios II Hardware Development Design Example page of the Altera website
- The "Getting Started with the Graphical User Interface" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook
- The "Getting Started from the Command Line" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook
The HAL application programming interface (API) provides an interface to hardware similar to a portable operating system interface for unix (POSIX). This interface abstracts the hardware details from upper-level clients of the HAL, such as operating systems, networking stacks, or Nios II applications. The HAL provides a variety of generic device classes, including character-mode, file subsystem, Ethernet, timestamp and system timers, direct memory access (DMA), and flash memory. The Altera_Avalon_UART is a member of the character-mode class of HAL devices. The HAL has an API for character-mode class devices, which you can use to manipulate the Altera_Avalon_UART. Mutual exclusion resources are available, provided either by MicroC/OS-II (if present) or by the HAL. These services include semaphores and event flags. When the HAL device driver makes calls to these resources, the calls are simply translated to non-operations when the multi-threading services are not available.
For additional information about HAL services, refer to the "Developing Programs Using the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
For additional information about the HAL API, refer to the "HAL API Reference" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
The following components are required:
- Quartus® II software version 15.0 SP1 or higher.
- Nios II Embedded Design Suite (EDS) version 15.0 SP1 or higher.
- The an459-design-files.zip archive.
The an459-design-files.zip archive contains a hardware design example for the Nios II Cyclone V E FPGA Development Kit, along with software examples and a driver example named my_uart_driver. The following software example projects are included:
- The bit_bang_uart application
- The hello_world_my_uart application
- The hal_my_uart BSP
an459-design-files.zip is available on the HAL Device Drivers Design Example page of the Altera website.
This application note discusses Nios II device drivers and components at several levels. To understand these levels, you need to be familiar with the following concepts:
- HAL-compatible component—A design for a piece of hardware that can be incorporated into a Nios II system and supported by the HAL. A component is an abstract IP core that can be configured for a specific application. A component has abstract parameters, such as base address. These parameters have no specific value until a component instance is created. The Altera Avalon UART is an example of a component.
- Component instance—A component that is instantiated in a system. Component instance parameters have specific values, assigned at the time of instantiation. For example, an instance of the Altera Avalon UART must have a specific base address. There can be multiple instances of a component in a system. Each instance has a unique name, such as uart1, assigned in Qsys.
- HAL-device driver—A piece of software written to interface a component to the HAL. A device driver supports a specific component. A Nios II BSP contains a single device driver for each component found in the system. If there are multiple instances of one component, they are all supported by a single driver. In this application note, my_uart_driver is an example of a device driver.
- HAL-generic device model class—A group of device drivers with similar characteristics and a common high-level API. Generic device models allow you to use a consistent set of API calls with a variety of hardware designs. The class of character-mode devices is an example of a HAL device class, and the printf() function is an example of a function call supported by this device class.
For more information about HAL device classes, refer to “HAL Architecture” in the Overview of the Hardware Abstraction Layer chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
This section walks you through creation of the HAL device driver named my_uart_driver.
First, you need to set up a development and debugging environment for the UART. This example uses the Nios II Cyclone V E FPGA Development Kit with an accompanying design example in an459-design-files.zip.
Follow these steps to build the bit_bang_uart project:
- Get the most up-to-date version of an459-design-files.zip which is available on the HAL Device Drivers Design Example page of the Altera website.
- Unzip an459-design-files.zip to a working directory, such as
C:/my_design. This application note refers to this
directory as <my_design>. Be sure to preserve the directory
structure of the extracted software archive. Extraction creates a directory
structure tree under <my_design> with the following four
Note: The working directory name you choose must not contain any spaces.
After extracting an459-design-files.zip, refer to <my_design>/readme.txt for a list of any required software patches or other updated information. If a patch is required, install it according to the instructions in readme.txt.
This section provides some background on how the my_uart_driver device driver is associated with a component instance. You must specify the name of the directory to store both the software device drivers and the custom components. The name should be descriptive enough to identify the custom component. The directory must be under the <my_design>/ip directory. The librarian searches for user component files named <component_name>_sw.tcl in directories below this ip directory.
Every HAL device driver has a software description file. The software description file naming convention is <component_name> _sw.tcl. This name must match the corresponding <component_name> _hw.tcl file generated by the Component Editor.
The my_uart_driver device driver’s software description file is <my_design> /ip/my_uart/my_uart_sw.tcl.
All components generated by the Component Editor have a <component_name> _hw.tcl file. However, certain components provided by Altera, such as the Altera_Avalon_UART, are generated outside the Component Editor, and therefore do not have a <component_name> _hw.tcl file.
For additional information about creating device driver Tcl scripts, refer to the “Driver and Software Package Tcl Script Creation” section of the Developing Device Drivers for the Hardware Abstraction Layer chapter in the Nios II Software Developer’s Handbook.
Altera provides an additional tool with the Nios II processor, the System Console, that is useful for testing component instances and software device drivers, and for constructing BSPs. This application note does not describe the System Console.
For information about the System Console, refer to the System Console User Guide.
In this section, you configure the Altera_Avalon_UART hardware component in Qsys. Perform the following steps:
- Start the Quartus II software. In the File menu, click Open Project.
- Browse to <my_design>.
- Select the Quartus II project file AN459.qpf, and click Open.
- In the Tools menu, click Qsys and open system.qsys.
- In Qsys, in the Module Name column, double-click on uart1.
- In the UART (RS-232 Serial Port) - uart1 dialog box,
verify the baud rate is set to 115200 bps, as shown in the figure below.
Figure 1. Verify UART Baud Rate
- Click Finish.
- In the System Contents tab of Qsys, verify the value
for the UART base address.
This design example uses a value of 0x80 for the UART’s register base address. If you use a hardware design other than the design example accompanying this application note, the value of the UART's register base address might be different. Open Qsys and find the UART base address for your board. The "uart1 Peripheral Register Base Address" figure shows the base address for the UART used in this example.
- Click Generate HDL in Qsys to regenerate the system.
- Recompile the Quartus II project.
- In the Quartus II software, in the Tools menu, click Programmer.
- To program the AN459.sof image to the development board, ensure that Program/Configure is turned on and click Start.
- In Qsys, on the Tools menu, click Nios II Command Shell.
- Change the directory to <my_design>
Figure 2. uart1 Peripheral Register Base Address
- Run the create-this-app script as follows:
This step might take several minutes to complete.
The create-this-app script specifies the BSP named hal_my_uart. The hal_my_uart BSP associates the component instance uart1 with the software driver my_uart_driver, as shown in the summary.html excerpt in the "Driver Mapping in summary.html" figure. The create-this-bsp script for the hal_my_uart BSP selects component instance uart1 for the stdio device. Build messages are stored in bsp/hal_my_uart/hal_my_uart_build_log.txt.
The compiler might report a small number of harmless warnings when you build bit_bang_uart. For a list of expected warnings, refer to the <my_design> /readme.txt file, extracted from an459-design-files.zip.
- Change the directory to <my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart.
- Edit alt_sys_init.c in your favorite editor. The vi editor is available from the Nios II Command
Figure 3. Driver Mapping in summary.html
- Disable the automatic invocation of the HAL UART device driver initialization
function by commenting out invocations of the following macros in
- Save alt_sys_init.c.
- Rebuild the bit_bang_uart project by changing the directory back to <my_design> /software_examples/app/bit_bang_uart, and executing make.
- Connect a serial cable from the 9-pin console port on the Nios II development board to an RS-232 serial port on your development host computer.
- Ensure that your host serial port is configured with the following
Figure 4. Tera Term Serial Settings
Follow these steps to import the bit_bang_uart application project and the hal_my_uart BSP project:
- In Qsys, in the tools menu, select Nios II Software Build Tools for Eclipse to launch the Nios II SBT for Eclipse.
- In Nios II SBT for Eclipse, in the File menu, click Import. The Import dialog box appears.
- Expand the Nios II Software Build Tools Project folder, and select Import Nios II Software Build Tools Project.
- Click Next. The Import Software Build Tools Project wizard appears.
- Next to Project Location, click Browse. Navigate to and select the <my_design> /software_examples/app/bit_bang_uart directory.
- Click OK.
- Name the project bit_bang_uart.
- Turn on Managed Project to have Nios II SBT for Eclipse manage your makefile for you.
- Click Finish. The wizard imports the bit_bang_uart application project.
- Repeat steps 2 through 9, but at step 5 instead import the <my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart BSP.
For additional information about importing Nios II SBT command-line projects, refer to “Importing a Command-Line Project” in the Getting Started with the Graphical User Interface chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
This example demonstrates how you can verify hardware functionality by specifying an explicit, hard-coded memory address. In the Nios II SBT for Eclipse Project Explorer tab, in the Nios II Project Explorer view, expand the bit_bang_uart project, and open bit_bang_uart.c. In the main() procedure of bit_bang_uart.c, you can see that the first call to IOWR() uses a hard-coded base address of 0x80 for uart1.
Using a hard-coded address can be helpful when you first bring up new hardware, to rule out any software errors, such as C pointer reference software coding errors, in obtaining the peripheral's memory-mapped registers base address. This technique provides confidence that your software is referencing the actual hardware peripheral register.
This section describes typical modifications you might make to the software or hardware after you have verified that it works with hard-coded addresses.
Before carrying out these modifications, work through the steps in Debugging the bit_bang_uart Project. Design modifications are described in detail starting in The BitBangUartTransmit() Function.
After you confirm successful communication from the software to the hardware, you can change the hard-coded address to a symbolic name found in system.h. Replacing the hard-coded register address with a symbolic definition enables the Nios II SBT to update the software if the peripheral's register base address changes in the future.
UART1_BASE is a definition provided by system.h. When defining macros in system.h, the Nios II SBT takes the peripheral name as defined in Qsys, and converts it to uppercase. The Nios II SBT creates the peripheral's base address by appending _BASE to the peripheral's name.
UART1_BASE is defined in system.h, a generated header file, and used in the bit_bang_uart.c source file. If you use a different hardware design, and the UART peripheral name is not uart1, search and replace the occurrences of UART1_BASE in bit_bang_uart.c with the name <your_uart_peripheral_name>_BASE. Find the UART peripheral module name and register base on the System Contents tab in Qsys. Refer to the "uart1 Peripheral Register Base Address" figure in the "Configuring the Altera_Avalon_UART Component" section.
If you make hardware design modifications, you must regenerate your Nios II system in Qsys and recompile the Quartus II project in the Quartus II software. In the regeneration step, Qsys updates the SOPC Information File (.sopcinfo) for your hardware design.
If you have a pre-existing BSP, such as the example design, an updated .sopcinfo file requires that you regenerate your BSP in the BSP Editor (or by executing nios2-bsp on the command line). Then you must do a clean build of the BSP as well as the application that depends on it. The clean build is required because the software needs to obtain the new value of the _BASE symbol from system.h.
For additional information about updating BSP files after a hardware change, refer to Board Support Packages in the "Nios II Software Build Tools" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
In the Nios II Command Shell, to force the SBT to copy or regenerate all BSP and application files, simply perform the following steps:
- Delete the application makefile, for example app/bit_bang_uart/Makefile.
- Delete the BSP’s public.mk file, for example bsp/hal_my_uart/public.mk.
- Execute the create-this-app script in the application directory, for example app/bit_bang_uart/create-this-app. The create-this-app script runs the create-this-bsp script, which in turn runs nios2-bsp.
This section demonstrates debugging techniques with the bit_bang_uart project. To start debugging bit_bang_uart, perform the following steps:
- In the Project Explorer view of the Nios II SBT for Eclipse, right click the bit_bang_uart, and select Nios II -> BSP Editor. Ensure the stdin, stdout and stderr are set to uart1.
- Open a Tera Term terminal and configure the connection to serial.
- In the Tera Term, on the setup menu, click serial port.
- Configure the serial port settings as shown in Debug Configuration Project figure.
- Click the New launch configuration button to
create a new debug configuration. To name the debug configuration, in the Name box type neek_uart, and click Apply. Refer to the "Debug
Configuration Project Tab" figure.
Figure 5. Debug Configuration Project Tab
- On the Project tab, set Project name to bit_bang_uart, and set ELF file name to the path name of the application project’s Executable and Linking Format File (.elf).
- Verify that none of the tabs contains a red “x”, indicating an error. If any
do, select that tab, and fill in the required data necessary to resolve the
error as indicated by the tool's messages. For example, if more than one
USB-Blaster cable is connected to your development host computer, the Target Connection tab has a red “x“. In this case, you
must select the appropriate cable under Processors to
resolve the error.
Note: If the message at the top of the dialog box says Actual system ID not found at target base address, on the Target Connection tab, click Refresh Connections. You might need to click Refresh Connections several times to establish a connection.Note: If the message at the top of the dialog box says System timestamp mismatch, on the Target connection tab, check on the Ignore mismatched system timestamp selection under the System ID checks.
- Click the Target Connection tab, see the Debug Configuration Target Connection Tab figure below.
The message at the top of the dialog box says The expected
Stdout device name does not match the selected target byte stream device
name. This message is expected, because in the Connections panel, under Byte Stream Devices,
the listed device is jtag_uart, while the stdout device used by the bit_bang_uart application is uart1.
You use Tera Term to send and receive serial I/O. Tera Term is required because the Nios II SBT for
Eclipse does not support the use of a UART as a byte stream device.
Figure 6. Debug Configuration Target Connection Tab
The jtag_uart byte stream device is used to receive Altera logging messages, as described in Debugging with the Altera Logging Functions section.
For additional information about setting up a debug configuration for Nios II SBT projects, refer to "Run Configurations" section in the "Getting Started with the Graphical User Interface" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
- Click Debug.
- If Eclipse prompts you to switch to the Nios II Debug perspective, click
Note: Depending on how the Eclipse preferences are configured, Eclipse might automatically switch to the Nios II Debug perspective.
- Select the Nios II Console view.
- On the Window menu, choose to Show View and select Memory to open the Memory view.
- If the Memory view appears in the lower left corner, sharing a tabbed area with the Console view, drag the memory tab to the upper right corner of the perspective. This arrangement allows you to view the Console and Memory views simultaneously.
- Click the Add Memory Monitor button in the Memory view, as shown in the Specifying Memory Address to Monitor figure below. This action opens a Monitor Memory dialog box in which you can type the memory address that you want to monitor.
- Enter the UART peripheral's register base address, as shown in the Specifying Memory Address to Monitor figure below (0x80 for the uart1 peripheral in the design example accompanying this application note).
- Click OK.
- In the Memory view, right-click any cell under the column labeled 0 – 3, and click Format. Set Column Size to 1 unit per column.
- Click OK
Figure 7. Specifying Memory Address to Monitor
- Use the Step Over button to
advance the program execution over the IOWR()
macro. This macro transmit an asterisk to Tera Term by
writing directly to the UART's transmit register as shown in the Asterisk Transmitted from Memory-Mapped Register
If you do not see an asterisk in Tera Term, verify your hardware cable is properly connected and your UART peripheral base address matches the one in your hardware design.Figure 8. Asterisk Transmitted from Memory-Mapped Register
The red numbers in the Memory view indicate which memory values changed during the last “step over” operation. This change helps you verify that a new peripheral is functioning correctly. The 2A in the Memory view is the hexadecimal value for the asterisk character (*), as shown in the Transmit Asterisk figure below.Figure 9. Transmit Asterisk
- To show the Memory view in ASCII rather than hexadecimal, click the New Renderings tab. Refer to the "Adding an ASCII
Rendering to the Memory View" figure below. In the New
Renderings tab, select ASCII and click Add Rendering(s).
The 2A in the Memory view changes to an asterisk.Figure 10. Adding an ASCII Rendering to the Memory View
- You can transmit characters over the UART by directly changing memory
values in the Memory view as follows:
- In the ASCII rendering, type an h in the cell currently occupied by the asterisk in the Memory view. This cell represents the transmit register.
- Press Enter.
- Type an i in the same cell in the Memory view.
- Press Enter.
The word hi appears in Tera Term, as shown in the "Characters Transmitted by manipulating UART Register" figure below.
The peripheral memory-mapped registers bypass the cache. Therefore, the status register value displayed in the Memory view reflects any changes to the status register made by the peripheral. The IOWR() and IORD() macros always bypass the cache.Figure 11. Characters Transmitted by manipulating UART Register
This section examines the BitBangUartTransmit() function in bit_bang_uart.c. The BitBangUartTransmit() function demonstrates transmission of characters over the UART.
In the Nios II SBT for Eclipse, step over the BitBangUartTransmit() function. The characters BIT BANH appear in Tera Term, as shown in the "Stepping Over the BitBangUartTransmit() Function" figure below. The following steps show why the string appears as it does.
To begin analyzing BitBangUartTransmit(), perform the following steps:
- Restart the debugging session as follows:
- Click Terminate to stop the current debugging session.
- In the Run menu, click Debug Configurations.
- With the neek_uart debug configuration selected (the default), click Debug.
- Click Step Over to step to the call to the BitBangUartTransmit() function.
- Click Step Into to step into the BitBangUartTransmit() function.
- Click Step Over to execute one line at a time until the string BIT BANGBASH appears in Tera Term, as shown in the Transmitting BIT BANGBASH by Stepping Through the Function figure below.
bit_bang_uart.c writes a value of zero to the status register to clear any existing errors on the UART. The IOWR() macro accomplishes this step by writing to UART1_BASE.
Next, a loop cycles through the bitbang array, printing out the characters BIT BANG to the UART. To prevent overruns, the loop checks the transmit ready bit before each subsequent character transmission. Immediately after the loop, the software transmits characters BASH one after the other without checking the transmit ready bit.
If you step through each line to the end of the BitBangUartTransmit() function, the software transmits the characters BIT BANGBASH through the UART. These characters appear in Tera Term, as shown in the Transmitting BIT BANGBASH by Stepping Through the Function figure below. There is no transmitter overrun, because the UART transmits each character much faster than you can single-step.
To observe BitBangUartTransmit()’s real-time behavior, perform the following steps:
- Restart the debugging session, as in the above Step 1 begin Analyzing BitBangUartTransmit().
- Place a breakpoint in BitBangUartTransmit(), on the following
uart_status = IORD (UART1_BASE, 2);
To set a breakpoint, double-click in the gray area left of the line, as shown in the Setting a Breakpoint in BitBangUartTransmit() figure below.
- Click the Resume button . The program runs until it reaches the breakpoint.
- In the Variables view, right-click the uart_status variable name, point to Format,
and click Hexadecimal.
Figure 14. Setting a Breakpoint in BitBangUartTransmit()
- Step over the assignment of uart_status.
The Variables view shows that the value of uart_status has changed to 0x170, as shown in the figure
Figure 15. Value of uart_status Variable is 0x170
The register map for the Altera Avalon UART core shows that the status register's value of 0x170 means that the following bits are set:
- Bit 8, the exception (E) bit
- Bit 4, the transmitter overrun error (TOE) bit
The register map for the Altera Avalon UART core is described in the UART Core chapter in Embedded Peripherals IP User Guide.
Because the software does not wait for the transmitter to be ready before writing the final characters (GBASH), the transmitter is overrun and only the last character, H, is transmitted, as shown in the Transmitter Overrun figure below.
This section examines the BitBangUartReceive() function in bit_bang_uart.c. The BitBangUartReceive() function demonstrates receiving characters over the UART.
To analyze the BitBangUartReceive() function, perform the following steps:
- Step into the BitBangUartReceive() function.
- Set a breakpoint on the while loop immediately after the statement that reads a character into incoming_character, as shown in the Setting a Breakpoint in BitBangUartReceive() figure below.
- Click the Resume button.
Figure 17. Setting a Breakpoint in BitBangUartReceive()
- In the following loop statement, the Nios II processor is waiting for the
receive ready (RRDY) bit to go high:
while (!(uart_status=IORD(UART1_BASE, 2) & 0x80));
Tera Term displays a prompt, as shown in the figure below.Figure 18. Waiting to Receive Character on UART
- In the Tera Term, type * (asterisk). The debugger hits the breakpoint you set, as shown in the figure below.
- Examine the Variables view (expand it if necessary to see the incoming_character variable). The incoming_character variable holds the asterisk you sent through Tera Term, as shown in the figure below.
Completing these steps verifies that both the transmit and receive functions of the UART work in polled mode.
After you verify the functionality of the peripheral registers with the bit_bang_uart test software, you can replace the IORD() and IOWR() macros and their hard-coded address parameters with register access macros. You define the register access macros for the component, under the
<my_design>/ip/<componentfolder>/inc/<component>_regs.h source code header file.
The base address, component instance name, and interrupt request (IRQ) priority are all available to HAL device drivers from system.h. You can write macros that access specific peripheral registers by name, constructed from the information provided in system.h. The macros remove the hard-coded nature of the register accesses and instead pull the register base address information out of system.h. This procedure allows automatic incorporation of any changes made to the component instance base address in the hardware design. For example, to access the UART's transmit register, the code in bit_bang_uart.c uses an IOWR() macro with a hard-coded offset (value 1). Convert this method to a device access macro that can adapt to changes in system.h automatically.
The Device Access Macros in my_uart_regs.h example (from my_uart_regs.h) defines a set of device access macros and related access masks for the UART status register.
Device Access Macros in my_uart_regs.h
#define MY_UART_STATUS_REG 2 #define IOADDR_MY_UART_STATUS(base) IO_CALC_ADDRESS_NATIVE(base, MY_UART_STATUS_REG) #define IORD_MY_UART_STATUS(base) IORD(base, MY_UART_STATUS_REG) #define IOWR_MY_UART_STATUS(base, data) IOWR(base, MY_UART_STATUS_REG, data) #define MY_UART_STATUS_PE_MSK (0x1) #define MY_UART_STATUS_PE_OFST (0) #define MY_UART_STATUS_FE_MSK (0x2) #define MY_UART_STATUS_FE_OFST (1) #define MY_UART_STATUS_BRK_MSK (0x4) #define MY_UART_STATUS_BRK_OFST (2) #define MY_UART_STATUS_ROE_MSK (0x8) #define MY_UART_STATUS_ROE_OFST (3) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TOE_MSK (0x10) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TOE_OFST (4) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TMT_MSK (0x20) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TMT_OFST (5) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TRDY_MSK (0x40) #define MY_UART_STATUS_TRDY_OFST (6) #define MY_UART_STATUS_RRDY_MSK (0x80) #define MY_UART_STATUS_RRDY_OFST (7) #define MY_UART_STATUS_E_MSK (0x100) #define MY_UART_STATUS_E_OFST (8) #define MY_UART_STATUS_DCTS_MSK (0x400) #define MY_UART_STATUS_DCTS_OFST (10) #define MY_UART_STATUS_CTS_MSK (0x800) #define MY_UART_STATUS_CTS_OFST (11) #define MY_UART_STATUS_EOP_MSK (0x1000) #define MY_UART_STATUS_EOP_OFST (12)
The Altera Nios II component also provides the address construction macro IO_CALC_ADDRESS_NATIVE(). The UART device access macros in nios2eds/components/altera_nios2/HAL/inc/io.h use this macro. IO_CALC_ADDRESS_NATIVE() computes the native address of a specified peripheral register. To compute this address, it adds the second parameter (offset) to the first parameter (peripheral base address). The offset is represented in system bus width units, for example, 32 bits. The IORD() and IOWR() macros translate to the Nios II assembler instructions, ldwio and stwio, respectively.
Native addressing mode is deprecated, because Altera is moving to a direct addressing model. New components should be written to use byte-enable signals. Write new device drivers for these components with direct addressing macros, such as IORD_32DIRECT(), which utilize the byte-enable signals. Offsets for direct address macros are always represented in bytes. The bit_bang_uart example application uses native addressing. The my_uart device driver also uses native addressing.
For example, the following addressing macro:
IOWR(UART1_BASE, 2, 0);
translates to the following direct addressing macro:
IOWR_32DIRECT(UART1_BASE, 8, 0);
Notice that the offset specified is now eight bytes, instead of two long words.
For more details on direct addressing macros, refer to "Writing Device Drivers" in the "Cache and Tightly-Coupled Memory" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
In the BitBangUartTransmit() function in bit_bang_uart.c, you use an IORD() macro with hard-coded values to read the UART status register:
uart_status = IORD(UART1_BASE, 2);
You can achieve the same functionality by using the UART's device access macro:
uart_status = IORD_MY_UART_STATUS(UART1_BASE)
Using this macro makes the device driver code easier to write and easier to understand after it is written.
Altera recommends that you create device access macros for all of your custom component's registers, and that you create masks for each of the bits represented in those macros. These steps result in a driver that is much easier to understand; therefore, it is easier to verify the correctness of the device driver.
The following sections describe the existing my_uart_driver source code, particularly the device access descriptors used to manipulate the peripheral. my_uart_driver is based on the Altera Avalon UART device driver, with all of the names changed to represent the “my” flavored device, as an illustration of how you can incorporate your own device driver. All of the function and macro names (except for the *_INIT() and *_INSTANCE() macros) in the Altera Avalon UART device driver have had the “altera_avalon” portion of the name replaced with “my”. For example, ALTERA_AVALON_UART_STATUS_REG() has become MY_UART_STATUS_REG().
The two macros for _INSTANCE() and _INIT() are exceptions, because their names must match the hardware component name. As a result, the my_uart_driver device driver has definitions for ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INIT() and ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INSTANCE(). These _INIT() and _INSTANCE() macros must be defined in a header file that also matches the device name, which in this case is altera_avalon_uart.h. This restriction is necessary for the automatic construction of alt_sys_init.c, a generated C source file that handles of component instance initialization.
This example shows you how to write a software device driver that fits the HAL structure, either for manipulation of your own new device, or to override the functionality of the provided software device driver for an Altera component or other third party device.
The file bit_bang_uart.c demonstrates how to write source code. The source code development progresses toward a complete device driver. Source code development starts from direct access of the peripheral's registers and goes on to validating the proper functioning of the Altera_Avalon_UART hardware. bit_bang_uart.c is the first piece of software to communicate with the Altera Avalon UART hardware.
To develop the source code that accesses a new device, perform the following steps:
- Use IOWR() macros with hard-coded address
values in main() to write values directly to
the memory-mapped UART registers. IOWR() macros
are the most direct way to access the UART hardware. Direct hardware access is
useful for validating proper functioning of the component instance, while
minimizing the potential for any software coding errors to interfere with
For more information about HAL device driver access macros, refer to the "Accessing Hardware" section of the "Developing Device Drivers for the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
- After developing some direct peripheral manipulation code for your custom component, modeled after bit_bang_uart.c, write custom device access macros.
- Using the custom device access macros from the previous step, develop and test polled routines for the init(), read(), and write() functions.
- Write the ISRs for interrupt driven mode. An ISR is an interrupt-driven software routine, responding to a hardware interrupt that the peripheral generates when it requires servicing. An interrupt-driven device driver is much more efficient than a polled device driver, which wastes processor clock cycles by repeatedly querying the peripheral to determine if there is work to be performed. An ISR allows the Nios II processor to do other work while the peripheral is idle, or while it is operating autonomously and does not require servicing by the Nios II processor. Call alt_ic_isr_install() from main() to install the ISRs.
- After you have tested the ISR and polled routines from main(), create and test the INIT and INSTANCE macros. alt_sys_init.c invokes these initialization macros to initialize both the software device driver and the hardware driver. The INIT macro needs to initialize an alt_dev structure for the software device driver with the tested functions for reading and writing to the UART hardware device. The INSTANCE macro declares a structure for each component instance to hold component instance-specific information, such as the baud rate and the transmit and receive memory buffers. At this point, you move the alt_ic_isr_install() calls from function main() to the device’s initialization code, as described in the next section.
For more information about the alt_dev structure, refer to "Character-Mode Device Drivers" in the "Developing Device Drivers for the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
The INSTANCE macro creates the alt_dev structure, which represents the component instance. This macro creates unique component instance-specific data structures.
The INIT macro must perform the following tasks:
- Create mutual exclusion resources
- Install the component's ISR with alt_ic_isr_register()
The my_uart_driver example driver supports both the enhanced and the legacy HAL interrupt APIs. Supporting both APIs ensures that the driver can be used in combination with legacy drivers supporting only the legacy API. For information about supporting both APIs, refer to "Interrupt Service Routines" in the "Exception Handling" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
- Register the alt_dev structure with alt_dev_reg()
- Enable interrupts
When you integrate a HAL device driver into a BSP, the following services are enabled:
- Automatic initialization with the alt_sys_init() function for
the HAL device drivers.
alt_sys_init() is an automatically generated function. alt_sys_init() calls the INIT and INSTANCE macros for each component instance found in the hardware design that has a specific source code directory structure and set of file names. The directory structure for hardware components provided by Altera conforms to:
The easiest option for a directory structure for your custom components conforms to:
Place the device driver source code files in a folder structure under <component_folder>. The file names conform to the following:
This document uses the variable <Altera installation> to represent the location where the Altera Complete Design Suite is installed. On a Windows system, by default, that location is c:/altera/<version number>.
- HAL device-class services can access any specific HAL device in that class. For example, Altera_Avalon_UART is a character-mode device, and so has access to higher level services such as buffer management. HAL software device drivers become available to the UNIX-style POSIX API for device functions such as open() and read().
For more information about adding device drivers using the Nios II SBT, refer to the "Integrating a Device Driver in the HAL" section of the "Developing Device Drivers for the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
For more information about how to integrate your own VHDL or Verilog HDL source code as a new HAL-compatible Qsys component, and for details about the Component Editor tool, refer to the "Creating Qsys Components" chapter of Volume 1: Design and Synthesis in the Quartus II Handbook.
Software device drivers can use mutual exclusion resources to control access to any data structure or peripheral register. Event flags and semaphores provide synchronization and mutual exclusion services. These resources allow only one task to access a shared piece of data at a time in a multi-threaded environment.
If the MicroC/OS-II operating system is present, its resources are used. Otherwise, the HAL provides its own set of event flags and semaphores. The HAL event flags and semaphores support device driver source code portability. The event flags and semaphores do nothing in this example.
The my_uart_driver device driver creates two semaphores and one event flag. The two semaphores are called read_lock and write_lock. my_uart_driver uses them to control access to the transmit and receive circular buffers. The event flag, called events, indicates to the software device driver when data is ready to be transmitted or received.
The Nios II EDS and Quartus II software tools provide a variety of mechanisms for debugging device drivers:
- You can monitor individual component instance signals for activity with the SignalTap™ II logic analyzer. For example, you can hook up the SignalTap II logic analyzer to the UART hardware transmit line to watch for any activity while you write characters to the Altera_Avalon_UART component instance through the my_uart_driver device driver.
For information about using SignalTap II with Nios II systems, refer to AN446: Debugging Nios II Systems with the SignalTap II Embedded Logic Analyzer.
- You can step into the fprintf() function, stepping through the various layers of abstraction until you reach the HAL’s invocation of my_uart_write() function in the my_uart_driver device driver.
- You can set breakpoints in the driver’s ISRs, or set watchpoints on UART
memory-mapped registers to pause the processor when a character is
Note: Use caution when setting a breakpoint in an ISR. When you resume, there might be problems with other devices, if they generated interrupts that were not handled. However, sometimes the best way to debug a specific device driver is to set a breakpoint in it. When this technique is required, you can reset or download the software containing the device driver again when you are done with a particular debugging session.
These mechanisms can help you diagnose an incorrectly configured system. For example, if the interrupt controller receives a spurious interrupt signal, the interrupt might not be properly handled. When interrupts are enabled after low-level system initialization, there is no way to clear the interrupt source. As a result, the application does not work correctly. The Nios II SBT for Eclipse debugger might even stop communicating with the processor.
For the next set of debugging examples, you must create a new application. For these examples, create the hello_world_my_uart application and import it to the Nios II SBT for Eclipse. Next, regenerate the files which make up the hal_my_uart BSP. This time, instead of commenting out the invocation of the macros ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INSTANCE() and ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INIT(), let the alt_sys_init() function install the Altera Avalon UART HAL device driver, after which you can inspect its operation.
The following sections show examples of placing breakpoints and watchpoints in HAL device driver source code to analyze component instance behavior.
To create and import the hello_world_my_uart project, perform the following steps:
- Delete the generated file public.mk from the hal_my_uart BSP.
Enter the following command in the Nios II Command Shell:
Deleting these files causes the next build to regenerate the hal_my_uart BSP files, including alt_sys_init.c.
- Create the hello_world_my_uart application by invoking its
create-this-app script. Enter the following commands:
cd <my_design>/software_examples/app/hello_world_my_uart r ./create-this-app
This action accomplishes several tasks:
- Invokes the create-this-bsp script for the hal_my_uart BSP.
- In the BSP, deletes and rebuilds generated files and object files from the previous build.
- Builds the libhal_bsp.a BSP library in
<my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart directory.
- Builds the hello_world_my_uart.elf file in
<my_design> /software_examples/app/hello_world_my_uart directory.
- Generates a new public.mk file.
- Sets the software device descriptors stdout, stderr, and stdin to uart1. The <my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart/create-this-bsp script sets up these software device descriptors by calling nios2-bsp.
- Creates the software device driver, my_uart_driver, in the <my_design> /ip/my_uart directory, and associates it with the Altera_Avalon_UART device. The <my_design> /ip/my_uart/my_uart_sw.tcl script creates the driver and associates it with its device.
- Sets the software device driver called my_uart_driver to the component instance named uart1. The <my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart/ hal_my_uart.tcl script, passed to nios2-bsp, sets the driver to uart1.
- Regenerates alt_sys_init.c by invoking of
Note: You can invoke nios2-bsp with the --debug parameter, which displays verbose information about the construction steps in this section. The --debug parameter can be very useful for finding errors in the construction of the relevant Tcl scripts and command shell scripts.
- Import the hello_world_my_uart application to the Nios II SBT for Eclipse as described in the section Importing Projects in Steps 2 through 8, substituting the hello_world_my_uart application for the bit_bang_uart application. It is not necessary to re-import the BSP.
This section demonstrates the use of breakpoints to examine HAL device driver activity. Perform the following steps:
- After importing the hello_world_my_uart project, open the
my_uart_init.c device driver source file, located in the
hal_my_uart project, at the following
- Place a breakpoint at the top of the function named my_uart_irq(), as shown in the figure below.
- Restart Tera Term if it is not already running.
- Create a debug configuration for hello_world_my_uart by following the steps 3 through 8 in Debugging the bit_bang_uart Project and substituting the hello_world_my_uart application for the bit_bang_uart application.
- Start debugging the hello_world_my_uart application. The processor pauses at the top of function main().
- Click the Resume button. The Nios II processor pauses
at the my_uart_irq() invocation.
Figure 20. Setting a Breakpoint on my_uart_irq()
- Step up to and over the following assignment of the status
status = IORD_MY_UART_STATUS(base);
- In the Variables view, set the format of the status variable to hex. The status register now holds the value 0x60. This value indicates bits 5 and 6 are set. According to the my_uart_driver register description in drivers/inc/my_uart_regs.h, these two bits indicate transmit ready and transmit. The UART driver is in an interrupt context, ready to transmit the first character of the string "Hello from Nios II!".
- Continue stepping through the procedure. The my_uart_irq()
function invokes my_uart_txirq() in response to a transmit
Press Resume after each character is transmitted. Stop after the entire string “Hello from Nios II!” is transmitted.
- Remove the breakpoint.
After you pause the debugger in an ISR, the rest of the system is in an unknown state, because it could not respond to other interrupt requests while paused in the driver. Therefore, you need to start a new debugging session to perform further debugging.
In this section, you intercept the Nios II processor by placing a watchpoint on a UART peripheral register. A watchpoint is a special breakpoint that pauses the execution of an application whenever the value of a given expression changes. To watch for any writes to the transmit register on the UART, you can set up a write-access watchpoint on the register.
To set a watchpoint, perform the following steps:
- Start the debugging session for the hello_world_my_uart project.
- Open the Breakpoints view. If the Breakpoints view is not visible, open it through the Window menu, by pointing to Show View and clicking Breakpoints.
- Open the menu by clicking the drop-down arrow in the upper right corner of the view, and click Add Watchpoint (C/C++).
- In the Add Watchpoint dialog box, type a value in the Expression to watch field that equals the uart1 base value plus an offset of one long word. This value accesses the transmit register. In the case of the design example accompanying this application note, this value is 0x84.
- In the Access section, turn on Write and turn off Read.
- Click OK. The Add Watchpoint dialog box closes.
- Click the Resume button.
The Nios II processor executes until it writes the first character, H. The processor writes this character when the my_uart_txirq() function invokes the macro IOWR_MY_UART_TXDATA(), as shown in the figure below.
View the transmit register value in the Eclipse Memory view. Notice that the value changes when the debugging stops at the watchpoint.
Look at the call stack in the upper left corner of the Nios II Debug perspective. The call stack records each call leading up to this point, including each function invoked to process the transmit interrupt.
The alt_shadow_non_preemptive_interrupt() function calls my_uart_irq().
The Nios II SBT provides BSP settings to configure the HAL. You manipulate these settings through the BSP Editor, or with the --set parameter to nios2-bsp.
The Nios II SBT settings are described in "Settings" in the "Nios II Software Build Tools Reference" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
The Reduced device drivers and Lightweight device driver API options are of particular interest, because they reduce the code and data footprint at the expense of device driver functionality. Additionally, they set #define parameters that the my_uart_driver device driver needs to examine and handle. The setting values are documented in the summary.html file generated by nios2-bsp, in <my_design> /software_examples/bsp/hal_my_uart.
The Reduced device drivers option generates a #define statement for ALT_USE_SMALL_DRIVERS. To turn on this option, set hal.enable_reduced_device_drivers to true. Setting this option has the following effects on correctly-written UART device drivers:
- Sets #define ALT_USE_SMALL_DRIVERS
- Activates polled mode only for the UART device
- Disables floating-point support in printf() and sprintf()
- Configures drivers to ignore flow control.
The figure below shows excerpts from the summary.html file generated by the SBT for a BSP with reduced device drivers enabled.
The Lightweight device driver API option generates a #define statement for ALT_USE_DIRECT_DRIVERS. To turn on this option, set hal.enable_lightweight_device_driver_api to true. Setting this option has the following effects on correctly-written UART device drivers:
- Sets #define ALT_USE_DIRECT_DRIVERS.
- Eliminates the option of using a file system. File descriptors cannot be created.
- Disables stdio device descriptor redirection. alt_main() cannot call alt_io_redirect().
- Disables the open() and close() functions. Attempting to call these functions generates a link time error.
- Causes direct calls to your UART device driver using macros, bypassing the device manipulation function invocations normally accessed through the file descriptor structure. The macros are defined in alt_driver.h, which is in the BSP folder, in HAL/inc/sys.
For example, a call to alt_putstr() is normally treated as a call to the run-time library function fputs(). With lightweight device drivers enabled, alt_putstr() is translated to ALT_DRIVER_WRITE() (defined in alt_driver.h) and state-obtaining macros. The ALT_DRIVER_WRITE() macro in turn calls the ALT_DRIVER_FUNC_NAME() macro (also defined in alt_driver.h), and eventually ALTERA_AVALON_UART_WRITE(), which is defined in the altera_avalon_uart_write.c driver file for the UART, where the UART is defined for stdout. Calling ALT_DRIVER_FUNC_NAME(uart1, write) returns ALTERA_AVALON_UART_WRITE.
ALT_USE_DIRECT_DRIVERS is dual-purposed in the my_uart_driver device driver. It provides a convenient way to map the names of the ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INIT() and ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INSTANCE() macros, which are tied to the component name, to names that are specific to the my_uart_driver device driver. This setting of ALT_USE_DIRECT_DRIVERS already maps ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INIT() and ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INSTANCE() to macros that change based on the setting of ALT_USE_DIRECT_DRIVERS in altera_avalon_uart.h. At the same time, the ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INIT() and ALTERA_AVALON_UART_INSTANCE() macros have the ALTERA_AVALON portion of their names change to MY_UART. The resulting four macro name mappings are MY_UART_DEV_INIT(), MY_UART_STATE_INIT(), MY_UART_DEV_INSTANCE(), and MY_UART_STATE_INSTANCE().
The figure below shows excerpts from the summary.html file generated by the SBT for a BSP with lightweight device drivers enabled.
This section discusses the crucial topics of interrupt latency and determinism. For the purposes of this discussion, you need to be familiar with the following concepts:
- Interrupt latency—The difference between the time that a component instance asserts an interrupt and the execution of the first instruction at the interrupt vector address. This instruction is typically part of the interrupt funnel, rather than the interrupt handler itself.
- Interrupt response time—The time elapsed between the event that causes the interrupt and the execution of the handler.
- Determinism—An attribute of a piece of source code that is guaranteed to execute within a fixed amount of time. Overall interrupt latency impacts the deterministic behavior for all source code in the system for which interrupts are not disabled.
For more information, refer to "Nios II Exception Handling Overview" section in the "Exception Handling" chapter of the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
To minimize interrupt latency, thus directly improving system determinism, follow these guidelines:
- In the software ISR, perform the minimum processing necessary to clear the interrupt.
- Complete noncritical-section interrupt processing outside of the interrupt context. If your software is based on an operating system, a high priority task can be pending on an event flag. The ISR posts to the event flag, notifying the task to complete interrupt processing.
- Use an External Interrupt Controller (EIC), such as the VIC used in the hardware design for this application note.
If it is not possible to use an EIC, you can improve the performance of the internal interrupt controller (IIC) by using the interrupt vector custom instruction.
The interrupt vector custom instruction is not compatible with the EIC interface. The performance of the IIC with the interrupt vector custom instruction is generally inferior to the performance of the VIC.
For information about using the EIC and shadow register sets, or the interrupt vector custom instruction, refer to "Improving ISR Performance" in the "Exception Handling" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook and "Exception and Interrupt Controllers" section in the "Processor Architecture" chapter in the Nios II Processor Reference Handbook. For information about tightly coupled memory, refer to the Using Tightly Coupled Memory with the Nios II Processor Tutorial.
For details of the interrupt vector custom instruction implementation, refer to the Exception and Interrupt Controllers section in the Processor Architecture chapter of the Nios II Processor Reference Handbook.
For more information about tightly-coupled memories, refer to the Tightly-Coupled Memory section in the Processor Architecture chapter of the Nios II Processor Reference Handbook.
Restrict the use of synchronization resources to post-function calls. Do not call the following types of functions from within an ISR:
- Functions and macros, such as ALT_SEM_PEND(), that explicitly wait for a resource
- Library functions, such as printf(), that might wait for a resource
- Other functions that wait for resources
Calling these types of functions from an ISR can have serious consequences, from the destruction of overall system latency to complete system deadlock.
Avoid using alt_irq_interruptible(), which can enable ISR nesting, but is likely to worsen interrupt latency (unless the ISR is abnormally long) because of the interrupt context switch overhead. If the ISR is lengthy, instead of making it interruptible, consider moving much of the less time-critical processing of the interrupt outside of the ISR to a task. Write the ISR to do only as much as is required to clear the interrupt and capture state so that the hardware can proceed, and then signal a task to complete processing of the interrupt request.
The Altera logging functions are a very useful mechanism for debugging device drivers. Altera logging uses macros to bypass the HAL driver and access the peripheral directly. As a result, software can print debugging messages during the boot process before the devices are initialized.
You do not need to regenerate the .sopcinfo file in Qsys or recompile the .sof image in the Quartus II software.
Another advantage of Altera logging is that you can disable it without modifying your source code. You simply change a BSP setting and recompile, leaving zero residual impact in the compiled and linked application .elf file. All the Altera logging mechanisms are macros, and so the compiler eliminates them when they are not enabled. As a result, you can leave these calls to obtain debugging information in the source code for your released final product, with no loss of speed or code memory space. Compiling with Altera logging disabled creates a .elf file identical to a .elf compiled from source code without the Altera logging macros.
When Altera logging is enabled, the behavior of the application might be less deterministic, due to the collection and output of Altera logging messages.
You enable Altera logging with the hal.log_port BSP setting by setting the logging level with ALT_LOG_FLAGS. This setting causes the SBT to define ALT_LOG_ENABLE in public.mk.
You can add Altera logging diagnostic messages to your code by invoking ALT_LOG_PRINTF(), a macro that handles most printf() formatting options.
Writes to the Altera logging device are blocking. Therefore, when hal.log_port is set to a component instance of type altera_avalon_jtag_uart, you must run an application to accept the Altera logging output in order for the Nios II application to complete initialization. Otherwise, the application pends on an ALT_LOG_PRINTF() statement until the Altera logging device's output buffer can be drained.
You can handle the JTAG UART logging output in either of the following ways:
- Run your application in the Nios II SBT for Eclipse. JTAG UART logging output appears in the Nios II Console view.
- Run your application from the Nios II Command Shell, with the nios2-download command. From another Nios II Command Shell, run nios2-terminal to accept the JTAG UART logging output.
You can disable the Altera logging feature by setting the hal.log_port setting in the BSP to none. This is the default setting. In the example BSP, hal_my_uart, the create-this-bsp script initially sets hal.log_port to jtag_uart. You can enable and disable it in the BSP Editor. After regenerating a BSP, you can check the value of hal.log_port in summary.html, located in the bsp/hal_my_uart folder.
Disabling Altera logging has the effect of leaving ALT_LOG_ENABLE undefined in bsp/hal_my_uart/public.mk. When this feature is disabled, the application does not pend on ALT_LOG_PRINTF() statements, even when no terminal capable of receiving Altera logging output is connected.
You can leave your ALT_LOG_PRINTF() debugging statements in the final source code version intended for production release, provided you set hal.log_port to none. With this setting, the definition of ALT_LOG_PRINTF() is empty, and so the compiler effectively removes these macro invocations. They have no impact on code footprint or performance unless you re-enable Altera logging.
For complete information about using the Altera logging functions, refer to "Using Character-Mode Devices" section in the "Developing Programs Using the Hardware Abstraction Layer" chapter in the Nios II Software Developer's Handbook.
The example applications, bit_bang_uart and hello_world_my_uart, and the example BSP, hal_my_uart, use the Altera logging functions.
To see an example of Altera logging, run or debug hello_world_my_uart. You can see the logging messages in the Nios II Console view, as shown in the figure below.
You enable Altera logging by setting the hal.alt_log_flags BSP setting to 3. Refer to the create-this-bsp script in the bsp/hal_my_uart directory for an example.
By dissecting the Altera_Avalon_UART component and the my_uart_driver HAL software device driver, and examining the UART status register bit manipulation in detail, you gain insight into the HAL device driver development process. You now have the tools necessary to develop and debug at this low level of the system, close to the hardware. Your set of tools includes analysis and debugging techniques for tackling even the most elusive and deterministic embedded software specification deviations.
With your new knowledge about the HAL's facilities, and with the array of techniques for debugging and development described in this document, you are now better prepared to write HAL software device drivers for your own embedded system's components. You can also apply these tools at higher levels in the software hierarchy.
|July 2011||4.0||Updated instructions and design example for Qsys|
|August 2007||1.0||Initial release.|