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What is the difference between a bootloader and a debugger

Since I have started to hold seminars and hands-on to newbie developers and engineering students, one of the most controversial things people don’t get used to is the debugging. Many of them often confuse between a bootloader and an on-chip debugger because both are used to test the firmware functional behavior.

A bootloader is a piece of software that loads the downloads the firmware from a host, usually a PC, into the microcontroller main memory. Typically, once the bootload procedure is over, the microcontroller starts to execute the freshly loaded code and the continue reading...

Printing strings on a Virtual COM port with an STM32 and ChibiOS

This article contains some simple examples to understand how to print escaped strings when you are approaching STM32 and ChibiOS. Escaped strings are very useful while developing because you can use them to print data while the application is running. Strings are widely used for debugging purposes when a debugger is not available but this is not the case.

Every STM32 development kit is equipped with a STLink debugger. Starting from STLink V2-1, the debugger offers a virtual COM port and, in this article, we are going to use this feature to print data avoiding to put continue reading...

Dealing with push-buttons using an STM32

This article contains some simple examples to understand how to deal with push-buttons when you are approaching STM32 and ChibiOS. The button can be considered the simplest input peripheral that can be connected to a microcontroller. Because of that, usually, every embedded development board is equipped with a button marked as “User Button” and this means it is actually connected to a GPIO pin you can read via software.

To understand this article with proficiency, you should match few requirements:

You should have an STM32 development kit and be able to do basic stuff continue reading...

Dealing with LEDs using an STM32

This article includes some simple examples to understand how to deal with LEDs when you are approaching STM32 and ChibiOS. The LED can be considered the simplest peripheral output you can connect to a microcontroller. Because of that, usually, every embedded development board is equipped with a LED marked as “User LED” and this means that it is actually connected to a GPIO pin you can drive via software.

To understand this article with proficiency you should match few requirements:

You should have an STM32 development kit and be able to do basic stuff with ChibiStudio continue reading...

Using STM32 I2C with ChibiOS

How to drive a HD44780 with I2C backpack with a STM32

The Inter-Integrated Circuit (often shored as I2C or I2C bus pronounced I-squared-C or alternatively I-two-C) is a widely used synchronous serial communication peripheral which communicates in half duplex mode using a multi-master-multi-slave architecture.

Like the SPI, the I2C is a Synchronous Serial bus, and the clock signal is generated by one of the endpoint and provided to the others through a specific Serial Clock Line often shorted as SCL by a party which is named Master.

In half-duplex buses, the communication happens on the same line no matter the direction. The continue reading...