Setup

Name

Setup -- Preparing the AT91SAM9G45-EKES board for eCos Development

Overview

In a typical development environment, the AT91SAM9G45-EKES board boots from the NAND flash and runs the RedBoot ROM monitor from SDRAM. eCos applications are configured for RAM startup and then downloaded and run on the board via the debugger arm-eabi-gdb. Preparing the board therefore usually involves programming a suitable RedBoot image into flash memory.

The following RedBoot configurations are supported:

ConfigurationDescriptionUseFile
ROMRedBoot loaded from NAND to SDRAMredboot_ROM.ecmredboot_ROM.bin

For serial communications, all versions run with 8 bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit at 115200 baud. RedBoot also supports ethernet communication and flash management.

Note that the use of the term ROM for the initial RedBoot configuration is a historical accident. RedBoot actually runs from SDRAM after being loaded there from NAND by the second-level bootstrap. The use of ROM for this configuration is intended to indicate that it initializes the microprocessor and board peripherals, as opposed to the RAM configuration which assumes that this has already been done.

Initial Installation

The on-chip boot program on the AT91SAM9G45 is only capable of loading programs from Dataflash or NAND flash into on-chip SRAM and is therefore quite restrictive. Consequently RedBoot cannot be booted directly and a second-level bootstrap must be used. Such a second-level bootstrap is supplied by Atmel in the form of AT91Bootstrap. This is therefore programmed into the start of NAND and is then responsible for initializing the SDRAM and loading RedBoot from NAND and executing it.

Caution

There is a size limit on the size of applications which the AT91Bootstrap second level bootstrap will load. Images larger than 320Kbytes will require the AT91Bootstrap application to be rebuilt with a larger IMG_SIZE definition in AT91Bootstrap/board/at91sam9g45ek/nandflash/at91sam9g45ek.h within the SAM9260 HAL package in the eCos source repository (packages/hal/arm/arm9/sam9260ek/VERSION/). A pre-built AT91SAM9G45 specific AT91Bootstrap binary can be found here: AT91Bootstrap/board/at91sam9g45ekes/nandflash/nandflash_at91sam9g45ekes.bin. This will required during the SAM-BA based board setup process described below.

There are basically two ways to write the second-level bootstrap and RedBoot to the NAND. The first is to use the Atmel-supplied SAM-BA program that interacts with the on-chip boot program. The second is to use a JTAG debugger that understands the microcontroller and can write to the NAND flash (for example the Ronetix PEEDI). Since the availability of the latter cannot be guaranteed, only the first method will be described here.

Programming RedBoot into NAND Flash using SAM-BA

The following gives the steps needed to program the second-level bootstrap and RedBoot into the NAND Flash using SAM-BA. The user should refer to the SAM-BA documentation for full details of how to run the program. SAM-BA can communicate with the boot program via either USB or serial. The steps are essentially similar for both since USB operates through a driver that simulates a serial port.

  1. Download the AT91 SAM-BA software package from the Atmel website and install it. Atmel provide both Linux and Windows versions of SAM-BA so ensure you select the version appropriate to your host operating system. The remainder of this document describes the process according to a Windows installation. The steps for the Linux version of SAM-BA are similar and can easily be determined from the Windows process.

  2. Copy nandflash_at91sam9g45ekes.bin and redboot_ROM.bin to a suitable location on the PC. The redboot_ROM.bin is located in the loaders/sam9g45ekes directory in the root of your eCosPro installation.

  3. Connect a null-modem serial cable between the J10 DEBUG serial port of the board and a serial port on the host running SAM-BA. If using USB download also connect a USB cable between the host and the J14 HOST/DEV socket.

  4. Unplug the power supply from the board and remove JP10(NANDCS) and JP12(NPCS0). Reapply power to the board. If USB is being used follow the instructions in the SAM-BA documentation to set up the Windows device driver for the first time if you are running a Microsoft Windows-based operating system.

  5. Start SAM-BA. Select the appropriate COM port for the communication interface (on Windows hosts this will be of the form "COMx" and on Linux hosts this will be of the form "/dev/ttyUSBx"), and "at91sam9g45-ekes" for the board. Click on "Connect".

  6. Re-insert JP10 and JP12.

  7. In the SAM-BA main window, select the "NandFlash" tab and in the "Scripts" dropdown menu select "Enable NandFlash", to program the on-board NandFlash device. Click Execute and SAM-BA should emit the following in the message area:

    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 % NANDFLASH::Init
    -I- NANDFLASH::Init (trace level : 0)
    -I- Loading applet isp-nandflash-at91sam9g45.bin at address 0x70000000
    -I- Memory Size : 0x10000000 bytes
    -I- Buffer address : 0x70003E34
    -I- Buffer size: 0x20000 bytes
    -I- Applet initialization done
    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 %
    The actual options and output of SAM-BA may vary according to the version you are using. The behaviour documented here is that of SAM-BA 2.10.

  8. Now select "Send BootFile" from the "Scripts" menu and "Execute" it. When the file open dialog appears, select the nandflash_at91sam9g45ekes.bin file and click "Open". The following output should be seen:

    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 % GENERIC::SendBootFileGUI
    GENERIC::SendFile Z:/eCos/SAM-BA/nandflash_at91sam9g45ekes.bin at address 0x0
    -I- File size : 0x1334 byte(s)
    -I- 	Writing: 0x1334 bytes at 0x0 (buffer addr : 0x70003E34)
    -I- 	0x1334 bytes written by applet
    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 %
           

  9. The second-level bootstrap has now been written to NAND Flash, we must now write RedBoot.

  10. In the "Send File Name" box type in the path name to the redboot_ROM.bin file, or use the Open Folder button and browse to it.

  11. In the Address field set the value to 0x020000.

  12. Click the "Send File" button. SAM-BA will put up a dialog box while it is writing the file to the NAND Flash, and will output something similar to the following in the message area:

    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 % send_file {NandFlash} "Z:/eCos/SAM-BA/redboot_ROM.bin" 0x020000 0
    -I- Send File Z:/eCos/SAM-BA/redboot_ROM.bin at address 0x020000
    GENERIC::SendFile Z:/eCos/SAM-BA/redboot_ROM.bin at address 0x20000
    -I- File size : 0x24658 byte(s)
    -I- 	Writing: 0x20000 bytes at 0x20000 (buffer addr : 0x70003E34)
    -I- 	0x20000 bytes written by applet
    -I- 	Writing: 0x4658 bytes at 0x40000 (buffer addr : 0x70003E34)
    -I- 	0x4658 bytes written by applet
    (SAM-BA v2.10) 1 %
           

  13. Shut down SAM-BA and start up Hyperterm or similar on the real COM port, not the USB port, configured for 115200 baud 8-N-1 with no flow control. Attach an ethernet cable between the board and a switch on your network. Press the reset button on the board and something similar to the following should be output on the DEBUG serial line.

    Start AT91Bootstrap...
    +**Warning** FLASH configuration checksum error or invalid key
    Use 'fconfig -i' to [re]initialize database
    Ethernet eth0: MAC address 0e:00:00:ea:18:f0
    IP: 10.0.2.1/255.0.0.0, Gateway: 10.0.0.3
    Default server: 0.0.0.0
    DNS server IP: 10.0.0.1, DNS domain name: <null>
    
    RedBoot(tm) bootstrap and debug environment [ROM]
    Non-certified release, version UNKNOWN - built 14:54:15, Aug 20 2010
    
    Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
    Free Software Foundation, Inc.
    Copyright (C) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 eCosCentric Limited
    RedBoot is free software, covered by the eCos license, derived from the
    GNU General Public License. You are welcome to change it and/or distribute
    copies of it under certain conditions. Under the license terms, RedBoot's
    source code and full license terms must have been made available to you.
    Redboot comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
    
    Platform: AT91SAM9G45-EK (ARM9)
    RAM: 0x20000000-0x28000000 [0x20035f78-0x27ffe530 available]
    FLASH: 0x50000000-0x5041ffff, 8192 x 0x210 blocks
    RedBoot>
          

    The board is now running and the flash can be configured.

RedBoot Flash configuration

The following steps describe how to initialize RedBoot's Flash configuration.

  1. Use the following command to initialize RedBoot's Flash Information System (FIS):

    RedBoot> fis init
    About to initialize [format] FLASH image system - continue (y/n)? y
    *** Initialize FLASH Image System
    ... Erase from 0x5041fdf0-0x5041ffff: .
    ... Program from 0x27fffdf0-0x28000000 to 0x5041fdf0: .
    RedBoot>
           

  2. Now configure RedBoot's Flash configuration with the fconfig command. Remember to substitute the appropriate MAC address for this board at the appropriate step. If a BOOTP/DHCP server is not available, then IP configuration may be set manually. The default server IP address can be set to a PC that will act as a TFTP host for future RedBoot load operations, or may be left unset. The following gives an example configuration:

    RedBoot> fconfig -i
    Initialize non-volatile configuration - continue (y/n)? y
    Run script at boot: false
    Use BOOTP for network configuration: false
    Gateway IP address: 192.168.7.11
    Local IP address: 192.168.7.83
    Local IP address mask: 255.255.255.0
    Default server IP address: 192.168.7.11
    Console baud rate: 115200
    DNS domain name: farm.ecoscentric.com
    DNS server IP address: 192.168.7.11
    Network hardware address [MAC]: 0x0E:0x00:0x00:0xEA:0x18:0xF0
    GDB connection port: 9000
    Force console for special debug messages: false
    Update RedBoot non-volatile configuration - continue (y/n)? y
    ... Erase from 0x5041ef80-0x5041f7bf: ....
    ... Program from 0x27fff5b0-0x27fffdf0 to 0x5041ef80: ....
    RedBoot>
           

The RedBoot installation is now complete. This can be tested by power cycling the board. Output similar to the following should be seen on the DEBUG serial port. Verify the IP settings are as expected.

Ethernet eth0: MAC address 0e:00:00:ea:18:f0
IP: 192.168.7.83/255.255.255.0, Gateway: 192.168.7.11
Default server: 192.168.7.11
DNS server IP: 192.168.7.11, DNS domain name: <null>

RedBoot(tm) bootstrap and debug environment [ROM]
Non-certified release, version UNKNOWN - built 14:54:15, Aug 20 2010

Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Free Software Foundation, Inc.
Copyright (C) 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 eCosCentric Limited
RedBoot is free software, covered by the eCos license, derived from the
GNU General Public License. You are welcome to change it and/or distribute
copies of it under certain conditions. Under the license terms, RedBoot's
source code and full license terms must have been made available to you.
Redboot comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.

Platform: AT91SAM9G45-EK (ARM9)
RAM: 0x20000000-0x28000000 [0x20035f78-0x27ffe530 available]
FLASH: 0x50000000-0x5041ffff, 8192 x 0x210 blocks
RedBoot>
     

If it proves necessary to re-install RedBoot, this may be achieved by repeating the above process.

Rebuilding RedBoot

Should it prove necessary to rebuild a RedBoot binary, this is done most conveniently at the command line. The steps needed to rebuild the ROM version of RedBoot for the AT91SAM9G45-EKES are:

$ mkdir redboot_at91sam9g45ek_rom
$ cd redboot_at91sam9g45ek_rom
$ ecosconfig new at91sam9g45ekes redboot
$ ecosconfig import $ECOS_REPOSITORY/hal/arm/arm9/sam9g45ek/VERSION/misc/redboot_ROM.ecm
$ ecosconfig resolve
$ ecosconfig tree
$ make
   

At the end of the build the install/bin subdirectory should contain the file redboot.bin.

Rebuilding AT91Bootstrap

The sources of AT91Bootstrap are found in the AT91Bootstrap directory of the sam9260ek package. This is a copy of the software as supplied by Atmel with some slight modifications to permit it to be built with the same tools as eCos.

To rebuild the second-level bootstrap for the AT91SAM9G45-EKES execute the following commands:

    $ cd $ECOS_REPOSITORY/hal/arm/arm9/sam9260ek/VERSION/AT91Bootstrap/board/at91sam9g45ekes/nandflash
    $ make
   

This should result in the creation of a number of files, including nandflash_at91sam9g45ekes.bin which can be copied out.

2017-02-09
Documentation license for this page: eCosPro License