Microcontroller debug port interfacing with LabVIEW FPGA

OData support
Scherer Balázs Attila
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Nowdays the embedded systems are able to execute complex functions with high performance microcontrollers. On acount of the increasing softver amount it is essential to perform thorough tests especially in the area of safety critical applications. The modern microcontrollers with advanced debug and trace architecture provide high level support for performing a variaty of tests. The use of debug functions in a real time environment is the topic of my thesis. Through the debug interface it’s possible to examine the resources of the microcontrollers from outside without interfering or stopping the processor. This opens the door to collect information at high speed during real-time based tests.

The Hardware-in-the-Loop procedure is a typical form of a real-time test. It’s applied usually during safety critical application development to test the hardware and software together in a simulated environment. To collect data about the behaviour of the unit under test in most cases diagnostic protocolls are deployed on the microcontrollers. To expand or replace the diagnostic protocoll, that provides only limited bandwidth, the debug interface can be used as well to access the RAM containing the global variables.

For communicating through the debug interface an adapter hardware is necessary to allow the fast data flow from the microcontroller to the monitoring and controller unit, that executes the tests. In the thesis I implemented this adapter, based on FPGA solution in LabVIEW programming environment. The FPGA code is applicable using National Instruments tester units with FPGA and digital adapter modul. Microcontrollers based on Coresight debug architecture can be connected through JTAG protocol to the system. I embedded the FPGA code in NI Veristand test environment, so it can be applied for tests created in Veristand projects.


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