Programming nRF5x SoCs with Pitaya-Link
Pitaya-Link is a low-cost debug probe based on the CMSIS-DAP (also known as DAPLink) protocol standard. It can be used to program and debug the application software running on Arm Cortex Microcontrollers.
The design enables developers with Drag-And-Drop programming, Virtual COM Port, CMSIS-DAP compliant debug channel, and access to Arm Cortex Microcontrollers in the browser using WebUSB.
The probe comes with indicator LEDs, a button to reset the target or trigger the firmware update, reversible USB-C connector and easy-to-use 7-pin 2.54mm Header.
This post is intended to assist users in the initial setup and demonstration of programming Nordic's nRF5x SoCs with Pitaya-Link.
What you'll need
- A Pitaya-Link Debug Probe
- A macOS/Linux/Windows PC
- An nRF52 target board(e.g. nRF52840 MDK USB Dongle)
pyOCD is an open source Python package for programming and debugging Arm Cortex-M microcontrollers using multiple supported types of USB debug probes. It is fully cross-platform, with support for Linux, macOS, and Windows.
The latest stable version of pyOCD may be installed via pip as follows:
pip install -U pyocd
Alternatively, you can install the latest prerelease version from the HEAD of the master branch, you can do the following:
pip install --pre -U https://github.com/mbedmicro/pyOCD/archive/master.zip
Verify if pyOCD works correctly in your terminal:
Connecting the target
Perform the following steps to connect your nRF5x target board:
- Connect the target board to Pitaya-Link using the provided 7-pin Cable.
- Connect Pitaya-Link to the PC using the provided USB-C Cable.
- A disk drive called PITAYA-LINK will be automatically detected by the computer.
Pitaya-Link allows programming of your target MCU in the following two very simple ways:
- Intuitive Drag-And-Drop programming
- Using the
Drag-And-Drop is an optional intuitive programming feature. It allows programming of your target MCU by dragging and dropping a file (
.hex -format) onto the PITAYA-LINK drive.
There is no need to install application software. Anyone that can drag and drop a file to a USB memory stick can now program the target board.
Using the pyocd executable
pyocd command line tool gives you total control over your target with these subcommands:
gdbserver: GDB remote server allows you to debug using gdb via either GNU MCU Eclipse plug-in or the console.
flash: Program files of various formats into flash memory.
erase: Erase part or all of an MCU's flash memory.
pack: Manage CMSIS Device Family Packs that provide additional target device support.
commander: Interactive REPL control and inspection of the MCU.
list: Show connected devices.
You can get additional help by running subcommands with
--help option, e.g.
pyocd flash --help.
The following commands demonstrate how to flash/erase an nRF52840-based target:
- To erase all of the target flash:
pyocd erase -t nrf52840 --chip
- To flash the target with
pyocd flash -t nrf52840 Sample.hex
- To flash the target with a plain binary:
pyocd flash -t nrf52840 --base-address 0x1000 Sample.bin
Now that you are familiar with the Pitaya-Link, it's time to explore more tutorials available below: