Custom Projects in nRF5-SDK : Segger Embedded Studio (Arch linux)

Custom Projects in nRF5-SDK : Segger Embedded Studio (Arch linux)

07 Sep 2019, 12:26am TZ +05:30
hardware, linux, nRF52, BLE
Embedded

Developing custom projects with nRF5-SDK for nRF52 devices from Nordic Semiconductors.

Keeping the mess of files away !

Segger Embedded Studio
Fig: Segger Embedded Studio
Source: Segger Embedded Studio

Its been some time since I worked on BLE. So pulled out my nRF52-DK to try to start again.

nRF52-DK
Fig: nRF52-DK Board
Source: Nordic Semiconductors

My BLE was really rusted. Looked at my past projects like ble-jugaad etc. They were already covered in layer of dust growing on them. And so was the firmware. Nothing seams to work with Keil.

Hence I started on another adventure. Finding out how to do development on nRF52 the new way.

This time working under Manjaro Linux my choice of distro,

based on Arch Linux under the hood 🕶.

Segger Embedded Studio

To my surprise, Nordic Semiconductors had Segger Embedded Studio as default development environment.

I would walk you through the steps I took. Understanding the new way of developing with nRF5-SDK.

The focus on Segger Embedded Studio as default development environment. Due to availability of tooling and debugging support in Out-of-The-Box fashion.

IMPORTANT! its free for Commercial use by Nordic Semiconductors nRF52 and nRF51 products.

This is great no more struggling with makefiles and Keil.

nRF5-SDK

Well we first need to download the SDK.

https://www.nordicsemi.com/Software-and-Tools/Software/nRF5-SDK

Here we would be looking at nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345. That was the latest one at Sept,2019.

References

There were a few video series that helped me out:

I followed some work published by the same author. The second video in the above list.

After a few trials and error I found the right way to do this.

Setting up your Workspace

Let’s walk through the steps. It might seem long but you would like in and remember it well.

I do at least, since its more copy paste than hack this - hack that stuff.

Step 1 : Directory Setup

Note that both the SDK and Project are in the same Directory.

Though we would not touch the SDK we still need it for actual code compile and to extract from the examples.

First Create the Directory Listing & extract the SDK as follows:

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export NRF_SDK_VERSION="nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345"
export PROJECT_NAME="MyBlinky"
export BRD="nRF52DK"
unzip $NRF_SDK_VERSION.zip
mkdir -p $PROJECT_NAME/src
mkdir -p $PROJECT_NAME/project-$BRD-$CONFIG/config
touch $PROJECT_NAME/project-$BRD-$CONFIG/SDK_VERSION_$NRF_SDK_VERSION

Where the environment variables are as follows:

  • export NRF_SDK_VERSION="nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345" is version of SDK

  • export PROJECT_NAME="MyBlinky" is the Name of your desired project

  • export BRD="nRF52DK" This is the Board being used possible values include

    • “nRF52DK”
    • “nRF52840-DK”
    • etc from the nRF52xxx family or may be a custom board
    • Note In case of custom Board One needs to add a Compiler Define to the common configuration in Segger Embedded Studio

    CUSTOM_BOARD_INC=my_custom_board

    The actual file would be my_custom_board.h in the src directory

  • export CONFIG="blank" This is the memory and soft-device configuration

    • “mbr” with Master Boot Record
    • “s132” with S132 Soft-Device configuration
  • The Last line would create an empty file tagging the SDK version in which the given project was created.

  • The config directory would store the respective configuration for SDK files

  • Note: We can create multiple of $BRD-$CONFIG combos as needed. The src folder would remain the same.

Step 2 : Get the Files in Order

Next, we would need to copy the specific files.

2.1 Source Files

First among them would be source code placed in the src folder.

E.g. main.c

2.2 SDK Configuration

The Configuration for SDK stored in sdk_config.h file.

This needs to be copied to the $PROJECT_NAME/project-$BRD-$CONFIG/config directory

2.3 Segger Embedded Studio project files

Next the Project Files

This would need the respective project files for Segger Embedded Studio

Having extension .emProject , e.g. blinky_pca10040.emProject

Typically this is located at ses directory in each of the example’s corresponding configuration folder.

E.g. nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/examples/peripheral/blinky/pca10040/blank/ses directory contains the files:

  • blinky_pca10040.emProject
  • blinky_pca10040.emSession
  • flash_placement.xml

We need to copy all these 3 to the $PROJECT_NAME/project-$BRD-$CONFIG directory.

Note that in this case we are specifically talking about the blinky project under the peripheral examples. We can also the the similar job in case of a BLE example also.

Step 3: Modifying the Project Configuration

The .emProject file is a XML file storing the project config.

There are specific sections of this file that need to be modified:

3.1 Project Name

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<solution Name="blinky_pca10040" target="8" version="2">
  <project Name="blinky_pca10040">

The part of "blinky_pca10040" would change the executable name.

3.2 Include Directories

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      c_user_include_directories="../../../config;
      ../../../../../../components;
      ../../../../../../components/boards;
      ../../../../../../components/drivers_nrf/nrf_soc_nosd;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/atomic;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/balloc;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/bsp;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/delay;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/experimental_section_vars;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/log;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/log/src;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/memobj;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/ringbuf;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/strerror;
      ../../../../../../components/libraries/util;
      ../../../../../../components/toolchain/cmsis/include;
      ../../..;
      ../../../../../../external/fprintf;
      ../../../../../../integration/nrfx;
      ../../../../../../modules/nrfx;
      ../../../../../../modules/nrfx/hal;
      ../../../../../../modules/nrfx/mdk;../config;"

This might look as a mangled thing but its essentially path.

Hence we need to modify the configuration accordingly:

  • ../../../config This is for OS Configuration in case of FreeRTOS

    Need to Change this to ../src/config where we might have the FreeRTOSConfig.h file.

  • ../../../../../../components and many more are actually the Path to SDK Components.

    Hence this also needs to be changed.

    We would transform ../../../../../../components to

    ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components

    And similarly we can transform all other Directory Paths as well.

  • ../config This is the Last one it points to sdk_config.h location

    In Our present configuration we have this at

    $PROJECT_NAME/project-$BRD-$CONFIG\config

    Hence ../config becomes config

  • Note All paths are separated by ; and this needs to remain correct.

  • In the End add ../src to include all header files in src directory also.

  • The transformed Block would look like

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        c_user_include_directories="../src/config;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/boards;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/drivers_nrf/nrf_soc_nosd;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/atomic;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/balloc;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/bsp;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/delay;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/experimental_section_vars;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/log;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/log/src;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/memobj;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/ringbuf;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/strerror;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/libraries/util;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components/toolchain/cmsis/include;
        ../../..;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/external/fprintf;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/integration/nrfx;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/modules/nrfx;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/modules/nrfx/hal;
        ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/modules/nrfx/mdk;config;../src;"
    

3.3 Preprocessor Definition

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  c_preprocessor_definitions="BOARD_PCA10040;BSP_DEFINES_ONLY;
  CONFIG_GPIO_AS_PINRESET;FLOAT_ABI_HARD;INITIALIZE_USER_SECTIONS;
  NO_VTOR_CONFIG;NRF52;NRF52832_XXAA;NRF52_PAN_74;"

These are the Preprocessor Directives separated by ;

For Custom Board We would need to change BOARD_PCA10040

That would transform to CUSTOM_BOARD_INC=my_custom_board

Final Block would become Only in case of Custom Board:

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  c_preprocessor_definitions="CUSTOM_BOARD_INC=my_custom_board;
  BSP_DEFINES_ONLY;CONFIG_GPIO_AS_PINRESET;FLOAT_ABI_HARD;
  INITIALIZE_USER_SECTIONS;NO_VTOR_CONFIG;
  NRF52;NRF52832_XXAA;NRF52_PAN_74;"

3.4 Other Paths

Replace anywhere the ../../../../../../components pattern occurs

with the as explained ../../nRF5_SDK_15.3.0_59ac345/components pattern for all files and tools as well.

3.5 Source File Section

Finally the Source file section

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  <folder Name="Application">
    <file file_name="../../../main.c" />
    <file file_name="../config/sdk_config.h" />
  </folder>

This would transform to :

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  <folder Name="Application">
    <file file_name="../src/main.c" />
    <file file_name="config/sdk_config.h" />
  </folder>

Based on the Project configuration.

Ready

Now this modified .emProject can be used in Segger Embedded Studio.

That’s all you begin your adventure with derived projects.