Home | | Embedded Systems | Programming Input and Output in Embedded Systems

Chapter: Embedded Systems

Programming Input and Output in Embedded Systems

Input and output devices usually have some analog or non-electronic component— for instance, a disk drive has a rotating disk and analog read/write electronics.




Then basic techniques for I/O programming can be understood relatively independent of the instruction set. In this section, we cover the basics of I/O programming and place them in the contexts of both the ARM and begin by discussing the basic characteristics of I/O devices so that we can understand the requirements they place on programs that communicate with them.




Input and output devices usually have some analog or non-electronic component— for instance, a disk drive has a rotating disk and analog read/write electronics. But the digital logic in the device that is most closely connected to the CPU very strongly resembles the logic you would expect in any computer system.


Figure 2.1 shows the structure of a typical I/O device and its relationship to the CPU. The interface between the CPU and the device’s internals (e.g., the rotating disk and read/write electronics in a disk drive) is a set of registers. The CPU talks to the device by reading and writing the registers.




Devices typically have several registers,


Data registers hold values that are treated as data by the device, such as the data read or written by a disk.


Status registers provide information about the device’s operation, such as whether the current transaction has completed.


Some registers may be read-only, such as a status register that indicates when the device is done, while others may be readable or writable. Application Example 2.1 describes a classic I/O device.


Application Example


The 8251 UART


The 8251 UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter) [Int82] is the original device used for serial communications, such as the serial port connections on PCs. The 8251 was introduced as a stand-alone integrated circuit for early microprocessors. Today, its functions are typically subsumed by a larger chip, but these more advanced devices still use the basic programming interface defined by the 8251.


The UART is programmable for a variety of transmission and reception parameters. However, the basic format of transmission is simple. Data are transmitted as streams of characters, each of which has the following form:



Every character starts with a start bit (a 0) and a stop bit (a 1). The start bit allows the receiver to recognize the start of a new character; the stop bit ensures that there will be a transition at the start of the stop bit. The data bits are sent as high and low voltages at a uniform rate. That rate is known as the baud rate; the period of one bit is the inverse of the baud rate.


Before transmitting or receiving data, the CPU must set the UART’s mode registers to correspond to the data line’s characteristics. The parameters for the serial port are familiar from the parameters for a serial communications program (such as Kermit)


   the baud rate;


   the number of bits per character (5 through 8);


whether parity is to be included and whether it is even or odd; and


■ the length of a stop bit (1, 1.5, or 2 bits).



The UART includes one 8-bit register that buffers characters between the UART and the CPU bus. The Transmitter Ready output indicates that the transmitter is ready to accept a data character; the Transmitter Empty signal goes high when the UART has no characters to send. On the receiver side, the Receiver Ready pin goes high when the UART has a character ready to be read by the CPU.




Microprocessors can provide programming support for input and output in two ways: I/O instructions and memory-mapped I/O. Some architectures, such as the Intel x86, provide special instructions (in and out in the case of the Intel x86) for input and output. These instructions provide a separate address space for I/O devices. But the most common way to implement I/O is by memory mapping even CPUs that provide I/O instructions can also implement memory-mapped I/O. As the name implies, memory-mapped I/O provides addresses for the registers in each I/O device. Programs use the CPU’s normal read and write instructions to communicate with the devices. Example 3.1 illustrates memory-mapped I/O on the ARM.




Memory-mapped I/O on ARM


We can use the EQU pseudo-op to define a symbolic name for the memory location of our I/O device:


DEV1 EQU 0x1000


Given that name, we can use the following standard code to read and write the device register:

Read DEV1

LDR r0, #8  ; set up value to write


STR r0, [r1]         ; write 8 to device


How can we directly write I/O devices in a high-level language like C? When we define and use a variable in C, the compiler hides the variable’s address from us. But we can use pointers to manipulate addresses of I/O devices. The traditional names for functions that read and write arbitrary memory locations are peek and poke.


The peek function can be written in C as:


int peek(char *location) {

return *location; /* de-reference location pointer */




The argument to peek is a pointer that is de-referenced by the C * operator to read the


location. Thus, to read a device register we can write: #define DEV1 0x1000


dev_status = peek(DEV1); /* read device register */



The poke function can be implemented as:


void poke(char *location, char newval) { (*location) = newval;

/* write to location */



To write to the status register, we can use the following code: poke(DEV1,8);


/*write 8 to device register */


These functions can, of course, be used to read and write arbitrary memory locations, not just devices




The most basic way to use devices in a program is busy-wait I/O. Devices are typically slower than the CPU and may require many cycles to complete an operation. If the CPU is performing multiple operations on a single device, such as writing several characters to an output device, then it must wait for one operation to complete before starting the next one. (If we try to start writing the second character before the device has finished with the first one, for example, the device will probably never print the first character.) Asking an I/O device whether it is finished by reading its status register is often called polling.

Example illustrates busy-wait I/O.


Busy-wait I/O programming


In this example we want to write a sequence of characters to an output device. The device has two registers: one for the character to be written and a status register. The status register’s value is 1 when the device is busy writing and 0 when the write transaction has completed.


We will use the peek and poke functions to write the busy-wait routine in C. First, we define symbolic names for the register addresses:


#define OUT_CHAR 0x1000 /* output device character register */ #define OUT_STATUS 0x1001 /* output device status register */


The sequence of characters is stored in a standard C string, which is terminated by a null (0) character. We can use peek and poke to send the characters and wait for each transaction to complete:


char *mystring = "Hello, world." /* string to write */ char *current_char; /* pointer to current position in




current_char = mystring; /* point to head of string */ while (*current_char != `\ 0') { /* until null character */



poke(OUT_CHAR,*current_char); /* send character to device */


while (peek(OUT_STATUS) != 0); /* keep checking status */


current_char++; /* update character pointer */




The outer while loop sends the characters one at a time. The inner while loop checks the device status—it implements the busy-wait function by repeatedly checking the device status until the status changes to 0.



Copying characters from input to output using busy-wait I/O


We want to repeatedly read a character from the input device and write it to the output device. First, we need to define the addresses for the device registers:


#define IN_DATA 0x1000 #define IN_STATUS 0x1001 #define OUT_DATA 0x1100 #define OUT_STATUS 0x1101


The input device sets its status register to 1 when a new character has been read; we must set the status register back to 0 after the character has been read so that the device is ready to read another character. When writing, we must set the output status register to 1 to start writing and wait for it to return to 0. We can use peek and poke to repeatedly perform the read/write operation:


while (TRUE)


{ /* perform operation forever */ /* read a character into achar */


while (peek(IN_STATUS) == 0); /*wait until ready*/ (char)peek(IN_DATA); /* read the character achar*//* write poke(OUT_DATA,achar);poke(OUT_STATUS,1); /* turn on device */ while(peek(OUT_STATUS) != 0); /*wait until done*/}


Study Material, Lecturing Notes, Assignment, Reference, Wiki description explanation, brief detail
Embedded Systems : Programming Input and Output in Embedded Systems |

Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions, DMCA Policy and Compliant

Copyright © 2018-2024 BrainKart.com; All Rights Reserved. Developed by Therithal info, Chennai.