Build your firmware

This page provides an introduction to the steps required to modify and create your own embedded firmware to execute on a Plug & Program hardware solution

The embedded firmware is considered the middle layer of a Plug & Program embedded web server application

Background

Firmware is the program that executes on an embedded microcontroller such as the Microchip PIC32MX340F512H that is included on the Plug & Program MC32MX64GP mainboard

Modern firmware is predominantly written in the C programming language.  This is the language Plug & Program uses in all firmware modifications and examples

The firmware is sequence of steps that controls the microcontroller and any attached hardware in a logical and controlled manner to perform specific tasks required to meet the users application requirements

Firmware can be as simple as turning a light off and on at specific intervals through to very complex applications such as the HTTP Web Server provided preloaded on every Plug & Program Embedded Webserver

The process of creating firmware usually follows these steps:

  1. Identify requirements (Job to be done)
  2. Identify physical hardware required
  3. Set up development environment on users PC
  4. Create project and select appropriate parameters
  5. Write your application
  6. Compile your application into a format suitable for loading directly into the target microcontroller (usually a .hex file)
  7. Download your compiled application firmware file to the target processor (use a dedicated programming tool or a bootloader )
  8. Power on/reset the target hardware and watch your application run

Note that the above scenario ignores iteration back and forth through the above steps as a result of compilation failures, testing &  requirements changes