Powerbeats Pro Rant / Review

If you're looking for PIC32 information today, I'm sorry to say there's none. I haven't posted anything in a while and I'm on vacation but I've become so frustrated with the lack of information on these earphones that I had to say something.

If anyone is reading this, I'll be back from vacation in two weeks. I'll try to keep answering PIC32MZ questions in the comments until then.

Using the Powerbeats Pro with the Galaxy Watch

TL;DR version: If you want to buy the Powerbeats Pro and use them with the Galaxy Watch, don't! At the very least, know what you're getting yourself into.

A short bit of background

I enjoy running outside and have been doing so for many years. I can't stand the constant pace the treadmill forces me into and I find my legs hurt. Now despite running for almost 20 years I still run like a drunk hippo with a limp. You can feel me coming. I like running with music because it blocks the wheezing sounds and allows me to imagine I look super cool. I've used the Jaybird Bluebuds X, X2, X3 and X4 and enjoyed them. I found the cable that gets stuck on my neck a massive pain and the horrendous proprietary charging clip to be another large concern. So now that I'm on vacation I bought myself the Powerbeats Pro, my first truly wireless earphones. They look so good, I'm sure they'll be excellent for running and will go perfectly with the Galaxy Watch I bought 10 months ago, also for running. Right?

The Powerbeats Pro according to Internet reviewers

Wow! These things are amazing! Completely coincidentally every reviewer has the exact same list of pros and cons. They fit well, have a long battery life, a good seal and pause when you take them out. Good! But the charging case is large, much larger than the airpods and airpods 2. Bad! Apart from that, the concensus is that gee golly they're the best exercise earphones ever!

Enter the Galaxy Watch

They do work great, with my phone. The problem is the average phone size and price has increased over time and I find I no longer want to strap my $1000 phone to my arm when I go for a run or a walk just to listen to music. So I use my Galaxy Watch which, again, got super awesome reviews when it came out.

But it seems that nobody ever tried the Powerbeats Pro with the Galaxy Watch. Presumably because they're 10 months old they no longer exist. So every review I saw tested them with the very latest Android phones, iPhones and Apple Watches. The story is very different with my Galaxy Watch, and with old Android phones too.

Nightmare 1: MAXIMUM VOLUME

Whenever you pause a song or have any dead air for about a second or more (and this seems to include gaps between playback of songs), the powerbeats adjust their volume to the volume of the Watch's media player. So if you've cranked that up to 15/15, welcome to eardrum busting hell. Strangely enough, if you press a volume key the Powerbeats immediately revert to the volume they were supposed to be at. Needless to say, the eardum busting is undesirable at best. Why would I have the volume so high? Because I like to vary the volume during my run at fast and slow sections and I want to be able to control the volume with my earphones, not have to go back to the music app on the watch and adjust it there every single time.

Nightmare 2: Your earphones won't turn off

The Powerbeats Pro have this awesome (?) feature that all reviewers make sure to mention - if you take one of them out, the music pauses. Great! Oh you didn't put them straight into their case and close the case? Well, welcome to them randomly turning themselves on in your pocket, or even in your hand if you go into a slightly dark room and trick the built-in light sensor into thinking they're in your ear. So what, just disconnect them from your watch, right? Sure, and then they'll reconnect themselves when they wake up. Because they don't have a power button they cannot be turned off. They "just work", except when they don't. The only way I've found to shut them up is to turn off the bluetooth on my watch or put them in their charging case. Maybe this is why every single reviewer made such a big deal about the charging case size but I doubt it.

Oh and when they restart, thanks to the volume bug they restart at MAXIMUM VOLUME so be prepared for giggles as your embarrassing running playlist starts blasting out of your pocket at all sorts of hilariously inappropriate locations.

Nightmare 3: Poor connection and the volume bug

The Galaxy Watch's Bluetooth connection sucks. When I'm running and my arms are raised the connection seems fine but if I'm going on a walk it's a whole 'nother story. My arms are fairly long, clearly too long for the signal to reach the Powerbeats Pro. So they start to stutter, maybe even have different audio in each earbud. If I raise my arm, the connection is fine again but who wants to walk with their arms up by their side like a T-Rex? So I pause the music, let the watch catch up and then resume. MAXIMUM VOLUME again! Rock on! It's an unbelievably poor experience.

In summation

Who are tech reviews written for? Do I have to own all the latest tech in order to make use of them? Why does nobody mention these problems which, as I've said, I've encountered old Android phones (a few years old) too? Anyway, I hope this rant helps someone out there avoid an unnecessary purchase.

Tags: review, rant, moaning, audio

SQI on the PIC32MZ

Refresher on SPI

A while back, I covered using the Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) and how it worked. If you recall, we had four signals:

  • Chip Select (aka Slave Select) - To choose which slave we are talking to
  • Clock - Generated by the master and provided to all the slaves
  • Master Out Slave In (MOSI) - For the master to send data to the slave, and
  • Master In Slave Out (MISO) - For the slave to send data back to the master

PIC32MZ - Typical SPI connection

The communication was full-duplex, meaning data could be sent and received at the same time. However, the transactions had to be quite carefully controlled. If, for example, we wanted to send the command 0x9F to the slave and get a byte of data back, we'd have to do this:

PIC32MZ - SPI in a jarring GIF

<TL;DR>
As can hopefully be seen in the thrilling animation above, the master starts off sending a the byte 0x9F to the slave. At the same time, the slave is also sending data to the master. Until the slave has received the whole 8 bits, it does not know what the master is sending to it. So it has to wait until it receives the 8 bits, formulate a response and then send it out to the master the next time. Assuming it generates the response instantly, it still has no way to send the data back to the master because only the master can generate clock signals. This is why the master is seen to again be sending 0xFF (a dummy value) to the slave, purely to provide it with the clock signals it needs to send the data back to the master. 0xFF is typically used to avoid confusion with actual commands.
</TL;DR>

If we look at the code, we'd have to do this:

// Send the 0x9F byte
SPI1BUF = 0x9F;
// Wait until the reply has been received
while (SPI1STATbits.SPIRBE);
// Very important: read the reply from the buffer to clear the buffer
reply = SPI1BUF;
// Now we need to read the reply
// Send a dummy byte 0xFF
SPI1BUF = 0xFF;
// Wait until the reply has been received
while (SPI1STATbits.SPIRBE);
// Read the actual reply we want
reply = SPI1BUF;

So as you can see, it's fairly involved and there's a lot of hand-holding required. The speed is also not fantastic. We have a maximum speed of 50MHz, though some peripherals only work up to 20Mhz or even less. We can also send only one bit at a time, so even at 50MHz, we're only getting a maximum transfer rate of 6.25MB/s. This is where Serial Quad Interface (SQI) comes in.

So what is SQI?

SQI, as the name implies, can transfer up to 4 bits at once. While SPI uses 4 lines, SQI uses 6. They are:

  • Clock - The same as SPI, generated by the master
  • Chip select - Again, the same as SPI
  • D0 - The first data bit
  • D1 - The second data bit
  • D2 - The third data bit
  • D3 - The fourth data bit

<TL;DR>
"Up to"? Yes, SQI can be configured to send either 1 bit, 2 bits or 4 bits at a time. Many external devices that support both SPI and SQI start up in SPI mode and need to be sent a special command in order to switch to SQI mode. The PIC32MZ SQI peripheral fully supports this, thankfully, so if you really wanted you could use the SQI peripheral as a regular SPI peripheral.
</TL;DR>

From this, we can see the major difference between SPI and SQI. With SPI, we had one line for sending data to the slave and one line for receiving data and they were both in use at the same time. That is to say that communication was full duplex. With SQI, communication can only occur in one direction at a time, it is half duplex.

Let's take a look at a typical SQI connection:

PIC32MZ - Typical SQI connection

OK, not that hard so far. The hard part comes next.

The PIC32MZ's SQI peripheral

One of the most important things to remember with SQI on the PIC32MZ is that the communication can only happen in one direction at a time. This means we need some way of telling the PIC32MZ whether we want to send or receive data. This also means that, unlike the SPI peripheral, we cannot just write data to the SQI buffer and hope it'll get sent because it won't.

It turns out there are six registers we need to concern ourselves with:

  • SQI1THR - SQI Threshhold Control Register
  • SQI1INTTHR - SQI Interrupt Threshold Register
  • SQI1CMDTHR - SQI Command Threshhold Register
  • SQI1CON - SQI Control Register
  • SQI1TXDATA - SQI Transfer Data Buffer Register
  • SQI1RXDATA - SQI Receive Data Buffer Register

OK, that's a lot of registers, but why? Well, with SQI Microchip decided you know what, why don't we make this as fancy as we can? And to their credit, it is very fancy, but it can be very confusing too. Whereas with SPI we had to handle the transactions one by one, that is no longer the case with the SQI peripheral. Everything now works with buffers, meaning I can load up a whole list of transactions and it'll do them one by one. I repeat, writing to any of these registers will add whatever you've written to a buffer (or a queue).

This means that for every transaction with SQI, I need to tell it how many bytes I want to send or receive, how many lanes (1, 2 or 4) I will use and whether or not it's a send or receive transaction and then write the data to SQI1TXDATA (or read it from SQI1RXDATA). It can be confusing, so I'll go into it more in a moment.

If you've been following along with the PIC32MZ datasheet, you may have experienced cases where the datasheet contradicts itself multiple times. The SQI is one such case and why it's taken so long for me to get this code working at an acceptable level! As such, some of these registers remain a bit of a mystery to me but I know they have to be set in order for stuff to work :) Let's take a look at them one by one, very briefly.

SQI1THR

I think this controls how many transactions we can queue up in the SQI Control buffer. I just set it to 0x100 when I initialise the SQI peripheral and never touch it again.

SQI1INTTHR

I think this is used to set how many bytes transferred or received will trigger a transfer or receive interrupt. Again, I just set it to 0x100 when I initialise the SQI peripheral and never touch it again.

SQI1CMDTHR

I think this is used to set how many bytes need to be in the send or receive buffer before the SQI periperhal will start doing anything. I again set this before each transaction and I set it to be the same as the number of bytes I'm about to transmit/receive. The lower 6 bits are receive bytes and bits 8 to 13 are for transmit bytes.

SQI1CON

Finally, one I understand. This is used to tell the SQI peripheral how many bytes we are going to write to SQI1TXDATA (or read from SQI1RXDATA), how many lanes (so 1-lane (like SPI), 2-lane or 4-lane) and what kind of transaction it is, be it send or receive. There are other things it can do but I'm limiting it to this much today. It bears looking at how it's defined in the datasheet:

PIC32MZ - SQI1CON register

Note: There are two Chip Select pins (SQICS0 and SQICS1) so I presume that's where device 0 and 1 come from. I don't use either, I use a different pin as chip select and have only been able to get it to work using device 1. No, I don't know why.

Note 2: TXRXCOUNT is an ambitious 16 bits wide but the actual buffer itself is much smaller at 32 bytes, so this number should never exceed 32.

SQ1ITXDATA

Writing to this register will cause whatever data we write to be pushed into the transmit buffer. Note, however, that it defaults to writing 32-bits of data to the SQI transmit buffer!. This means that this:

unsigned char tmp = 128;
SQI1TXDATA = tmp

Will actually write 4 bytes of data to the transmit buffer (that is, 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x80)! If you want to write only 8 bits, you need to perform this trick:

unsigned char *TXDATA = (unsigned char *)&SQI1TXDATA;   // Address to write to for 8-bit data
*TXDATA = 128;

This is unlike SPI and is something to be wary of!

SQI1RXDATA

Reading from this register will pop whatever is on the top of the receive buffer off. Like with SQI1TXDATA, to access an 8-bit value, you have to do the following:

unsigned char *RXDATA = (unsigned char *)&SQI1RXDATA;   // Address to read from for 8-bit data
unsigned char result;
result = *RXDATA;

OK, so how do we use this in code?

First up, we have to initialise the SQI peripheral. Bear in mind it is connected to Reference Clock 2, so that is some we first have to set up. The initialisation is done like this:

void SQI_init()
{
    CFGCONbits.TROEN = 0; // Disable trace outputs because SQI share them

    // Set up Reference Clock 2
    if (!REFO2CONbits.ACTIVE)
    {
        REFO2CONbits.RODIV = 1;
        REFO2CONbits.ROSEL = 1;
        REFO2CONbits.ON = 1;
        while (REFO2CONbits.DIVSWEN);
        REFO2CONbits.OE = 1;
    }

    // Turn *off* clock division according to the errata
    SQI1CLKCONbits.CLKDIV = 0;
    SQI1CLKCONbits.EN = 1;
    // Wait until the SQI clock reports it is stable
    while (!SQI1CLKCONbits.STABLE);

   // Tell the SQI peripheral to reset
    SQI1CFGbits.RESET = 1;    
    SQI1CFGbits.CPOL = 0;
    SQI1CFGbits.CPHA = 0;
    // Set the mode to 1, which is PIO mode (where we control it directly)
    SQI1CFGbits.MODE = 1;
    // Enable burst mode, again as datasheet says
    SQI1CFGbits.BURSTEN = 1;
    // Enable the SQI peripheral
    SQI1CFGbits.SQIEN = 1;
    // Enable data lines SQID0, SQID1, SQID2 and SQID3
    SQI1CFGbits.DATAEN = 0b10;

    // Set up buffers to trigger as soon as 1 byte is present
    SQI1THR = 0x100;
    SQI1INTTHR = 0x100;
}

OK, now it's set up, how on earth do we use the thing?

My first example today is very basic. I am communicating with an 8MB PSRAM. The PSRAM starts up in SPI mode. So initially, what I want to do is send it the command 0x9F, which will cause it to send me it's EID information. Again, this is what I want to do:

  • Send the 8-bit command 0x9F
  • Send 3 dummy bytes for address (as the PSRAM datasheet says to)
  • Read 8 bytes of data as a response

In code, I'd do this:

void SRAM_get_EID(unsigned int *buf)
{    
    // Pull CS low, select the PSRAM
    SRAM_select(0);

    // Set up for 4 bytes initially
    SQI1THR = 0x100;
    SQI1INTTHR = 0x100;

    // Sending 4 bytes, 0x9F "Get EID" command and 3 empty address bytes
    SQI1CMDTHR = 0x100;
    // Deassert chip select when done, using device 1, using single lane mode, transmit command, 4 bytes
    SQI1CON = 0x00510004;
    // Remember, this next line actually sends 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x9F!
    SQI1TXDATA = 0x9F;

    // Wait until the transmit buffer is empty i.e. the data has been fully transmitted
    while (SQI1STAT1bits.TXBUFFREE < 32);

    // Trigger on each byte received
    SQI1CMDTHR = 0x01; // Receive 8 bytes
    // Deassert chip select when done, using device 1, using single lane mode, receive command, 8 bytes
    SQI1CON = 0x00520008;

    // Wait until the lower 8 bits of SQI1STAT1 (which are received bytes count) = 8
    while ((SQI1STAT1 & 0xFF) != 0x08);

    // Read the first 4 bytes and store them in the array pointer
    *buf = SQI1RXDATA;
    // Move array pointer to next element
    buf++;
    // Read the final 4 bytes and store them in the array pointer
    *buf = SQI1RXDATA;

    // Set CS high again, deselect the PSRAM
    SRAM_select(1);
}

This same PSRAM then has a command to set it into quad lane mode (command 0x35, but this time with no dummy bytes). I'd do this as follows:

void SRAM_go_SQI()
{
    // We want to write an 8-bit value to the SQI transmit buffer, so set that up
    unsigned char *TXDATA;
    TXDATA = (unsigned char *)&SQI1TXDATA;

    // Pull CS low, select the PSRAM
    SRAM_select(0);

    SQI1THR = 0x100;
    SQI1INTTHR = 0x100;
    // Trigger on 4 bytes, though this works just fine
    SQI1CMDTHR = 0x100;
    // Deassert chip select when done, using device 1, using single lane mode, transmit command, 1 byte
    SQI1CON = 0x00510001;

    // Write the 8-bit value 0x35 to the transmit buffer
    *TXDATA = 0x35;

    // Wait until the transmit buffer is empty i.e. the data has been fully transmitted
    while (SQI1STAT1bits.TXBUFFREE < 32);

    // Set CS high again, deselect the PSRAM
    SRAM_select(1);
}

Now that we're in quad lane mode, let's try writing some data to that PSRAM. First, we need to tell the PSRAM we are going to be writing to it. The quad-lane write command is 0x38 and it needs to be followed by a 3-byte address. We'll do it like this:

void SRAM_start_write_quad(int address)
{
    // We're about to have some endian fun
    unsigned int data;
    unsigned int endian[3];

    // Pull CS low, select the PSRAM
    SRAM_select(0);

    // Trigger on 4 bytes
    SQI1CMDTHR = 0x00000400;
    // Deassert chip select when done, using device 1, using quad lane mode now, transmit command, 4 bytes
    SQI1CON = 0x00590004;

    // Now, if our address is 0x123456, we are going to have to switch that around to 0x563412 because the PIC32 is a little-endian device. Yay.  
    endian[0] = address >> 16;
    endian[1] = (address & 0x00FF00) >> 8;
    endian[2] = (address & 0xFF);

    address = (endian[2] << 16) | (endian[1] << 8) |(endian[0]);
    data = (address << 8) | 0x38;

    // The actual order of bytes *sent* will be 0x38, address[16:23], address[8:15], address[0:7].
    // I've done it in a bit of a round-about way to hopefully make it clearer.

    // Send the 4 bytes of data to the transfer queue
    SQI1TXDATA = data;

    // Wait until the transmit buffer is empty i.e. the data has been fully transmitted
    while (SQI1STAT1bits.TXBUFFREE < 32);

    // NOTE: HERE I DO NOT SET THE CHIP SELECT LINE HIGH. That would indicate to the PSRAM chip that the transaction was over!
}

OK, so I've told it to get ready for data, now let's write that data in super fast quad lane mode, one byte at a time:

    for (cnt = 0; cnt < num_bytes; cnt++)
    {
        // Set SQI TX command threshold to 1 byte in a slightly different way why not
        SQI1CMDTHRbits.TXCMDTHR = 1; 
        // Deassert chip select when done, using device 1, using quad lane mode now, transmit command, 1 byte
        SQI1CON = 0x00590001;

        // Send an 8-bit value to the buffer
        *TXDATA = buffer[cnt];

        // Wait until the transmit buffer is empty i.e. the data has been fully transmitted
        while (SQI1STAT1bits.TXBUFFREE < 32);
    }

    // Now I can set Chip Select high again and thus deselect the PSRAM because I'm done writing
    SRAM_select(1);

Would it be faster if I didn't send one byte at a time and then nanny over the transmit buffer? Surely it would, yes. However, as this is an intro to getting SQI to work let's keep it as safe as we can for now :)

Phew, and now we've written data to the PSRAM. In the example code below I've included code for reading and writing in both single and quad-lane mode.

Please bear in mind that on my development board the PSRAM's Chip Select is connected to Port RJ1

Here's the code. Good luck!

Tags: code, SQI

My PIC32MZ Dev Board

Disclaimer

The files / images I'm sharing today are for my own personal development board, based on the PIC32MZ2048EFH144-I/PL. Do not use this board in any project that requires super precision or in life saving equipment type of projects. I cannot and will not be responsible if you make this and somehow manage to burn your house / neighbourhood / country down. I'm uploading them in the hopes that someone starting out can learn how to make their own PIC32MZ development board, hopefully better than my own.

Background on why I started making my own dev boards

When I first started with the PIC32, the dev board options weren't awesome. I was looking using the PIC32MX in a DIP package, so it could be bread-boarded. I found myself wanting a more permanent solution and decided to look into what development boards there were available. Microchip and other companies' dev boards are fine and all, some of them aren't even too expensive. However, they're often either designed with a very specific purpose in mind or designed to attach to other dev boards of theirs and the cost very quickly gets out of control. I just wanted something I could plug Dupont cables into and I couldn't find what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own.

I pretty soon got into making my own PCBs at home using a laser printer, iron-on paper, an iron and some etchant. For years I made my own boards and they were fine. When it came to the PIC32MZ I was able to make my own PCB for the 144-pin version but I quickly began to realise the limitiations of making single-sided PCBs. You can make double-sided PCBs at home but you have to be very careful to line up both sides correctly, drill the vias, solder the via pins in, etc and it turns into a lot of work very quickly. I also got tired of breathing in fiber glass when drilling all the holes for the headers. It may not seem like a lot but 200 holes done repeatedly gets a bit much. The etchant had already eaten holes in a good few pairs of pants too and I finally decided enough was enough and started looking online.

I first used Seeedstudio's excellent Fusion PCB service and found the quality to be great. I also appreciate that the different PCB colours don't cost any extra money. An alternative to them is JLCPCB. Their service is slightly cheaper and has faster and more reliable turn-around times but you have to pay extra for any PCB colour except green. A huge advantage with JLCPCB is that you can order components at their sister site LCSC and use combined shipping to save on those painful DHL shipping costs, which for me come to about $16.

Down-sides of making your own dev board

First of all, all the Harmony examples are set up to use their own dev boards, so whenever I want to use an example I have to modify code for LEDs and buttons. That's not too much bother really. The big problem, however, is that

BOARDS DESIGNED BY NOOBS LIKE ME BREAK TONS OF DESIGN RULES

While Seeedstudio and JLCPCB's prices are both good, you can get really cheap prices if you fit the board into 100mm x 100mm, double-layer. So my dev boards represent an effort to cram as much stuff as I can into that size limit while still having a working board. As such, there are too many vias, fast signals tracks are too long and routed through vias as they shouldn't be and the power and ground planes are probably more of a mess than they need be, despite multiple efforts to clean them up. Now, that out the way, my boards work fine. The USB is as fast as it should be, the ESP32 works, the SD card can be read at a very decent speed, everything works. If you can get over the worry of having an engineer looking at your board in disgust, then you too can make your own PIC32MZ dev board.

So why? Well, this is my hobby, I enjoy it. I use my dev boards to get modules, motors, LCDs and all sorts of things to work before designing specific boards for separate projects. It's a kitchen sink. A very clogged up kitchen sink. And today I'm going to share all the files for it with the Internet. If anyone even reads this, I'm sure they'll leave some delightful comments but eh, I'm uploading them all the same.

Overview of this dev board

First, this is what it looks like when assembled by a noob (me). Top:

PIC32MZ - Scorpio Dev Board - Top view

Yes, the erroneous "BUTTON 2" text has been removed in the uploaded Gerber files.

Bottom:

PIC32MZ - Scorpio Dev Board - Bottom view

Yes, the scorpion motif was cheesy as heck and has been removed (also, it was downloaded from a royalty free clipart site I can no longer find the link for).

This dev board, being based on a kitchen sink design philosophy, has a lot going on with it. Most of the extras can be left out entirely without affecting the PIC32 at all. I will mark these extras with a *. The list:

  • SD card attached in SPI mode to SPI channel 2 (*)
  • CS4344 audio DAC attached in I2S mode to SPI3 (*)
  • 8MB VTI7064 PSRAM attached via SQI (*)
  • 128MB W25N01GV flash memory attached to SPI5 (*)
  • Parallel Master Port (PMP) driver 16-bit TFT LCD connector for SSD1934 displays with capacitive touch (*)
  • HD44780 compatible text LCD port connected to the PMP (*)
  • FT232RL connected to UART4 to allow communications with PC (*)
  • USB host connector (*)
  • Stereo PWM audio output connector with single stage RC filter designed to work at 44.1kHz (*)
  • ESP32-WROOM-32 module connected to UART2 and SPI1, with connections to allow PIC32 and ESP32 to wake each other (*)
  • Power via micro USB port in either debug mode (with FT232RL) or device mode (two separate ports)

So basically, a lot of stuff, some of which is a hassle to solder by hand and none of which is necessary except for the USB port which provides power to the PIC32 chip. If you don't even want that, you could also power it directly via the ICSP connector using a PICKit or other programmer but bear in mind that needs to be 3.3V.

The ESP32 has been added very recently and in rather a slap-dash fashion. It is supplied by it's own 3.3V regulator and can be entirely disabled by removing the jumper near it labelled "ESP32".

I have tried to use 1206 sized SMD components to make it easier to hand solder but there are one or two places where I ran out of space (/willpower) and so used 0603.

Bill of Materials (BOM) and where to buy the components

I have put together a list of components for use when soldering and a Bill of Materials with links showing where to buy the components.

Here are the Gerber files for this project.

Almost, but not all, of my example code on this site was made with these ports in mind. I'll update this post

Tags: PCB, herebedragons, horror

Updated SPI SD DMA code and DMA Pattern Matching

Updated SPI SD DMA code

The code is now more stable and cleaner, so I'm uploading it again here. Here are a list of changes:

  • Fixed bugs relating to SPI buffers overflowing, causing the program to stop working at different BRG settings.
  • No longer need to set SCK as an input.
  • Now works properly at multiple values of SPIBRG, so you can run at whatever SPI, CPU or System frequency you like.
  • Configuration settings have been moved to mmcpic32.h and diskio.h and diskio.c have been removed. You need to #include "mmcpic32.h" in your main program now.
  • Configuration made possible by changing a few lines of code in mmcpic32.h. Thanks again to Bryn Thomas and Ivo Colleoni for their help with this.
  • Added a callback function that will be called, if set, multiple times during an SPI DMA read.

New configuration settings

Upon opening mmcpic32.h, you will see this:

// ***************************************************
// ** CHANGE THE BELOW SETTINGS TO MATCH YOUR BOARD **
// ***************************************************
// SD card port and pin settings
#define CS_PORT H                   // Port on which CS is to be found, A - H
#define CS_PIN 12                   // Pin number of CS, 0 -15
#define SDO_PORT B                  // Port on which SDO/MOSI is to be found, A - H
#define SDO_PIN 5                   // Pin number of SDO/MOSI, 0 - 15

// SPI channel and DMA channel configuration
#define SPI_CHANNEL 2               // Channel number to use for SD card
#define DMA_RX_CHANNEL 0            // DMA channel number to use for Receiving data, 0 - 7
#define DMA_TX_CHANNEL 1            // DMA channel number to use for Transmitting data, 0 - 7
#define DMA_RX_CHANNEL_PRIORITY 3   // Priority of DMA receiving channel, 0 - 3
#define DMA_TX_CHANNEL_PRIORITY 2   // Priority of DMA transmitting channel, 0 - 3
#define DMA_RX_INT_PRIORITY 4       // Priority of DMA receive complete interrupt, 0 - 7
#define DMA_RX_INT_SUBPRIORITY 1    // Sub-priority of DMA receive complete interrupt, 0 - 3

I've tried to make it easy to see. The settings currently there are for my board, with the SD card's Chip Select on port H12 and the MOSI / SDO pin on RB5. Please change these to be correct for your board or nothing will work. Right under that is the only other setting you may have to change, the SPI channel number. Change this to whatever your SPI channel SD card is connected to. The rest of the settings can be left as is or changed as desired. The allowed ranges are shown in the comments for each line.

Callback function

The callback function will be called multiple times during a call to f_read(). It can be used for things like checking keys, starting other transfers, updating LCDs, whatever you want really. Do note that if you take too long in the callback function the DMA transfer's performance will either suffer or, in extreme cases, stop working (hasn't happened yet but who knows). So it is recommended you do something fairly short during the callback function.

The example callback function is also declared in mmcpic32.h, like this:

void (*DMA_CALLBACK)(int stage, int args);

stage refers to the stage of the DMA read it is in, which can be DMA_STAGE_WAIT_TOKEN (waiting for the 0xFE token) or DMA_STAGE_WAIT_READ (reading 512-byte sector).
args can be one of two things. In DMA_STAGE_WAIT_TOKEN it is how many bytes were read before 0xFE was found. In DMA_STAGE_WAIT_READ it is how many bytes were read (always 512 in this program).

You can change this callback function to whatever you like, I've just given an example of how it could be used.

To set your own callback function, create a function in main(), for example:

void my_callback(int stage, int args)
{
}

Then, call the set_callback() function like this:

set_callback(my_callback);

Done!

A word on DMA Pattern Matching mode in this program

As I've discussed previously, a multi-block read from an SD card looks like this:

  • Send the command for multiple block read (CMD18)
  • Send the starting sector number
  • Send 0xFF until the 0xFE token is returned
  • Send 0xFF and read the reply 512 times to read a sector
  • If you wish to read more sectors, go back to line 3 and repeat until done
  • Send the command to stop transmission (CMD12)

In this program, the DMA read starts on line 3, waiting for 0xFE. At this stage, we have been sending 0xFF until 0xFE was returned. The DMA Transfer channel is now aborted when a Pattern Match for 0xFE is found on channel 0, resulting in less data being left in the SPI buffer. I have added code to handle bytes left in the SPI buffer and I strongly suggest you do not remove this code, even if it seems that no bytes are remaining. At lower settings for SPIBRG there can sometimes be one or two bytes left over each time and that can quickly lead to an SPI buffer overflow if not handled correctly.

Please note: The standard for SPI mode on SD cards specifies up to 25MHz for transfers. I am using 50MHz and it works fine. However, if you want to use this code in something that requires reliability, please set your SPIBRG to 1 to halve the speed to 25MHz!

As always, here's the code. If there are any issues with it, please do let me know.

Tags: code, DMA, SD, SPI