Thursday, December 23, 2010

Renesas RDK bring up

I'm a free software junky. Have been since the late 1990's. I run Linux on all my machines. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Which can pose a problem in the embedded space. Nearly all tools are highly Windows centric.

With the RDK, things are even worse, in that they are pushing a proprietary RTOS, Toolchain, and Debug environment. I think as also is typical, most are restricted in some way. A drug dealer approach to getting you to cough up some cash. Just a taste.

As as Engineer and tinkerer, I like to understand how things work, to have a chance to be able to fix bugs.

"If you can't change it, you don't own it." - DJ Delorie

What I find incredible that so many hackers types, who like to dismantle, re-purpose and build things, are happy to be closed off to this whole world by using highly restricted OSes and tools. It seems like a contradiction.

Anyway, there is no coincidence with the above quote, luckily for the RDK, free software hero DJ Delorie has done a lot of the heavy lifting for us Linux users.

I started here:

To shortcut bring up a little, I went and got the precompiled GCC binaries from kpitgnutools

The blinky example worked first go, yay!

For my application, I was initially planning on skipping using an OS entirely (due to the proprietary nature of the one that comes with the kit) and just coding to the hardware directly.

First step would be to get an on board timer running and generating interrupts... the heart beat of the application.

Plus blinking LEDs are pretty boring when you have an LCD sitting there.

So I set about modifying the blinky example from DJ to be timer and interrupt driven and also use the LCD.

The result is here:

Since getting that running I discovered that FreeRTOS looks good and is easy to build under Linux and run thanks again DJ.

So I may end up using FreeRTOS for my brewbot. Subject of another post I guess.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hi,
    I get the following error when compiling blinky from your github.

    $ make
    rx-elf-gcc -Wall -O2 -MMD -mint-register=4 -mlittle-endian-data -Iinclude -c clock.c -o clock.o
    as: unrecognized option '-m32bit-doubles'
    make: *** [clock.o] Error 1

    can you help me? what is wrong?

  3. The solution is discussed on this site

  4. Hello.
    I can't get this working. I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to the RX62N. (I understand how to compile with Linux/Mac, how to code an Arduino, program AVR microprocessors etc. but I'm very unfamiliar with anything outside the AVR ecosystem)
    Would it be possible to make a short step-by-step list of how to compile and upload the blink example code to the RX62N?