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Hypercube Printf Computer

Dedictcated Hypercube Printf Computer

  • The rational for making a printf computer is long in the making.
  • Printf is the most often used way to debug software, but it is one of the most ugly things to have inside an embedded CPU within the firmware.
  • The reason why printf is so ugly is that it takes up space, and there is an indeterminate amount of time running into milliseconds to generate the output print
  • No reasonable multi-tasking embedded CPU can afford to run a printf statement while trying to control real time activity such as software generated PWM drone motor control software
  • So what we need is a "printf computer" that accepts digital coded signals from a CPU and generates the appropriate printf statements, buffer it, and store it into files or stream it into RS232 or down an USB RS232 link.
  • The CPU will need to communicate the parameters that need printing.
  • If we said the bus was 8 bits wide, and add a few control lines, then 8 bit on a port can be updated in sub micro-second time (up to about 10MHz not a problem).
  • So we can some kind of protocol that transfers 8 bits at a time to the printf computer.
  • Then a code is sent to specify which printf statement to run in the printf computer to render the printf statement.
  • The printf command is then run with all the data formatted correctly, buffered and stored into flash or streamed out.
  • The incoming printf data is buffered while the current printf command is being formatted and rendered.
  • Potentially, the embedded CPU can send hundreds to thousands of bits of information to the printf computer in bursts without trying to render it into meaningful formatted printf statements using up its own computational cyles.
  • So long as the overall data rates are limited to the physical constraints of the printf computer then the embedded CPU can send rapid debug information and have it rendered into printf statements by the printf computer and the user can eventually go through the logs to discover what has gone wrong inside the high speed embedded CPU.
  • We also make speaking computers by encapsulation data
  • The speech statements can be rendered in real time and sent to the user to warn of conditions.
  • There may be multiple output streams that need updating with different information. The printf computer can deal with these separate channels all at the same time.
  • Hypercubes can accommodate 12 boards at a time. So we can just add the required board and connect with FPC cable when we need this functionality with development of high speed multi-tasking software.
Page last modified on September 06, 2018, at 08:38 AM