PA 8001 2014 Practical 0

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The objectives of this practical are twofold:

  • To set up and familiarise yourself with the lab environment (e.g., Raspberri Pi and ARM Cross Compiler)
  • To make sure that you have understood the basic concepts of C programming required for the rest of the course
  • To acquire basic familiarity with Raspberri PI bare-metal programming
  • To apply basic principles of Test Driven Development


You need to submit a single .zip file on blackboard containing the programs for Part 1 and Part 2. The two parts should be put in two different folders, named Part 1 and Part 2, respectively. Only submissions before the deadline are considered, unless you ask for a deadline extension before the deadline. You do not have to wait for an acknowledgment if you ask for an extension. You can only ask for a deadline extension for one week for at most 2 out of 5 practicals.

The practicals are based on the following two practicals:

Part 1: C Programming

Unpacking and Installing Your Raspberry Pi

  • Plug in your raspberry pi board to a power supply.
  • Choose the Raspbian OS to be installed by checking the box next to it.
  • You can choose some settings such for your OS or skip it (you can also set them later).
  • Click on install button at top left corner of the window.
  • Log in to the linux OS by the following username and password:
username: pi
password: raspberry
  • Enter the “startx” command to get started.
  • You can now start with writing and compiling a simple C code.

To write your C code you need to use an editor. Leafpad is a simple text editor which you can use or you can install your own editor by transferring the required files to the memory and then installing the editor. Standard Linux editors such as Vi are also available. You can find the Leafpad editor under Start-> Accessories->Leafpad Open the Leafpad editor and write the following program and then save your file by “.c “ extension.

  • To compile your program, start the LXterminal (you can find it on your desktop). Type the following command in the terminal:
 gcc /path of your C program/name of your program.c –o /address of the output file/output file 

Programming Bit-Vectors in C

  • Create a local directory in your raspberry pi and move there.
  • Unpack the zip file and open main.c and study the instructions.
  • Include the required documentation as comments in iregister.h .
  • Implement the required functions in iregister.c and the testcases in main.c .
  • After compiling, linking and running the files, make sure that all the test cases have run successfully.

Part 2: Bare-Metal Programming for Raspberry Pi

In this part of the lab, you will replace the Linux operating system on Raspberry Pi with your own program. You will implement a kernel that blinks the ACT LED on Raspberry Pi.

The blinking starts happening very quickly and slows down as the time goes by. To do this, you count up to a number between each two blinking and the number exponentially increases, that is, you first count up to 2 and blink, then count up to 4 and blink, then count up to 8 and blink, then count up to 16 and blink, and so on...

This LED is controlled by GPIO47. Thus, to blink the LED first, you need to set GPIO47 as an output (set the 21st bit of the next word form the base address 0x20200000 ); then to turn the LED on and off, you iteratively set and reset the 15th bit of GPIO47 with some delay in between. To set GPIO47 output low and high, use an iRegister and map its contents to the 8 and 11 word from the base address 0x20200000, respectively.

You can start with a simple example code blinker.c that turn off ACT LED and modify it to a blinker using the above given instructions.

You need to compile the code using the Arm Cross Compiler with the following options:

arm-none-eabi-gcc -O2 -mfpu=vfp -mfloat-abi=hard -march=armv6zk -mtune=arm1176jzf-s -nostartfiles lab0.c -o lab0.elf

and create an image file using

arm-none-eabi-objcopy lab0.elf -O binary recovery.img

Raspberry-Pi board has two processors: a GPU to start the execution of a code and an ARM processor to run the code. The SD card already has a GPU bootloader (if not you can download the GPU boot loader). Rename the existing recovery.img on the SD card to something else, and put the new recovery.img on the SD card using a SD card reader.