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Getting Started with Development in SSP (Introduction)

Last Updated:03/27/2018


How do I get started with Development in SSP?


This article will provide a guided step-by-step series of Introductory 'lessons' you can use to get started with Development in SSP. The lessons in this article focus on teaching you about all the resources you can use to become knowledgeable and efficient in using SSP for common development tasks. Follow-on articles dig into the more detailed aspects of development such as: RTOS-based development, creating and debugging complex embedded designs, using hardware kits for proving out your design, and developing your own target board. This article creates the background needed to get the most out of these follow-on articles.

1    Using this Article

Prerequisites: Review the Prerequisites before you start the development phase, to make sure you are ready.

IntroductionIf you have satisfied the prerequisites, you can begin reading the below introduction that explains the key goals and objectives as well as the key topics covered in this article.

Lessons: A suggested step-by-step learning process is described in the lessons section, and new users are strongly advised to follow the steps as described. Experienced users could select only the topics where a ‘refresher’ is needed and skip the topics that have already been mastered, however, we recommend even experienced users do a quick scan through their mastered topics since this can be valuable in making sure the terminology we are using is consistent and familiar with previous experiences.

What's Next?: Suggestions for follow-on lessons that build on what was learned.

Additional ResourcesYou can find additional resources to help all your Synergy Platform development efforts.

2   Getting Started with Development in SSP (Introduction)

This article covers some of the basics needed to begin development in SSP. This article covers the key steps needed after you have completed the Prerequisites of obtaining a kit, installing your ISDE (e2 studio or IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy) and running your first project (Blinky) to prove out your kit and tool chain. Once you have your environment working this article helps you gain confidence in using the Synergy Platform for development.

This article includes a variety of exercises that will describe the key information sources you will use to understand how to develop with SSP, efficiently and effectively. Typically these exercises are short and to the point so you can learn quickly, without needing to wade through a mountain of User Manuals and Data Sheets.The Once the concepts in this article are well understood, a follow-on article covers the basics of development using SSP with the ThreadX RTOS. A link to that article can be found in the What's Next? section toward the end of this article.

Review the below list to see if the topics you are interested in are covered in this article.


3    Using the Getting Started with Development in SSP Lessons

The below lessons provide a lesson-based guided step-by-step process for mastering the basics of development using SSP. Each lesson covers a set of related topics and usually takes around 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Use the following key to identify the resource used for each lesson topic:

PIoT:    Prof IoT blogs on Renesas Rulz (Typically cover a single topic)

AN:    Application Notes (Includes multiple topics- a topic list is often included in the description)

Vid:    Videos (Can include multiple topics. If so, a topic list is included)

HoL:    Hands-on Labs (Can include multiple topics. If so, a topic list is included)

Note: Some of the exercises in these lessons are specific to the ISDE being used- e2 studio or IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy (IAR EW for RS)- and some are general enough to apply to both environments. Screen shots or specific illustrations of use may only be shown for one of the ISDEs, however these illustrations should be easy to apply to the other tool chain as well.

3.1    The Basics of the Synergy Software Package (SSP)

The following lessons provide a quick introduction to the key concepts behind the Synergy Software Package (SSP). Even if you feel you are familiar with this material, it is helpful to at least scan over it to make sure you are familiar with the terms and environment used as this will avoid confusion later on. 

3.1.A:    Read over these sections in the SSP User's Manual, SSP UM, to familiarize yourself with what and where information is available. This is a very large document that covers significant amount of detail, but you will only need to read over a small fraction of it. The majority of the document is for reference and you only need to understand where to find things you might want to reference during development. HoL

  • Quickly scan/read section 2.5.1 to capture the key concepts of the SSP Architecture including Modules, Interfaces, Layers and Callbacks. No need to memorize all this, but it will be useful to have it as background where you see the terms and concepts play out during development. You can always refer back to this section when you have questions.
  • Quickly scan/read section 2.6 on the Board Support Package (BSP) Architecture. Make sure you understand what elements are included in the BSP and in what order key elements are executed during start-up. These will be helpful when you work with the resources on your target board. Remember what is covered so you can come back to this section if you need to.
  • The Express Logic NetX, USBX, FileX and GUIX components of SSP are all documented in their own user's manuals. These can be found on the bottom of the SSP web page, in the "X-Ware Component Documents for Renesas Synergy" zip file. Download and unzip the file and scan the various documents.
    • As a hands-on exercise, find the information for nx_dhcp_delete. What are the possible return values for this function?

3.1.B:    A detailed glossary is available that shows the definitions of just about every SSP component. Visit the glossary web page and navigate around to see all they types of topics it covers. You will probably want to bookmark it as you come up to speed on key SSP concepts and conventions. HoL

As a hands on exercise use the glossary to find out what is included on the following topics:

  • Use the right hand scroll column to quickly find the Wi-Fi Application Framework 
  • Find and read the glossary entries for the following:
    • API
    • Application Framework
    • Hardware Abstraction Layer
    • Board Support Package
  • Find the entry that answers the following questions:
    • What protocols does NetX Duo(TM) support?
    • What does the Messaging Framework do?
    • What versions of TLS are supported?

3.1.C:    Make sure you know were to find the SSP Release notes for your version of SSP. (hint) Look it over to see what special considerations you might need when developing your application. HoL 

Find and scan the following items to become familiar with the content and organization of the release notes. (You should always read over the release notes prior to beginning development. This will save you time and effort.):

  • What Synergy MCUs are supported in the release?
  • What hardware and software tools were used to test the release?
  • What are the supported versions of Express Logic components in the release?
  • What new or updated features are present in the release?
  • What new improvements were added? Can you find any improvements for the following components?
    • NetX
    • r_rspi
    • sf_el_ux
  • What bug fixes were made since the prior release? Can you find any bug fixes for these components?
    • r_sce
    • r_cgc
    • sf_crypto
  • What known issues and limitations are reported for the release? Can you find any limitations and workarounds on these components?
    • r_riic
    • sf_wifi
    • Synergy Tools
  • Where can you find additional usage notes? Can you tell their basic difference from issues or limitations?
  • Where can you find the list of all the modules available in the release?

3.1.D:    Make sure you know were to find the SSP Data Sheet for your version of SSP. (hint) Look it over to see what is included. You might not have seen a data sheet for MCU software before, so make sure you know what is included. HoL

Pay particular attention to the wealth of data on Memory Size Estimates and the Tables that show what MCU is supported by each module. As a hands-on exercise, can you find the MCUs supported by the SCI_I2C HAL? Can you find the ROM memory size estimates for the various functions in the r_sce HAL module?

3.2.    The Basics of the Synergy ISDEs

Use the following exercises to learn how to execute some of the most common tasks with your ISDE. Select from e2 studio or IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy (IAR EW for RS) exercises depending on your target environment.

3.2.A: ISDE Introduction

Chapter 3 of the SSP User's Manual, SSP UM, includes a user guide for e2 studio and an overview of IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy, your two Integrated Synergy Development Environments (ISDE) options. HoL

Read over the sections covering option you will be using. You should already have installed your ISDE and gotten Blinky working so focus on skimming/reading over the sections on using the ISDE to create projects, add threads, configure modules, building and debugging a project. You need to read everything, just get a good idea of the development flow and remember where this information is if you need to look it up later.

The e2 studio based ISDE

3.2.B:    Look over the many videos available to learn some of the basics of using the e2 studio based ISDE. HoL

The following videos are particularly useful when learning the basics of the e2 studio ISDE. (Note that some videos may be using a previous version of e2 studio or SSP, but the basics are very similar and apply to just about any version of the tools):

  • Renesas Synergy Software
  • Renesas Synergy Tools and Kits
  • Creating Tour First Renesas Synergy Project
  • Configuring Your Renesas Synergy Project
  • Renesas Synergy Clock Configurator, Pin Configurator and RTOS Configurator (separate videos)

3.2.C:    Once you have a good understanding of the basics of the e2 studio ISDE, the following videos illustrate the use of SSP for specific projects. HoL

Viewing these will provide a better understanding of the common functions and flow when running a project:

  • Dramatically Simplify Design Using The Renesas Synergy Platform: Application Frameworks
  • Getting Started with the Audio Player for the SK-S7G2
  • Renesas Synergy PDC Capture LCD Display Application

3.2.D:    After you have done the above exercise, try a hands-on exercise to solidify your understanding. HoL

Use the following video to understand how to download an application example, import it into your e2 studio based ISDE, and run it on your SK-S7G2 kit. (Note that the ISDE version in this video may be different from yours, but the basic process should be the same. If you run into any issues, refer to the SSP UM for your release, to identify any differences in operation.) 

Important Note: The location of the target application project is different from the video description. It is currently located here: https://www.renesas.com/en-us/software/D6000634.html 

The IAR EW for RS based ISDE

The IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy uses the same configurator and code generator as the e2 studio based ISDE so the main differences will be in the project management aspects of the ISDE. Use the below lessons to make sure you understand the basics of using the IAR EW for RS ISDE and the use of the SSP configurator. HoL

3.2.E:    Visit the IAR EW for RS web page for a quick overview of the key elements of the ISDE. Download and open the "Getting Started with IAR Embedded Workbench for Renesas Synergy" document. Skip over the installation instructions and read the section on "Creating a Renesas Synergy Project". Follow along with it and complete the steps as described. (Note that your software version may be different, so the screen shots may not be exactly the same, but the steps should still apply.) 

3.2.F:    On the IAR EW for RS web page you will also find the Release Notes. Download and open them. Scan through the document to see what is covered. Can you find any known issues related to linker options? What else is shown in the release notes that might apply to your projects?

3.2.G: The Renesas Synergy book has a good overview of the IAR EW for RS in chapter 5.2. Read over this chapter to better understand the main elements you will work with when developing Synergy projects. What are the main windows you will be using? What is the basic flow when developing a Synergy project? What is the SSC and how is it used? How do you export and import projects?

3.2.G: The Renesas Academy has a good course showing some of the advanced features for the IAR EW for Renesas Synergy ISDE. Sign-up for the Renesas Academy and take the course titled "Using IAR(TM) EW for Renesas Synergy Development and Analysis Tool". The topics covered are fairly advanced and focused on debugging, but it gives a good overview of advanced tools you will want to use during development. You can skip the Hands on Lab at this point and come back to it when you are ready. HoL (optional)

3.2.I: A significant amount of information is available from within the IAR EW for RS ISDE. Open the program and find the IAR Information Center. Find the "IAR Embedded Workbench IDE Project Management and Building Guide". Scan it to see what is included. Refer back to this document when you have detailed questions about using the IAR EW for RS ISDE. HoL


3.3   Using Module Guides

Use the following exercises to learn how module guides can jump start your development activities.

3.3.A:    Read and understand the following Professor IoT articles introducing module guides.

3.3.B:    You can find all the Synergy module guides on the Renesas web site. HoL

Starting from a Kit page, like the one for the SK-S7G2, you can scroll down to the bottom of the page to see all the SK-S7G2 Application projects, which includes module guides. Click on the Load More button until you find some document titles with Module Guide in them.

You can also just search for the function you are interested in from the main Renesas Search window and include "Module Guide" in the search. For example, try "UART Module Guide" and then filter on the search results in the left hand guide bar for Sample Programs.

The Solutions Gallery also has a full list of application projects and module guides. Just pull down JUMP TO and select Application Projects. Use the Load More button to load more titles.

Finally, if you just want to download all module guides in a bundle, and look them over on your computer, just go to the SSP page, and scroll to the bottom. Click on the "SSP Module Guide Bundle" zip file to download all the current module guides at once. Unzip and explore the contents of the file. Do you see any module guides that look interesting?

3.3.C:    As a hands-on exercise select a Module Guide for a module you are interested in. Import the project, and review the code. Run the project and see how it performs on your kit. How might you use this guide to accelerate your development for a similar application? Can you find all the information you would need to use the module in your own project in the guide? 

4.0    What's Next?

The next development Getting Started Guide will focus on RTOS related topics. If you are new to using an RTOS, it might be useful to look over Chapter 9 of the Synergy book. This covers some of the important RTOS elements, like threads and semaphores, that you will be using in RTOS based embedded designs. It covers both e2 studio and IAR EW environments, so pay particular attention to the sections for your ISDE.

Once you are ready to dive into RTOS based development go to this Getting Started Guide to begin.


5.0    Additional Resources

SSP development resources are being added periodically, so it is helpful to look over new material to see if it is applicable to your specific debugging interest. This Knowledge Base article details the locations for all published Synergy Platform related material and other helpful support resources.


6.0    Prerequisites 

Before you begin development you should have ordered a Synergy hardware kit, obtained a Synergy Gallery account, downloaded and installed a Synergy Platform ISDE, tested out your installation using a simple Synergy project like Blinky, learned how to create a simple SSP project and reviewed the basics of development with the Synergy platform. You should also have a copy of the SSP User’s Manual handy, and understand how to find helpful Synergy related resources and support.  You can accomplish these prerequisites by following the instructions in these knowledge base articles.

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