ARM Experiments In Digital to Analog IO Control

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[edit] Introdoctrination

ARM is a processor architecture commonly seen in small embedded devices. It supports 32, 16, and sometimes 8 bit instruction sets. The background, history and details of the architecture itself are documented on Wikipedia.

Not long ago we received a large box full of 'development boards' of varying architectures, styles and types, some of which have ARM-based microprocessors as brains. [insert brain pun] So, using these boards, we should (enter the hypothesis) be able to control just about any device or piece of microelectronics using basic input/output ports. The inbound signal would be analog to Digital, defining ranges of charge for certain values and then dispensing these values to do fancy functions or something, manipulate this data, and then send a response via a return charge (albeit the return charge will likely be rather more precise).

[edit] Progress

So far, the Zoom Board (AM3517 eXperimenter board) is a functional ARM9, 32 bit board. The 4.3" WQVGA touchscreen self-tests beautifully and the serial USB connection is functional.

After much frustration with tftp not functioning over my LAN, I finally figured a way to get files onto the board (it has wget, so I just blasted an nginx install onto my box and I drop the files on the webserver).

Because of this I was able to verify two things:

- The network adapter is functioning, dhcp-client is functioning, etc.
- The code compiled using arm-none-linux-gnueabi-gcc (from codesourcery by Mentor Graphics no less) is valid on the target board.

Both of these things are fantastic steps forward! Next I will be working on manipulating the display to give a running tailf of dmesg, and then get started on interfacing with the I/O ports in more detail. Look forward to it!

[edit] Get Involved

This Project is currently managed by BitAssassin. Feel free to voice your interest in being involved on the discussion page, Or drop in on a Thursday to meet up with him.