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„Its not because its so hard that we dont dare,
but because we don’t dare, it is so hard."

Newsletter October 2023

                              - SEGGER Flasher for every Requirement
                                - This is new: SEGGER Flasher Hub-12
                       - How to visualize Reaction Times in FreeRTOS ?
- Understanding Real-Time Applications with Tracealyzer 
 - DevAlert 2.0: Full Edge Observability with Core Dumps
- Privacy-friendly Design for secure User Data 

 Dear Customer,

You have already read about SEGGER's in-circuit flash programmers several times in my Newsletter.

Today we introduce a new member of the Flasher family.

You know Flashers as fast, robust, reliable and easy to use and operate. Whether the focus is on size, flexibility, portability, safety or mass production are in the foreground, in the SEGGER Flasher family you will find the perfect programmer for your particular task.

SEGGER Flasher for every Requirement 
The Flashers are designed and developed for use in service environments, for prototype programming and for mass production. They program the flash memory (non-volatile) of microcontrollers and Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) as well as connected SPI-style flashes with single, quad, octa and hexadeca data transfer buses.

The Flashers work with a PC or in stand-alone mode, are connected via USB and/or Ethernet (Flasher PRO, Flasher PRO XL, Flasher Portable PLUS and Flasher ARM) and are cross-platform compatible for Linux, macOS and Windows.

The Flasher PRO, Flasher Compact and Flasher ARM come standard with internal memory of 128 megabytes as standard for storing firmware images and programming configurations. They are designed for all flash programm-ing requirements.

For larger images, the Flasher PRO XL is the right choice. With its capacity, it can program systems with large operating operating systems such as Android, Linux and Windows loT.

For integration into space-constrained production environments, such as production facilities or automated test equipment (ATE), the Flasher Compact is ideal.

So far, nothing new as far as the Flasher is concerned.

This is new: SEGGER Flasher Hub-12
The Flasher Hub-12 is the new optimized programming solution from SEGGER for mass production - it offers integrated USB interfaces in a new compact housing.

The Flasher Hub-12 controls up to twelve simultaneously programming Flasher Compact. In doing so, each channel can be configured to control program a different device or firmware image. Even without the use of external hubs, the channels are directly interconnected.

This creates a single, powerful mass programmer for efficient parallel programming at maximum speed. In addition, it is possible to interconnect up to 4 Flasher Hubs in such a way that up to 48 Flasher Compacts can be connected and controlled via the same management interfaces.

The integrated USB ports greatly simplify the setup and reduce the space required. All popular devices previously supported by the Flasher Hub/Flasher Compact are also supported by Flasher Hub-12/Flasher Compact.

With the Flasher Hub-12 setup, each Flasher Compact can be placed as close as possible to the target device. The use of short cables between the Flasher Compact and the target device not only maximizes reliability, but also guarantees the highest possible speed. With its slim lightweight housing, the Flasher Compact is space-saving and easy to integrate into any production environment. The footprint of the housing is smaller than that of a credit card.

The Flasher Hub-12 serves as the management and control system for the connected Flasher Compacts and can be connected and monitored via handshake lines, RS232, USB or the integrated Telnet, Web or FTP servers. 

Each device that is programmed via the programming system can be can be assigned individual serial numbers and patches such as numbers and patches, such as MAC addresses or licenses for individual features can be assigned.

More information about the Flasher Hub-12 can be found here.

How to visualize Response Times in FreeRTOS ?
Efficient development of FreeRTOS based firmware requires an under-standing of the timing and interactions between tasks, interrupts and the kernel.

Percepio TRACEALYZER is the leading solution for the analysis and visualization of FreeRTOS-based Embedded software. The tool provides more than 30 graphical, interconnected views of various aspects of the software's real-time behavior.

Percepio collects and reproduces examples of how customers apply the Tracealyzer to real-world problems.

In the following example, a customer developed a networked system with a TCP/IP stack, a flash file system, and an RTOS running on an ARM Cortex-M4 microcontroller. The system contained several TOS tasks, including a server-based task that responds to network requests and a spooler task for log files.

Response time to network requests had been a problem for the customer in the past. In testing the latest build the situation had actually worsened. Without a solution to the problem, the project was at a standstill.

The customer started comparing the source code of the two versions, but they could not find an obvious cause for the response time.

There were many small changes that appeared to be due to refactoring, but no new features were added.

Therefore, the customer decided to use the Tracealyzer to compare the runtime behavior of the old and the new version.

Read in this White Paper how the customer solved his problem.

Understanding Real-Time Applications with TRACEALYZER
When using a real-time operating system (RTOS), Embedded developers work at a higher level of abstraction, which facilitates the design of complex applications.

A TOS reduces the complexity of the application's source code but not the inherent complexity of the application itself.

What makes RTOS-based development so difficult is the fact that RTOS tasks are not isolated entities, but have dependencies that can delay the execution of tasks in unexpected ways.

This White Paper shows you how to avoid common errors such as CPU stall, jitter, priority inversion, deadlock, memory leaks, and more.

DevAlert 2.0: Full Edge Observability with Core Dumps
DevAlert 2.0, is a major upgrade to the Edge Observability platform from Percepio. It offers significantly improved diagnostic capabilities, including
Core Dumps for ARM Cortex-M devices.

This enables remote inspection of crashes, errors or security anomalies in all details, including the function call stack, parameters and variables with source code display.

Together with the previous functions for collecting Tracealyzer-traces in case of anomalies and the recently added support for bare metal targets in Tracealyzer, DevAlert provides full observability for loT/Edge device software running on any real-time Operating System (RTOS) or running on bare-metal software.

You can capture and analyze hard errors, mistakes and anomalies in full detail. Catch bugs in the test lab or analyze anomalies in the field - or both.

For local use, all you need is your serial port for debugging. For remote monitoring, you need a public or private Cloud service or at least a network connection.

Privacy-friendly Design for secure User Data
Since its inception, DevAlert has offered a privacy-friendly "bring our own storage" solution where customers have full control over the storage of their diagnostic data and never store sensitive IP such as firmware images to the DevAlert service.

The focus on data protection remains in DevAlert 2.0, where it is enhanced by a new desktop client, Dispatcher. This allows easy access to your own data store, such as for example, an Amazon S3 bucket.

Dispatcher also allows you to view any type of device data locally with your favorite desktop tool, for example traces in Tracealyzer, core dumps in your debugger, network requests in a Log, or the latest device log in your favorite text editor.

This solution offers a level of customization that can meet almost any user demands. An Integration with GDB for ARM Cortex-M devices is included, and support for other platforms can be provided upon request.

Percepio DevAlert 2.0 combines full data control and data protection with the convenience and commercial support of a hosted service. Your sensitive device data remains in your private storage, isolated from the cloud service.

Now it only remains for me to wish you beautiful autumn days with late-summer warmth before the gray season catches up with us again.

Yours sincerely
Marian A. Wosnitza

„There is no shame in not knowing anything,
 but it is a shame not to want to learn.
(Plato, Greek Philosopher)