How an SD Card Bootloader solves your problems

Transferring data from one drive to another is worrying. Sometimes you discover not all data transferred successfully. You can use a utility app that allows you to move everything with ease. This app makes sure you transfer everything in one swoop, without fumbling around with cables and cords. The same case applies to your work. You keep replacing the microcontroller’s firmware and you have to keep plugging and unplugging cables. To avoid all this, the best solution is to invest in an SD card Bootloader.


How to Use the SD Bootloader

Normally, a programming cable programs a microcontroller, which is tedious if you have little space, or you tend to leave tasks undone. A microcontroller is subject to external forces such as loose cables. A Bootloader in a microcontroller is a unique program, which accepts code from outside sources and rewrites it into an internal memory. When the microcontroller powers up and tries to read the newest code that is in the external resource, the Bootloader program deletes the previous code in the memory and rewrites the current code over it.

You can do a bootloader customization for it to derive new code from serial ports or LAN. AN SD card is wireless and using a bootloader becomes a simple matter of SD card insertion and microcontroller reset. Updating code on a bootloader is instant and has little or no system interruption. This makes SD card bootloaders very instrumental in fixed systems that need updating or checking for errors. If you need to change or update the specifications of your code, the SD Card Bootloader comes in handy.


Key considerations

The bootloader will read the hex or binary file of the main app and rewrite it into the microcontroller’s memory. There are a few considerations to keep in mind:


●      Allocation of memory

There are obvious benefits to using an SD card bootloader, but not every microcontroller is capable of holding a bootloading program, as it is in itself, an application. This means it doesn’t need a set amount of space. This space may stand unavailable later if you use a smaller memory microcontroller, or if your code is large. Make sure you allocate enough memory for the bootloader and code if you plan to merge a bootloader.


●      SD Card Port Implementation

An SD bootloader needs extra components added to the hardware to give space for the SD Card bootloader. This obviously means added expenses if the main application does not need the bootloader interface. To make sure the SD Card program can read the hex or binary file of the new code, you have to fix a File Allocation Table (FAT32) stack in the bootloader program.


●      The proper sequence

A bootloader rewrites different addresses in its internal memory with information bytes. This needs the right sequence of command execution for erasure and writing on internal storage. Make sure the address written is correct and the bootloader doesn’t delete instead.


●      Mapping to the correct address

Applications start from 0x00000000. A bootloader, however, is different and it depends on the allocation in the program space. Make a modification of the memory’s file to ensure hex files of the two programs go to the right address.


●      Testing

An SD bootloader simplifies the code, not to compound on errors. Test your bootloader rigorously to ensure everything runs as planned and to prevent the system from erratic behavior.


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