6. Getting Started

6.1. Installation Notes

  1. SmartSnippets™ Toolbox supports both 32-bit and 64-bit environments. SmartSnippets™ Studio installer contains SmartSnippets™ Toolbox application.
  2. To use a DA14580/581/583 or DA1468x chip family board, the appropriate FTDI drivers need to be installed on the system. Just use the standard Windows New hardware has been found wizard to install them.
  3. To use a Bluetooth dongle, the appropriate JLINK drivers need to be installed on the system. The latest drivers can be found at http://www.segger.com/jlink-software.html. To download them, please click on the Download button under the J-Link software & documentation pack for Windows section. While installing these drivers, it is recommended that the Bluetooth dongle is NOT connected to the USB port.
  4. If an error occurs while using the SPotA tool and trying to connect to the Bluetooth dongle, please make sure that the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package libraries are installed at C:\\Windows\\System32 folder. Otherwise, please download and install the latest Redistributable libraries for Visual Studio 2010 from http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2019667/.
  5. If the following error dialog appears, Java Simple Serial Connector library (JSSC), which is used by SmartSnippets™ Toolbox for serial communication, could not be loaded successfully. The reason is that none of the user home folder and user Temp folder is writable. JSSC library extracts to user home folder (or user Temp folder, if user home folder is not writable) the required DLLs for serial connection. The user can change the access rights of these folders or overwrite the default user folder location. In order to overwrite the default user home path, the user can use USER_HOME property. For example the user can set USER_HOME=C:/Users/_username_ or USER_HOME=C:\Users\_username_ at the properties file. File properties.txt is inside SmartSnippets™ Toolbox workspace folder defined at installation.

Figure 6 Example of error on loading a library

6.2. Work Flow

This section is providing a guide to start using the SmartSnippets™ Toolbox, a proposed way of working with the tools available for the basic tasks during development. This basic flow of working is illustrated in the following figure:


Figure 7 Basic flow

[1] Dialog’s Development Board needs no configuration

[2] From this point on, application development and debugging is done, and OTP will be programmed

The user might experiment with the Power Profiler for optimizing the code as much as possible. This can take several iterations since the user can insert SW cursors (see Power Profiler software cursors ) to identify the code executions translated into current dissipation. As soon as it is completed, the programming of the code into the OTP might start so that the system is self-sustained. Upon OTP burning, the system can operate on a battery and realize complete power cycles e.g. active and sleep intervals. Please refer to Power Profiler about a detailed description of Power Profiler.

6.3. Settings and Virtual COM port / JTAG selection

The ‘Settings and Virtual COM port / JTAG selection screen’ allows users to add, edit and delete settings files. The following images shows the list of available settings files on the left, the list of available virtual COM ports and JTAGs currently connected to FTDI devices in the middle and the list of available chip versions on the right. Each settings file is associated with a specific device / chip version. There is no provision to prohibit user from using the settings file with a different device than the one selected when the settings file was first created. However, if a different device is selected, some settings will still point to the original one. Therefore it is highly recommended to create a new settings file if user switches device.

The following options are available:

  1. UART/SPI: SmartSnippets™ Toolbox scans and lists the Virtual COM port pairs currently connected to FTDI devices. The “Power Profile activated” indication, informs the user that Power Profiler is available only in UART/SPI mode.

Figure 8 Virtual COM port selection

  1. UART only: SmartSnippets™ Toolbox scans for individual COM ports without the need to be part of an FTDI pair. In this mode, all ports are treated as UART ports. This means that if the user selects to connect over one of these ports, the SPI functionality (e.g. Power Profiler) is disabled.

Figure 9 UART only mode

  1. JTAG: The user has a JTAG attached to the board and wants to communicate over JTAG. The serial number that corresponds to the attached JTAG should be selected.

Figure 10 JTAG mode

  1. Hybrid: The user has a JTAG attached to the board and wants to communicate over JTAG. Although user can use SPI communication for certain tools e.g. Power Profiler.

Figure 11 Hybrid mode

If the connection between SmartSnippets™ and the board over the UART link is unstable try to change the latency time of the FTDI cable and set to some value below 10ms. User can configure the latency from the Device Manager. To open the Device Manager in Windows 10, the user can press the Windows button and type “Device Managerâ€� in the search box. From the Device Manager expand Ports (COM & LPT). Right click on preferred port, click properties, select tab Port Settings and then advanced. In windows 8 COM & LPT is hidden. Go to View and select Show hidden devices. At Figure 12 you can see a screeenshot of example settings.


Figure 12 Advanced settings for COM port

On “Settings and Virtual COM port / JTAG selection” window the available options are:


Figure 13 Settings and port selection actions

Open: Used for opening the settings file currently selected on the left-hand side of the window and connecting through the Virtual COM port pair or single UART port or JTAG selected above. After selecting a settings file and a virtual COM port / JTAG and pressing ‘Open’, the settings file is associated with user’s selection and this information is stored in the ‘project.sms’ file. The next time the user selects the same settings file, the virtual COM port / JTAG that was used last time will be preselected. The user is allowed to open a settings file without selecting a virtual COM port / JTAG; in this case all the actions that require communication with the board are disabled.

New: When the application launches for the first time, there will be no settings file; the user will have to create one by pressing the ‘New’ button. The settings file name should be unique and should not contain any spaces or special characters. When saving the new settings file, a new folder with the name of the settings file is created under the Projects directory of the SmartSnippets™ Toolbox workspace. Under this folder, an xml file named project.sms is created to store the information and the user preferences regarding this settings file.

Edit: By pressing the ‘Edit’ button, the user can edit the settings file description.

Delete: The ‘Delete’ button deletes the selected settings file from the workspace.

Refresh: The ‘Refresh’ button is used in order to refresh the list of available settings files and the list of available virtual COM ports/ jtag serial numbers. If the board is connected but not listed, the user is advised to use a different USB port, wait a few seconds and press again the ‘Refresh’ button. Problems in identifying the FTDI device may indicate an invalid installation of the FTDI drivers.

Detect: With this option SmartSnippets™ Toolbox communicates with the board to identify what chip is connected to the PC. On successful detection a message like the following is shown:


Figure 14 Device detection

Cannot see my board link: Troubleshooting info.

Help: SmartSnippets™ Toolbox manual, release notes, license e.t.c

Support Pack: User can edit the selected SDK or select one if no SDK has been selected. When Toolbox is connected to an SDK, list of devices and resources of the selected SDK are used. Toolbox contains the resources and the configuration xml files for the device families it supports under its resources, in the form of bundled support packs. If Toolbox is not connected to an SDK, devices and resources from all the bundled support packs will be used. In case the configuration xml of the selected SDK is not valid (e.g. resources missing), the respective bundled support pack matching the SDK family is used. When Toolbox is launched from SmartSnippets™ Studio, it is considered connected to the same SDK that Studio has been launched with. When Toolbox is launched in standalone mode, initially is not connected to an SDK and the bundled support packs are used. The message next to the Support Pack button shows in which mode Toolbox is used: 1. with a specific SDK, 2. with the bundled support pack of a specific family or 3. with all the bundled support packs. When the Support Pack button is pressed, the following popup dialog shows up:


Figure 15 Support Pack Configuration

In the Support Pack configuration dialog, user can select the Browse button in order to select an SDK. If the validation of the configuration xml of the selected SDK fails, the respective validation messages will appear at the bottom of the window, before the OK, Cancel buttons. User can use the Clear selection button in order to clear the SDK selected with the Browse button, in which case Toolbox uses all the bundled support packs. The following image shows the case where the validation of the selected SDK failed:


Figure 16 Sdk validation failure

6.4. Linux Support

6.4.1. Changing device permissions

When user adds a development board on a Linux system, new devices are created automatically on the OS. These devices should have read and write permission for all users. To avoid setting appropriate permissions every time SmartSnippets™ Toolbox is used, a rules file is provided which changes permissions to every “known” FTDI device. The file, named smartsnippets_studio_common_ftdi_devices.rules, contains a list of common vendor and product IDs and should be placed under /etc/udev/rules.d. If the user cannot find the VID-PID pair of the board used under this list, it is recommended that a new .rules file is created and copied to /etc/udev/rules.d folder.

6.4.2. Setting VID-PID pairs for Power Profiler

Except from changing permissions of connected devices, as described in the previous section, the user should also add the VID-PID pairs to the SmartSnippets™ Toolbox properties file, in order to work with Power Profiler. Due to incompatibility with FTDI Linux kernel module, SmartSnippets™ Toolbox needs to know the Vendor and Product ID of the connected devices, in order to unload FTDI kernel module, before using ftd2xx library. Power Profiler works with a default VID-PID pair: VID= 0x0403 and PID=0x6010. User can add extra VID-PID pairs in properties.txt file in the following way:





VID-PID pairs are created from properties starting with VID. (or vid.) and PID. (or pid.) and having common text after the first ‘.’.