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emLoad

A common challenge for manufacturers of embedded systems is to guarantee a system's software can be updated in the most easy way - even under adverse conditions. To replace bugged code in the field or to enhance the features of deployed systems, SEGGER provides the ideal solution: emLoad
 
Available in two versions and supporting four different interfaces, emLoad allows straightforward updates of embedded applications either with a USB stick, with an SD card or via USB-connection to a PC - or else via a serial connection (type RS-232, RS-485). Written in ANSI-C, emLoad may be used on virtually any CPU and comes with all Windows tools necessary to prepare the software update as well as the bootstrap loader for the target application itself.  

Features

  • Low memory footprint.
  • Straightforward configuration.
  • ANSI-C code is completely portable and runs on any target.
  • 100% safe & fast: CRC check implemented.
  • Tools for Windows PC included.
  • Optional support for firmware passwords (emLoad V3).
  • Follows the SEGGER coding standards: Efficient and compact, yet easy to read, understand & debug.

Product information

Available shipments

SEGGER offers emLoad in two different versions and four distinct shipments, all of which are prepared to run out-of-the-box on the particular target hardware they were ported for. See here for a list of available ports. Additional ports for emLoad V4 can be made within short time.

Feature emLoad V3
(legacy)
emLoad V4:
emFile
SDCard
emLoad V4:
emUSB‑Device
HID
emLoad V4:
emUSB‑Host
MSD
Includes serial update interface (RS-232, RS-485)
Includes SD card update interface (MMC/SD card)
Includes USB HID update interface (USB to PC)
Includes USBH MSD update interface (USB stick)
Supports Intel hex (.hex) format for firmware files
Supports Motorola S (.mot) format for firmware files
Supports binary (.bin) format for firmware files
Includes HexLoad application for Windows
    (binary, source code available separately)
Includes PrepareFW application for Windows
    (binary and source code)
Includes USB HID Updater application for Windows
    (binary and source code)

emLoad V4 product information

The emLoad V4 bootstrap loader

After a RESET, instead of starting the application program immediately, the emLoad V4 bootstrap loader gets started and waits for an update interface to become ready within a configurable amount of time.


If any of the available interfaces (SD card, USB HID and USBH MSD) does so, the bootstrap loader will update the target software via that interface and start the application afterwards.


If no update interface becomes available in time, the bootstrap loader will instead check the flash memory for a valid application and, in case it finds one, start it without performing an update.


Except for this short delay during startup, the application program is not affected by the bootstrap loader in any way, but has all resources available; it can use interrupts and the entire RAM of the target system without limitation.

PC-Program: PrepareFW

Firmware updates for emLoad V4 need to adhere to a specific format to be considered valid. To ensure this format, SEGGER provides the PrepareFW tool, which is a 32-bit Windows application specifically designed to transform binary files, Intel hex files or Motorola files into emLoad-compatible firmware files.


PrepareFW is shipped as both, an executable that works out-of-the-box and also as a Microsoft Visual Studio project to recompile the executable when needed.

PC-Program: USB HID Updater

By using an emLoad-V4-compatible firmware file, the USB HID Updater updates an emLoad V4 target via the USB HID interface. USB HID Updater is shipped as both an executable that works out-of-the-box and also as a Microsoft Visual Studio project to recompile the executable when needed. An installation of a custom-host USB driver is not necessary, because the USB human interface device class is standardized and every major OS already provides host drivers for it.


emLoad V3 product information (legacy)

The emLoad V3 bootstrap loader

After a RESET, instead of starting the application program immediately, the emLoad V3 bootstrap loader gets started and waits for an incoming data frame from a PC for a configurable amount of time.


If it does receive such data frame (via RS-232 or RS-485), the bootstrap loader will update the target software and start the application afterwards.


If communication with the PC times out instead, the bootstrap loader will check the flash memory for a valid application and, in case it finds one, start it without performing an update.


Except for this short delay during startup, the application program is not affected by the bootstrap loader in any way and has all resources available: it can use interrupts and the entire RAM of the target system without limitation.

PC-Program: HEXLoad

HEXLoad is an easily operated 32-bit Windows application and can be started from the Explorer or from the command line in order to load and transfer any hex file for a program update to the emLoad V3 bootstrap loader.