BeagleBoard/GSoC/2020 Projects/PRU Improvements

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Proposal for Implement a REPL interpreter for PRU

Student: Vedant Paranjape
Mentors: Kumar Abhishek, Jason Kridner
Code: [N/A]
Wiki: https://elinux.org/BeagleBoard/GSoC/2020Proposal/VedantParanjape2
GSoC: [N/A]

Status

This project is currently just a proposal.

Proposal

Completed all the requirements listed on the ideas page. the code for the cross-compilation task can be found here submitted through the pull request #138.

About you

IRC: vedant16
Github: https://github.com/vedantparanjape/
School: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI)
Country: India
Primary language : English, Hindi, Marathi
Typical work hours : 10AM - 7PM Indian Standard Time
Previous GSoC participation: I find embedded pretty interesting, given I have experience with ESP32, I think I will be able to excel in this project. This is the first time i am participating in GSoC

About your project

Project name: Implement a REPL interpreter for PRU

Description

Introduction
This project will enable the control of the Beaglebone's PRUs using remoteproc and rpmsg driver rather than using uio drivers. The PRU is a dual core micro-controller system present on the AM335x SoC which powers the BeagleBone. It is meant to be used for high speed jitter free IO control. Being independent from the linux scheduler and having direct access to the IO pins of the BeagleBone Bhilack, the PRU is ideal for offloading IO intensive tasks.
Programming the PRU is a uphill task for a beginner, since it involves several steps, writing the firmware for the PRU, writing a loader program. This can be a easy task for a experienced developer, but it keeps many creative developers away. So, I propose to implement a REPL based control of the PRU, hiding all the low level things behind the REPL and providing a clean interface to uses PRU.
How will it be done?
PRU will run a firmware which will basically run a while loop, which will evaluate certain specified commands sent to it through RPMSG. Accordingly it will execute the described commands on the PRU. After taking a look at PRUSpeak, its command set enables to do advance PRU control. So,the decided commands are:
SET_PWM Sets PWM output
SET_OUT Sets HIGH/LOW value of an output pin
READ_IN Reads HIGH/LOW value of an input pin
SET_MEM Sets specified value to specified memory location

}

Commands will be sent through RPMSG to the PRU and it will send a response, either SUCCESS or error a message, will be sent through RPMSG by the PRU to ARM.

Timeline

May 4 Proposal accepted or rejected Community Bonding Period and discussion on the project and resources available.
June 1 Pre-work complete Coding officially begins!
June 8 Milestone #1
  • Introductory YouTube video
  • Setting up PocketBeagle i.e flashing up to date Linux image and Testing user-led blink code :D
  • Running existing example codes from this repository
June 15 Milestone #2
  • Testing the above functions
  • Writing documentation for same
  • Setting up documentation generators like readthedocs
June 22 Milestone #3
  • Testing the above functions
  • Writing documentation for same
June 29 - July 3 18:00 UTC Milestone #4 (Phase 1 evaluations)
  • Finalizing and documenting everything done till now, submitting first report for evaluation
July 10 Milestone #5
  • Testing the above tool
  • Writing documentation
July 17 Milestone #6
July 24 Milestone #7
  • Writing documentation
July 27 - July 31 18:00 UTC Milestone #8 (Phase 2 evaluations)
  • Finalizing and documenting everything done till now, submitting second report for evaluation
August 3 Milestone #9
  • Documenting the GUI
August 10 Milestone #10
  • Completing the documentation
  • Taking feedback from mentors
August 17 Milestone #11 Completion YouTube video
August 24 - August 31 18:00 UTC Final week Students submit their final work product and their final mentor evaluation
August 31 - September 7 18:00 UTC End of Session Mentors submit final student evaluations

Experience and approach

I have decent experience in C++, C and Python. I have done several projects involving embedded systems like ESP32, I well-versed with freeRTOS. I recently did a project on ESP32, in which I used ESP to control and plot PID loop running on the embedded device, plotting the values on a python GUI. Other than that I have developed firmware for a 3 DOF arm based on a ESP32 custom board. I did a internship with a embedded deviced startup, where I built:

  1. Built TCP network stack for embedded IoT Devices
  2. Implemented Synchronous TCP server using Boost.Asio(C++) and Boost.Thread(C++)
  3. Implemented a tool to calculate round trip time(RTT) of tcp packets

I actively contribute to open source and do a lot of mini projects throughout the year, you can find my several more interesting projects at my github page

Contingency

I believe that if I get stuck on my project and my mentor isn’t around, I will use the resources that are available to me. Some of those information portals are listed below.

  1. https://git.ti.com/pru-software-support-package
  2. https://processors.wiki.ti.com/index.php/PRU_Training:_Hands-on_Labs PRU Guide
  3. https://markayoder.github.io/PRUCookbook/ Mark Yoder's cookbook is a excellent guide
  4. Derek Molly's beagle bone guide provides all the information needed for getting up and running with my beagle.
  5. The technical reference manuals provided by TI on am3358 and am5729 are the best source
  6. Processor SDK Linux Software Guide is a good reference material

Benefit

If successfully completed, what will its impact be on the BeagleBoard.org community? Include quotes from BeagleBoard.org community members who can be found on http://beagleboard.org/discuss and http://bbb.io/gsocchat.

Misc

Please complete the requirements listed on the ideas page. Provide link to pull request.

Suggestions

Is there anything else we should have asked you?