IAR development environment

I'm using the IAR development system to develop some MSP430 code, embedded in some Battery Management Units (BMUs). I've added a short cable to the end of a TI EZ430-F2013 Development Tool to do the initial programming and debugging using just 4 wires (the two spy-by-wire signals, power, and ground; probably power isn't needed).

Image On a BMU

A problem that keeps cropping up is that when I start the software, it often comes up with various error messages and refuses to start.

Lately, the most common one is "Unknown exception in driver (#E3)". I don't know what is going on there, but I've found a way to work around it. When this happens, I create a new workspace, then use Project/Add existing Project and add the same project that is giving me grief. The project file is just a small XML file that points to the project file(s) in the workspace, so it's not the actual content of the workspace that is important. I then double click on a file name in the workspace pane and I can work as normal.

So the problem seems to be something to do with the name of the workspace, possibly in registry. Windows or the IAR framework must be looking up the name of the workspace, and doing something evil. I had a quick look in the registry and didn't find anything that looked immediately suspicious.

The next most common error I get is something like "device cannot be started". This is something different. I find when this happens, I could reboot (painful), or remove the JTAG cable to the BMU under test, and reconnect the original target board. This has an MSP430-F2013 chip on it, different to the MSP430-F2012 that is on the BMU boards, but close enough that I can get the software to download to that target instead of the BMU's processor. I can also use Program/Debug without downloading, which seems to initialise the JTAG hardware. I can then exit the debugger, swap back to the BMU's processor, and all will be well again for a while.

I've also had success connecting to a completely isolated BMU board instead of the 2013 target board. So the problem may have something to do with isolation. The battery we were working with at the time is theoretically isolated, but there may be some issue with capacitance to ground or the like.

With "Failed to initialize", I find just unplugging the USB cable and re-inserting after a second or two often fixes it.

I hope that this information will be of use to someone out there. I sure had no luck searching for a solution.

Created by Mike. Last Modification: Wednesday 11 of August, 2010 12:39:23 AEST by Mike.

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