Basics
Tutorials
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Interfaces
Integrations
Hardware
Firmware
tools
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Basic Overview

You can compile and flash your own code to the Core Module. To do that you need to install BigClown toolchain to your computer, or you can compile code also on Raspberry Pi with our bc-raspbian image and installing the GCC package

Toolchain comes with many useful tools, please see the Tools section in the menu where tools like bcf are explained.

Every BigClown Module has its own library in the BigClown SDK. So you just call initfunction and set the callback function.

In this section you will find code examples for Core Module and all the other BigClown Modules. More example code can be found in the GitHub sdk/_examples folder.

Firmware flashing

With these tools you can flash new firmware. Tools can automatically download pre-compiled firmwares from GitHub and you can also choose your own *.bin file to flash.

Example Code

Toggling an LED on button press with the SDK is as easy as this code snippet:

#include <application.h>
// LED instance
bc_led_t led;
// Button instance
bc_button_t button;
void button_event_handler(bc_button_t *self, bc_button_event_t event, void *event_param)
{
if (event == BC_BUTTON_EVENT_PRESS)
{
bc_led_set_mode(&led, BC_LED_MODE_TOGGLE);
}
}
void application_init(void)
{
// Initialize LED
bc_led_init(&led, BC_GPIO_LED, false, false);
bc_led_set_mode(&led, BC_LED_MODE_ON);
// Initialize button
bc_button_init(&button, BC_GPIO_BUTTON, BC_GPIO_PULL_DOWN, false);
bc_button_set_event_handler(&button, button_event_handler, NULL);
}

Programming Language

Firmware is implemented in pure C language, which is industrially accepted language for embedded and low-power devices. There are the main reasons for choosing this technology:

  • Effecient use of hardware resources

  • Stability and long time available development environment

  • Simple and understandable syntax

Effective use of hardware resources is important for developing of low-power devices. This is primary goal of BigClown ecosystem.

You can choose from wide variety of systems and tools. Windows, macOS a Ubuntu (and other Debian derivatives) are supported. For information how to install required tools, please see Toolchain setup. You can find more information on how to use them in Toolchain guide.

Diving Deep to SDK

Basic pillar of every BigClown (software) project is an ecosystem of libraries, drivers and header files, the so-called BigClown SDK (which stands for Software Development Kit.

It can be found in this repository:

https://github.com/bigclownlabs/bc-core-module-sdk

The header files include documentation, that can be generated by Doxygen. You can find the most recent version of the generated documentation here:

https://sdk.bigclown.com/

We try to stick to these principles while working the SDK development:

  • Consistent and clear API design

  • Modular and object oriented approach

  • We prefer asynchronous, event-driven programming

  • Well-named functions, data types, variables, etc.

  • Simple way of access to low level hardware

SDK Integration

To your project, SDK is integrated as a Git Submodule. This has one advantage - your firmware can be "linked and locked" to a specific version of the SDK. This makes sure that it will be possible to compile your firmware at any time in the future. But if you need to, the SDK can be updated to most recent version by simple make update command.

Please DO NOT integrate the SDK to your project as files extracted from the downloaded ZIP file from GitHub. Although this will work and firmware will compile, for getting technical support you will have to provide the exact version of the SDK used (a commit hash).