The TI CC2651 is a versatile and potent wireless microcontroller unit (MCU), which combines a microcontroller with a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio module. In this blog post, we will explore the key steps to get started with the TI CC2651 and unleash its potential for your wireless projects.
Setting Up the Development Environment
To begin your journey with TI CC2651, you’ll need a development environment that supports the microcontroller. Start by installing Code Composer Studio (CCS), TI’s integrated development environment (IDE). CCS provides a comprehensive set of tools, including a C/C++ compiler, debugger, and a wide range of libraries tailored for TI MCUs. Go to TI’s website and download the latest CCS (at the time of writing is 12.3.0). CCS is an Eclipse-based IDE and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. If you have worked with Eclipse IDE before, you will see CCS has a very similar interface and features.
Install CC13xx CC26xx SDK
TI provides a software development kit (SDK) for the CC2651 MCU and named SimpleLink CC13xx CC26xx. The SDK includes various software components, sample applications, and example code to kickstart your development process. Follow the below steps to download the SDK:
- In the CCS Toolbar, click View > Resource Explorer. Resource Explorer is a web-based interface where you can download SDK, find examples and other useful resources.
- Select Wireless Connectivity > Embedded Software > SimpleLink CC13xx CC26xx SDK (7.10.01.24). This is the SDK version at the time of writing.
- Click the three vertical dots and choose Install
- Select full install option and click Install
It will take a while for the install to finish. Once finished, you should see the green tick icon on the right hand side of the SDK name.
Familiarizing with the CC2651 Hardware
The TI CC2651R3SIPA LaunchPad is an ideal choice for developing applications with the CC2651 MCU. It features built-in debug capabilities and easy access to GPIO pins. Take some time to explore the LaunchPad’s documentation, pinout diagram, and schematics here. This will help you understand the available interfaces, such as UART, I2C, SPI, and GPIOs, which are crucial for interacting with external devices.
Importing Your First Application
Now that you have your development environment set up and are familiar with the hardware and SDK, it’s time to build and flash your first application. The SDK provides a wide range of sample applications that demonstrate different aspects of CC2651 functionality. In this section, you will learn how to import an example from the SDK to blink an LED.
In Resource Explorer, choose the following
- Wireless connectivity > Embedded Software > SimpleLink CC13xx CC26xx SDK
- Examples > Development Tools > CC2651R3SIPA LaunchPad
- Ti Drivers > empty > TI-RTOS7 > TI Clang Compiler > empty
- Click the three dots and choose Import to CCS IDE
The example will be imported to CCS Workspace. Let’s take a look at important files in the project.
- cc13x1_cc26x1_tirtos7.cmd is the linker file where you define sections of memory
- main_tirtos.c contains the entry point of your program (main() function). It initialises and creates a main thread.
- empty.c is where main thread function is defined. It contains code to initialise and blink an LED
- empty.syscfg is a configuration file containing all resources of the microcontroller. You can change your pin definitions in this file and CCS will generate a board file automatically based on the configuration.
Building and Flashing Your Application
To build (compile) your project, select Build Project by right click on the project name in the Project Explorer
To flash your application, plug in your board and select Run > Load. Your program will be flashed onto the chip on the development kit and you will see the red led is blinking every 1 second.
Testing and debugging are crucial steps in the development process. You can utilize the debugging capabilities of CCS to set breakpoints, step through your code, and monitor variables and registers in real-time. To run a debug session, choose Run > Debug.
The TI CC2651 opens up a world of possibilities for wireless applications, offering the flexibility of a microcontroller combined with the power of Bluetooth Low Energy connectivity. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can get started with the TI CC2651 and embark on an exciting journey of developing wireless applications. Remember to explore the SDK, customize and expand your applications, and leverage the debugging tools to optimize your code. With TI’s comprehensive resources and the vibrant developer community, you’ll be well-equipped to unlock the full potential of the TI CC2651 MCU. Happy coding!