This version (23 Aug 2019 15:40) was approved by Ekilgarr.The Previously approved version (23 Aug 2019 11:31) is available.Diff

nanoDAC+ MBED Support

The nanoDac+ Mbed support software can be used as a starting point for developing your own code for Analog Devices nanoDAC+ products in your own environment utilizing the benefits of the Mbed platform. Analog Devices is an MBED Partner and develops code on the platform for multiple products. The Analog Devices Mbed code-repo can be found in the links below.

This guide will focus on the Analog Devices SDP-K1 controller board, as it is directly compatible with the nanoDAC+ family of evaluation boards and is an MBED-Enabled device. Customers are of course, not limited to using the SDP-K1 board for code development, given that any ARM-based, MBED-enabled board that satisfies a small set of requirements can use the provided code and it will work with only minor changes to the source (see below).

It is further assumed that SDP-K1 board will be connected to the appropriate nanoDAC+ eval-board such as the EVAL-AD5686R Evaluation board.

Useful links

nanoDAC+ Mbed Software

For developing firmware code for controller boards on the Mbed platform go the link below.

nanoDAC+ code on Mbed


At this time Analog Devices supports Mbed code development only on the Mbed online-compiler. See here for instructions on setting up an account and using the compiler. Analog Devices may, at a later date support other offline-IDE's. This guide focuses on the SDP-K1, connected to the EVAL-AD5686R evaluation board, but it should be general enough to cover any compatible controller board (the controller board should be Mbed-enabled, and expose at least SPI or I2C and some GPIO's).

The software described below allows for an Mbed enabled controller board to be connected with an Analog Devices evaluation board from the nanoDAC+ family. Unmodified, the code will communicate over any serial terminal emulator (CoolTerm, putty, etc) using the UART provided by the controller board over USB.

The software provides a basic user-interface for interacting with the evaluation-board. All the main functionality of the nanoDAC+ is provided in the application-code in abstracted form and the user is free to customize the software to suit their own needs for working with the nanoDAC+.

Quick Start

If you have some familiarity with the Mbed platform, the following is a basic list of steps required to start running the code, see below for more detail.

  • Connect the evaluation-board to the Mbed-enabled controller board.
  • Connect the controller board to your computer over USB.
  • Go to the code for this product in the Mbed compiler.
  • Ensure your controller board is selected (top right of online-compiler page)
  • Edit app_config.h to (defaults to SDP connector and EVAL-AD5686R)
    • Enable the Arduino Header if you are not using the SDP connector, connect pins as shown below.
    • Select your evaluation-board you are using
  • Compile the code.
  • After a successful compile a binary will be downloaded to your computer - store this somewhere.
  • Drag and drop this binary to the USB drive hosted by your controller board.
  • Start up a terminal emulator,
    • Find the com-port your controller board is connected on and select it.
    • Set the baud-rate for 115200 - other defaults should be fine.
    • Reset the controller board and connect.
  • Use the menu provided over the terminal window to access the evaluation board.

User Guide

Getting Started

The SDP-K1 board has two ways to connect to the EVAL-AD5686R board, it can use the 120-pin SDP connector on the underside of the board, or the Arduino connector can be used, together with jumper wires as described below. If the SDP-K1 controller board is not used, then connect to the Arduino headers using short jumper wires.

The Getting Started with Mbed page describes the Arduino Uno Header, the SDP connector, pin-outs and other information related to understanding the SDP-K1 controller board.

Connect using the SDP Connector

Connecting the EVAL-AD5686R evaluation board using the SDP connector on the K1 is the simplest and most convenient way to get up and running quickly, simply mate the two boards to together, no jumpers are required. The user guide for the evaluation board should be consulted when configuring the jumper settings on the evaluation board, but it will work if the PWR_SEL jumper is set to 3.3V, and P1 should be removed.

Connect using the Arduino Header

When using any controller board other than the SDP-K1 it will be necessary to use ports exposed on the controller connected using wires to the evaluation board. This is shown here for a ST Nucleo board connected to the EVAL-AD5686R evaluation board using the Arduino Header, but different boards might have their SPI/I2C/GPIO ports exposed differently. The pins on the Arduino header must be shorted to the evaluation board as follows. The pin mappings for these are controlled in the app_config.h file and should match your controller board.


* Map these pins to any spare GPIO - shown here according to ADI's app_config.h mapping

If using the Arduino header pins, compile the software only after adding the #define ARDUINO to app_config.h - see below

One thing to note here is that 3.3V was taken from the Nucleo to power the evaluation board. It is important that the power select jumper is set for EXT_SUP for this, also note that as the SDP connector is not used, then jumper P1 on the evaluation-board should be disconnected. If using a different evaluation board to the EVAL-AD5686R, then consult the relevant evaluation board guides available through the product-page for your selected board.

Compile and Flash the firmware to your Board

ARM provide a guide to setting-up and using their online-compiler here. For the SDP-K1 the following guide can also be used to help understand the process. Specifically for the EVAL-AD5686R evaluation board and the SDP-K1, the following steps can be used.

  • Go here to find the EVAL-AD568x-AD569x firmware example.


  • Connect your controller board to your computer - your mbed-enabled board will show as a USB drive.
  • Import into your online compiler workspace by clicking the Import into Compiler button.
  • Select the newly imported program, and select your controller board (e.g. SDP-K1) - see the links above if this process is new to you.
  • Click the compile button
  • <note important>No compile-time Macros are required for the online compiler.</note>
  • When compile is completed you will be given the option of saving a .bin file to your system.
  • Drag and drop the binary to your USB drive, this will flash the binary to your board.

Using the Software

The firmware is delivered as a basic, text-based user-interface that operates through a UART on the controller board using the same USB cable that is used to flash the firmware to the boards. Any terminal-emulator should work, but it is not possible for Analog Devices to test every one. It is necessary to connect a serial terminal-emulator to interact with the running firmware.

Here CoolTerm is used as an example, Analog Devices does not endorse any particular program for this, but CoolTerm works well and is made freely available, other terminals such as Tera Term, or PuTTY will work just as well. Set the baud-rate for 115200 and keep the defaults for everything else. The actual values used can be found by looking at the source code in main.cpp

The software is designed to be intuitive to use, and requires little explanation, simply enter a number corresponding to the required command and follow the on-screen prompts. The code is also written with a view to keeping things simple, you do not have to be a coding-ninja to understand and expand upon the delivered functions.

It is hoped that the most common functions of the nanoDAC+ family are coded, but it's likely that some special functionality is not implemented.

Feel free to consult Analog Devices Engineer-Zone for feature requests, feedback, bug-reports etc.

The software comes with an app_config.h file which (at the moment) serves two purposes.

  1. Select the active device to test.
  2. Configure the pins you want to use to connect the controller board to the evaluation board.

The software supports most products in nanoDAC+ family, change the #define ACTIVE_DEVICE ID_ADXXXXX found in app_config.h to suit your selected device. The products supported are enumerated in the ad5686_type, which is an enum found in AD5686.h, the software defaults to the AD5686R device.

resources/tools-software/product-support-software/nanodac-mbed.txt · Last modified: 23 Aug 2019 15:40 by Ekilgarr