OpenBLT versions and release schedule

In an on-going effort to provide more clarity and transparency into the OpenBLT bootloader development process, this article explains the idea behind the version numbers, the release schedule, and the difference between stable releases and the development trunk.

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Improved CAN support in OpenBLT 1.4.1

Last week OpenBLT version 1.4.1 was released. Besides some code refactoring, this patch release features improved support for firmware updates via Controller Area Network (CAN). The improved CAN support is part of the roadmap to version 1.5.0. Several users reported that they have a strong interest in these features. For this reason, I decided to give them high priority and release them early with this patch.

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Unique selling points of the OpenBLT bootloader

Quite often people ask me: “Why should I use the OpenBLT bootloader, instead of another bootloader”? For example: a closed source commercial bootloader or a bootloader that is sometimes present in a micrcontroller’s boot ROM. The goal of this article is to address this question and to answer it convincingly enough for you to consider the OpenBLT bootloader for your current and future projects.

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Firmware debugging in combination with OpenBLT

If your embedded system makes use of the OpenBLT bootloader, then essentially you have two software programs present in flash memory: your own firmware and the OpenBLT bootloader. This added complexity can cause a problem when trying to debug your firmware. This article describes the cause of this problem and explains how it is side-stepped, giving you full firmware debug functionality.

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The road towards OpenBLT version 1.5.0

After being in development for half a year, OpenBLT version 1.4.0 was officially released a few days ago. Go ahead and download it from the SourceForge project page, if you haven’t done so yet. The previous blog article described the major changes and improvements in OpenBLT version 1.4.0.

This week work has already started for OpenBLT version 1.5.0. Its release is planned for half a year from now, so somewhere early January 2018. Before that you can already expect a few patch releases, to give you early access to the new features and functionality. This article highlights features and functionality that are planned for version 1.5.0 of the OpenBLT bootloader.

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OpenBLT version 1.4.0 coming soon

All development efforts are on track for OpenBLT version 1.4.0. This version is planned to be released on the 4th of July. This article highlights the changes compared to the previous mainline release, which was version 1.3.0.

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The story of the OpenBLT bootloader

Ever had the feeling that after you tried something new, your life would never be the same? That’s how it was for me with microcontrollers and bootloaders. It all started back in 1998 when I got my hands on a Motorola HC11 based evaluation board as a college student. I figured the 2kb on-chip EEPROM was not going to cut it for serious hobby projects, so I built a 32kb RAM expansion board for it. All hand-soldered on a prototype PCB. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. The only problem was that I had no way of downloading and running my code from the external RAM. To solve this conundrum, I had to write a bootloader for it. Little did I know that almost 20 years later, I would own and run my own business offering turn-key bootloader solutions.

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