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September 6, 2015

Update Firmware

firmware

The Phoenard has a microprocessor at the center of everything. It controls the peripherals and it runs your sketch. But there is also something on there that is silently executing a lot of things. It allows you to upload sketches from Arduino, loads and saves sketches from/to Micro-SD, displays progress and icons on the screen and a whole lot more that you may not even be aware of. Most of the functionality provided by the Phoenard Toolkit is made possible through (extended) commands supported by this…

We are of course talking about the Phoenard firmware, also called the bootloader. Before your sketch runs, this software is executed providing the needed initializations and programmer support. This page is dedicated to explaining how the firmware can be updated to a new version.

For a more technical understanding of how firmware is updated, see the service mode technical overview.

Downloading the firmware

The first step is downloading the latest firmware:

Updating through Micro-USB

The firmware can be reprogrammed through Micro-USB using the Phoenard Toolkit. In the toolkit, go to the Control tab and press the Upload button:

firmware_update_button

Then navigate to the firmware phoenboot.hex file included inside the firmware downloads:

firmware_update_select

You will be asked to confirm the firmware update. Press [Yes] to begin updating the firmware.

firmware_update_warning

The program will now continue writing the firmware you selected. If the Micro-USB is disconnected, the device resets or a lightning strike takes out your computer, don’t worry: the device is kept in service mode until the full firmware is flashed onto the chip. You can upload again in the event of failures.

firmware_update_writing

Any version of the Phoenboot firmware can be updated to any other version this way, from old to new and back. In the past there were some version restrictions; these have been patched since September 22, 2015.