We got a new loader for the Quickdev16 firmware. The loader will replace the current dummy loader and has a few new advantages:
- Faster upload because of IRQ driven communication between SNES and AVR
- Progressbar while uploading
- Display Rom infos
- ASCII and Katakana font support
- Eyecandy: new logo design with sine wave effect and bassdrum synced background effects..
Due to these features the loader blew up to more than 55kb, too much for our limited space in the AVR progmem (64kb – 4kb bootloader). Our main firmware is between 8kb and 24kb, depends on the debug-features that you compile in. So the recent task is to either reduce the loader size by skipping eyecandy, finding a better compression routine to compress it in the progmem or build a minimal firmware and put parts of the loader into the surplus 4kb eeprom on the AVR. Probably we will have to combine the different approaches.
One reason why the firmware is that big these days is the new “minimal debug terminal”, a serial command line where you can maintain the Quickdev system status. You can dump memory regions from sram, switch between the busses, write to the shared memory section, show the status of the hardware ports and use several other usefull commands. Check the project page for more details on the commands.