Automated Software Configuration
During the machine development phase, several different versions of MPI DLLs and/or XMP firmware might be used. You may want to upgrade to new releases to take advantage of new features or MEI may provide custom features or bug patches for previous releases. During the machine production phase, you will want to guarantee software configuration consistency. MEI recommends using the InstallShield release package, a third party installer program, or batch scripts to install your application code and MEI's software onto your machine.
You will also want to guarantee that the controller's flash memory configuration and the SynqNet node runtime FPGA images are consistent. To load the flash, you could automatically download the controller firmware (.bin), FPGA (.fpg) image(s), and node runtime FPGA (.sff) images during software installation OR during your application initialization. For example, the flash.exe and sqNodeFlash.exe utilities could be executed from an installer or batch script during software installation. Included in the XMP\Apps directory, is a sample program called "initFlsh.c" that demonstrates how to read the controller's firmware/FPGA versions, check if they match the desired configuration, and download the correct versions (if needed).
Also, you can create your own custom firmware file by saving configurations to flash, and uploading the firmware file to your hard drive. The firmware contains a "userVersion" field, so you can keep track of your custom configured files. Using this technique, the firmware can be configured with Motion Console, uploaded to a file (myfirm.bin) and downloaded to future machines using Motion Console, flash.exe or your application.
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