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Bring Up a Hardware Platform (Compact 7)

3/12/2014

For Windows Embedded Compact 7 to run on a specific hardware platform, it needs a board support package (BSP) that is customized to the target device. Whereas the OS kernel is generic to a CPU architecture (x86, ARM, or MIPS), the BSP is closely tied to the specific hardware. In other words, the BSP encompasses all of the code that is hardware-specific. This hardware-specific code is linked to the CPU-generic kernel code to become part of the run-time image.

You can develop a BSP on your own or start from an existing BSP, such as one included with Platform Builder or provided by a third party. Starting from an existing BSP, whether from Platform Builder or a third party, can significantly reduce the amount of development work required because you can take advantage of existing code that is common to a CPU architecture, a specific CPU, or a system-on-a-chip (SOC).

Copying an existing BSP is called cloning. After you clone the BSP, you then customize the clone to your device and use it as a basis for your OS design. Because customizing a cloned BSP is the easiest path to developing a BSP, we recommend that approach in this guide. Even if you extensively modify the clone, starting from an existing BSP is still the quickest way to develop one.

A description of the BSP components, how the BSP as a whole fits into the Windows Embedded Compact architecture, and the Windows Embedded Compact startup process provide context for the tasks that you must complete to bring up a hardware platform. In addition, the overview of the source code directory organization will help you find hardware-dependent code that you might need to modify.

Because of the wide range of possible hardware configurations and the number of potential differences between your hardware platform and the platform of the existing BSP platform, we can’t tell you exactly which BSP code to modify to get the cloned BSP code to work with your device. Instead, we guide you to the functions and configuration files that you might want to start with.

The information in this guide is based on the assumption that:

  • You have installed and are familiar with using Platform Builder.
  • Your hardware platform uses a CPU that is based on the ARM, MIPS, or x86 architecture, the CPU architectures that Windows Embedded Compact 7 supports.

Microsoft provides several types of documentation for Windows Embedded Compact 7. To find additional documentation, see Additional Resources.

BSP Components

Describes the five parts of a Windows Embedded Compact BSP: the boot loader, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) adaptation layer (OAL), device drivers, kernel independent transport layer (KITL), and configuration files.

BSP Code Overview

Lists the main functions of the boot loader, OAL, and KITL.

BSP Development Overview

Describes the steps in the BSP development process.

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