Hardware Configuration (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)


You must appropriately configure the communications hardware that connects a development workstation to a target device before you download a run-time image to the target device.

Types of communications hardware to configure on the target device include a serial port or an Ethernet port.

The serial port or Ethernet port that you use during development differs from the end-user serial ports and Ethernet ports that will be available on the production-ready hardware for the Windows Embedded CE powered device.

A serial port, also known as a COM port, includes the internal hardware component, based on the RS-232-C standard, and the external DB-9 connector that accepts connections from a serial cable.

Please refer to your specific board support package (BSP) platform documentation for information about how to configure the serial port and download a run-time image through the serial port.

The following table shows general recommendations for a full-featured serial port:

Recommendation Description

The port should support minimum speed requirements.

The port should support speeds from 38.4 kilobauds per second up to, and including, 115.2 kilobauds per second.

The port should meet framing requirements.

The port should support all the combinations of parity and stop bits. In addition, it must support word lengths of at least eight data bits.

The port should meet flow-control requirements.

The following list shows the support recommendations for hardware flow control:

  • Request To Send (RTS): required
  • Clear To Send (CTS): required
  • Data Terminal Ready (DTR): optional
  • Data Set Ready (DSR): optional.

The port should support software flow control. This includes supporting a clean stop in the current buffer transmission.

The serial port should also support a maximum skid of 16 bytes. This value is the maximum number of bytes that continue to be sent after the receiver requests a flow control off command.

The port should support a break in hardware.

When the serial port hardware receives a break command, it should stop transmission cleanly at a framed byte boundary. Notice that receiving the break command differs from reading a continuous stream of 0 bytes, because the 0 bytes are framed data.

The port should use a standard DB-9 connection.

For ease of use and convenience, serial ports should use the standard DB-9 connector.

To support serial I/O hardware connections, you must include the following Catalog item in the OS design before you build the run-time image:

Catalog item Sysgen variable Location

Serial Port Support


Core OS\CEBASE\Core OS Services\Serial Port Support

For more information about serial ports, see Programming Serial Connections.

If you want to use an Ethernet connection to download a run-time image to a target device and also to debug the run-time image on the target device, you must install a debug Ethernet network card.

A debug Ethernet card is a card used for debugging a Windows Embedded CE–based device over a standard Ethernet network and requires specific settings for interrupt request (IRQ) and I/O base address.

A Windows Embedded CE PC-based hardware platform (CEPC) is an example of a target device that supports an Ethernet connection. If you are using a CEPC, see Choosing an Ethernet Card for a CEPC for a list of Ethernet cards that are recognized by the CEPC.

If you want to debug the run-time image by using an Ethernet connection, you must have an Ethernet debug port on the target device that supports 10/100 megabits per second (Mbps) 10BaseT/100BaseT (802.3).

When you share a single Ethernet port for both debugging and for network connection, you must add the VMini library to your run-time image. You must also make sure that you set the BSP_NOSHAREETH environment variable to 0. For more information, see Ethernet Connection Options and Ethernet Debugging Services.

You can share a single Ethernet port when you expect a small amount of debug messages transmitted to Platform Builder. If you expect a larger amount of debug messages, consider adding an additional debug port.

To support Ethernet hardware connections, you must include the following Catalog item in the OS design before you build the run-time image:

Catalog item Sysgen variable Location

Wired Local Area Network (802.3, 802.5)


Core OS\CEBASE\Communication Services and Networking\Networking - Local Area Network (LAN)\Wired Local Area Network (802.3, 802.5)

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