Library work

Work going on on the library.

As of 3/2009, I am doing some reorganization work on the library. This page serves as a scratch space for listing subtasks, making plans, taking notes.

All work is done in the library_refactor branch.


Some issues with the library:
  • Much time spent in interrupt handlers
    • Encoder interrupt: 40%
    • Other interrupt handlers are also quite long
  • Interdependencies between modules
    • For example, orbs stop working when the RTC is enabled
  • Orb s
    • Weird behavior (for example: call to orb_set working, but call to orb1_set/orb2_set not working, even with the same color and although orb_set just calls orb1_set and orb2_set)
    • Flickering
    • 0,0,0 is not off


  • Hard requirements
    • Have proper synchronization (difficult-to-debug problems may result else; improper synchronization is to be considered a bug)
      • atomic operations
      • volatile variables
      • All multibyte variables may have to be synchronized!
  • Soft requirements
    • Spend as little total time in interrupt handlers as reasonably possible
    • Spend as little total time in synchronized code as reasonably possible
    • Spend as little time in one invocation of an interrupt handler/synchronized block as reasonably possible
      • Introduce double buffering if beneficial
    • Use resources (especially timers) as economically as possible
      • Use timers for multiple tasks
        • PWM and Overflow/OC interrupts are independent, that is, interrupts don't effect the PWM at all.
    • Avoid multibyte variables
  • Functionality
    • Leave one timer free for application specific tasks, if possible
      • Preferable TC3, because it has 16 bit resolution and 3 free PWM pins
    • Have a time base with at least 10ms resolution
      • 1ms would be better, if processing time allows

Random notes
  • Current motor frequency is 32 us/30 KHz
  • AVR suckage: there is not timer mode with immediate OCR update and overflow interrupt at TOP (CTC value)
  • AVR suckage: Set on compare match/Clear on overflow not available with non-PWM modes (especially not with immediate OCR update)

Timer reorganization

See also Timers.


Old values: timer interval 65ms (15Hz) (???), 0.5%...4% interrupt time

Work left to do:
  • Fix synchronization
    • Thread-safe lights setting
  • Documentation
    • Doxygen
    • Description of tripe buffering, thread safety
  • Optimization
    • Sorting
      • Try rolling out the loops
      • Try using pointers
    • OC-Interrupt
      • Try using pointers
  • Bugfixes
    • ACL bug
  • Performance evaluation
    • Check time spent in interrupt handler
    • Check robustness against long synchronized periods
  • Misc
  • faster sorting algorithm
  • improve interrupt handlers

Time base

  • RTC with one callback function
  • Only 4, 2, 1, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 seconds
    • 1/16s=62.5 ms
    • Frequency is good enough for most applications
    • Reslution may not be, for example, 80ms is not possible.
  • Have a time variable
    • To determine how much time passed since some event/action
  • Multiple callbacks at different intervals?
  • Use CTC feature
  • Which timer to reuse?
    • buzzer => doesn't work because of varying frequency
    • motors => possible? would trigger often (?)
    • lights => must put lights on 16 bit timer (no OCR left)