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Raspberry Pi's New Plug-and-Play Debug Probe for Only $12

 A comprehensive debug hardware solution for Arm-based microcontrollers, running on the RP2040, and costing about $12 was offered by Raspberry Pi.

Raspberry Pi's New Plug-and-Play Debug Probe for Only $12

The Raspberry Pi Debug Probe provides:

  • A USB to Serial Wire Debug (SWD) bridge
  • A generic USB serial adapter
  • Cables to connect to a host computer, and to the debug target

Although the Raspberry Pi Debug Probe was created with the Raspberry Pi Pico and other RP2040-based devices in mind, it may be used to debug any Arm-based microcontroller that includes an SWD interface with 3V3 I/O.

The Debug Probe for Raspberry Pi is simply a tool for debugging code that is executing on bare metal. A debugger would typically be running while programming to highlight any problems as they arise. Yet, as Eben Upton outlines in the blog post for the launch, "What happens, though, if your C program runs "bare metal"—that is, without an operating system—directly on the processor? If you're creating an operating system, what happens? In this situation, you'll require a method of gaining access to the processor's internal debugging features. In this situation, a debug probe is useful."
Raspberry Pi's New Plug-and-Play Debug Probe for Only $12

A Raspberry Pi Pico or any other Arm-based microcontroller having 3.3 V I/O and an SWD (Serial Wire Debug) connection can be utilized with the Raspberry Pi Debug Probe. These pins are visible on the top of the PCB in the Raspberry Pi Pico and Raspberry Pi Pico W models (the Raspberry Pi Pico H and WH have a three-pin JST SWD port pre-soldered). The Debug Probe may monitor for flaws by being connected to these pins. The probe then establishes a USB to serial link with the PC. Users can walk through their code using their preferred software debug platform by utilizing software that adheres to the CMSIS-DAP protocol, which Arm standardized.

For individuals who don't utilize SWD, the manufacturer also claims that the Debug Probe offers an option to other USB serial adapters, but given that such can be obtained for $1 to $2, the value proposition for this particular use case might not be there.

From your favorite vendor, the Raspberry Pi Debug Probe is now offered for $12 plus taxes and shipping.    

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