Dialog DA14531: Getting Started

DA14531 is a Cortex M0+ based microcontroller developed by Dialog Semiconductors. The DA14531 module is BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) enabled and has a very tiny footprint in addition to being a low cost module. This makes it a good target platform for developers seeking to embed BLE capabilities into their products.

The DA14531 Development Kit

The DA14531 DK has two portions.

Motherboard

The motherboard consists of a huge number of pins which give access to every pin on the Dialog MCU. It also has a J-Link for debugging, a power profiler to get the average current consumption values, a few LDO’s which allow developers access to a range of output voltages from 1.8V to 3.3V and also a PCIe slot. The daughter board is slotted into the PCIe slot.

Daughter Board

The daughter board has the DA14531 module (Fig.1) and a few other components essential for it to function. It also has few buttons and LED.

There are a variety of daughter boards available, each with a different size and capabilities.

The motherboard PCIe slot can easily handle daughter boards of a variety of modules.

DA14531 SDK

The Dialog SDK is available for download to developers at it’s website. The DA1453x and DA14585/6 devices use SDK6. Download it from the below link and extract it to a location of your choosing.

https://support.dialog-semiconductor.com/system/files/restricted/SDK_6.0.14.1114.zip
You will need to create an account on Dialog’s website to download the SDK

The SDK provides collection of wrapper functions and files which can be included in developer code to drastically improve code development speed and assign common utilities with uniform code.

SmartSnippets Studio IDE

With the SDK downloaded, we can now proceed to download an IDE for developing. Keil uVision has support for Dialog modules, however since it is a closed source software and it’s license is expensive, we will be using a custom IDE called SmartSnippets, provided by Dialog Semiconductors. It is an IDE based on Eclipse and is available across all PC platforms.

https://www.dialog-semiconductor.com/sites/default/files/smartsnippets_studio_v2.0.14.1748_windows.msi.zip

The SmartSnippets IDE also installs JLink, GNU tools for ARM, Ozone, SystemView and Keil. JLink and GNU tools for ARM are essential while the other tools are optional.

Once installation is complete, you will be asked to set the path to the root of the SDK. Once that is set, the IDE should now be up and running.

The first project: prox_reporter

The prox_reporter i.e. Proximity reporter project is the only project in the SDK6 which has out of the box support for the SmartSnippets IDE. The Proximity Reporter application is designed to monitor any change to the physical proximity of two connected Bluetooth low energy devices using the established communication channel between them.

In the welcome page of the SmartSnippets IDE, provide the path to where you have extracted the SDK. Also, select the product family as DA1453x and the device on the development board as DA14531.

Next, click on the Browse button under Software Resources. Navigate to <SDK_LOCATION>/projects/target_apps/ble_examples/ and select the prox_reporter folder. Click on finish in the Import Projects window.

Click on the drop down button on the right of the build icon (highlighted in the below image). Choose DA14531 and you should observe some build logs in the output window.

Once the build is done, we will need to create a debug configuration. Go to Run >> Debug Configurations.

Create a configuration similar to the one in the above image and click on Apply. Next, click on Debug. If the build is successful and debug configuration is correct, you can notice that the perspective of the window has changed.

For the next step, you will need to install the Lightblue application on your phone. You can find the links to download it for Android and iOS below. You could also use the nRF Connect app which is a similar app made by Nordic Semiconductors.

LightBlue® - Bluetooth Low Energy - Apps on Google Play
LightBlue® can connect you to all of your devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth Smart, or…play.google.com

‎LightBlue®
‎LightBlue® can connect you to all of your devices that use Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth Smart, or…apps.apple.com

In the SmartSnippets studio, press F8 to start debugging. Open the Lightblue app on your phone and you should find a device named DLG-PROXR. Connect to the device and you should see some information about it.

If this project runs successfully, the IDE installation and setup is correct.