Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DMA in LPC17xx

Direct Memory Access is a feature which allows the peripherals to access the memory directly or to transfer data to other peripherals without the help of CPU. So whenever we are using DMA, we can be doing computations on the CPU while the data transfer is taking place. Effectively the microcontroller is multitasking.

LPC17xx has a General Purpose DMA (GPDMA) which has 8 channels of which each can perform unidirectional data transfer. All types of data transfers like memory-memory, memory-peripheral, peripheral-peripheral are supported. And we can prioritize the DMA transfers as we wish. It can also perform 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit wide transactions. If we want to transfer a stream of data that is not stored in contiguous manner, then we can use the scatter and gather feature of the DMA which uses linked list. There are many many more features available with the GPDMA out of which I will be explaining some basic features in this post. I will talk about other advanced features as and when it is required.