What you need to remember when designing communication protocols

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Embedded developers all have to make their microcontroller talk to a separate system. This is going to be a PC or another embedded system. You might already have your microcontroller. In addition, you may have implemented and configured your USB stack. In this case, it is possible to exchange data with the PC. When moving forward, it is necessary to formalise the data exchange. You can quickly design and bring up a dependable communication protocol. To do so, you must know certain details.

A file

When managing the code, you should create a file. It should include the specs of the fields within your protocol. This includes the payload fields and the header. In this file, you need to have everything you require to write and read every protocol field. You don’t want to utilise magic numbers. Moreover, you don’t want masking around and bit shifting. Think about creating some macros or functions to work together with your specs. Use this file in every place that uses the protocol.

Errors

Expect a wide array of errors as well. It is always wise to design with the assumption that you are going to lose data. Duplicated data could arrive and the link might be disconnected too. You could be implementing something over a protocol that ensures data integrity. Regardless, you will need to deal with link disconnections. Don’t forget about bugs in your code either.

At Kanda, we do everything we can to assist our customers. This includes creating a series of guides about several topics. We also offer advice on how you can complete specific jobs using products like keyfob programmers and more.

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