We've gone to great lengths to make our SUMS Ethernet Bootloader look and act nearly identical to our USB bootloaders - as close as we possibly could make it.  There are only a few very slight differences in the way you operate the PIC32 Ethernet Bootloader, which are due to fundamental differences between Ethernet and USB. 

To be specific, these necessary differences are due to the way that Ethernet addressing works differently that the way that USB addressing works. These two technologies were defined in completely different eras, and started with completely different assumptions.

Here are the facts:

USB Addressing Behavior:


Ethernet Addressing Behavior:


Differences While Establishing Connection

Because of these addressing differences, our SUMS Ethernet Bootloader PC program doesn't inherently "know" that a device running a compatible SUMS bootloader is connected and accessable - not the way a USB bootloader can "know" this.  It has to go whistle up a bootloader, if it can.

The PC program first assumes that ITSELF, and the PIC device it is trying to upgrade, are both connected to the same Local Area Network.  It sends out a call over the LAN, looking for responses from any devices which are currently running a compatible SUMS bootloader.  If it receives any correct responses, the PC program fills in a drop down list of the IP addresses of these compatible bootloader devices that responded, and it starts a conversation with the first one in that list. You can select a different device in the list if you want to.

If the PC program didn't get any valid responses to its call, the list of known devices stays empty, and nothing happens.  If you know you have a device you are trying to upgrade that lies outside the LAN, then you connect to it if you know the IP address of that device.

By contrast, our USB bootloader PC programs automatically "know" if a device running a compatible SUMS bootloader is attached, so there is no need to send out a signal or provide an address you can type in - USB lets us just connect immediately.


Differences After Programming Has Completed

There is a similar situation that occurs when the SUMS Bootloader PC program has finished upgrading the firmware and started the new firmware running.  Once this happens, the bootloader electrically disappears, and is replaced by your Main App firmware, which looks and acts like a completely different device (one that might not even use the Ethernet at all, except when it runs the bootloader). The Bootloader PC program changes its appearance to show that it assumes it is no longer connected to the bootloader anymore.

If you cause your device to get back into Bootloader Mode right away, the PC program will not automatically know this, because that's the way Ethernet works.  You will have to click the Find All Devices button to link up with your device again, after you have put your device back into Bootloader Mode.


Next: Passing Address Parameters to the SUMS Bootloader >>



Our customers find it best to get SUMS right away, during their product development process, rather than waiting until they have finished developing their device and their code.  That way, they can design their product, from the ground up, to take the fullest advantage of the power of Simple Upgrade Management SYSTEM .


Ethernet and USB addressing may behave differently, but SUMS bootloaders behave almost exactly the same.  Order SUMS now, and enjoy a familiar user interface for bootloaders used by your entire product line!