Difference between revisions of "PineTime"

From PINE64
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(→‎Development efforts: add Dejvino/pinetime-hermes-firmware)
(→‎Development efforts: Create nested table for Zehpyr implementations)
Line 372: Line 372:
| https://www.zephyrproject.org
| https://www.zephyrproject.org
| https://github.com/zephyrproject-rtos/zephyr
| https://github.com/zephyrproject-rtos/zephyr
| [https://github.com/najnesnaj/pinetime-zephyr najnesnaj/pinetime-zephyr]
[https://github.com/SuperPrower/pinetime_zephyr_sample_fw SuperPrower/pinetime_zephyr_sample_fw]
[https://github.com/Dejvino/pinetime-hermes-firmware Dejvino/pinetime-hermes-firmware]
|[https://github.com/najnesnaj/pinetime-zephyr najnesnaj/pinetime-zephyr]
|[https://github.com/SuperPrower/pinetime_zephyr_sample_fw SuperPrower/pinetime_zephyr_sample_fw]
|[https://github.com/Dejvino/pinetime-hermes-firmware Dejvino/pinetime-hermes-firmware]


Revision as of 14:06, 29 January 2020

Frequently asked questions

Read this first!


Dimensions: 37.5 x 40 x 11mm
Weight: 38 grams
IP Rating: IP67 (waterproof to 1 meter)

Size: 1.3 inches (33mm) diagonal
Type: IPS capacitive touchscreen, RGB 65K colors
Display Controller: ST7789
Resolution: 240x240 pixels

System on Chip: Nordic Semiconductor nRF52832
Flash: 512KB with additional 4MB SPI NOR
Bluetooth: 5.0 (including Bluetooth Low Energy)
Sensors: Accelerometer, Heart rate sensor
Feedback: Vibration motor
Battery: 170-180mAh LiPo

SWD Pinout

The devkits have exposed SWD pins for flashing and debugging. The pinout is: PineTime SWD location.jpg

Driving the peripherals


Note: The factory-default software on the PineTime does not auto-detect the display being disconnected when it has already booted. That can cause garbled output, to fix it just restart the PineTime.

The display is driven using the ST7789 display controller. Use the following pins to drive the screen:

PineTime pin ST7789 pin
LCD_SCK (P0.02) SPI clock
LCD_RS (P0.18) Clock/data pin (CD)
LCD_CS (P0.25) Chip select
LCD_RESET (P0.26) Display reset
LCD_BACKLIGHT_{LOW,MID,HIGH} Backlight (active low)


  • Chip select must be held low while driving the display. It must be high when using other SPI devices on the same bus (such as external flash storage) so that the display controller won't respond to the wrong commands.
  • SPI must be used in mode 3. Mode 0 (the default) won't work.
  • LCD_DISPLAY_* is used to enable the backlight. Set at least one to low to see anything on the screen.
  • Use SPI at 8MHz (the fastest clock available on the nRF52832) because otherwise refreshing will be super slow.

Battery measurement

Reading whether the PineTime has power attached is easy: simply read the charge indication pin (P0.12). When it is high it is running on battery, when it is low it is charging.

Reading the battery voltage is a bit harder. For that you can use the battery voltage pin on P0.31 (AIN7). The returned value is 12 bits, which means it is 0..4095. You can get the measured voltage with the following formula, assuming a reference voltage of 3.3V (this is configurable in the ADC):

adcVoltage = adcValue / (4095 / 3.3)

The measured voltage is actually half of the actual battery voltage, because the ADC is connected between a voltage divider where both resistors are 1MΩ. This can be corrected by multiplying the value:

batteryVoltage = adcValue * 2 / (4095 / 3.3)

It's often better to avoid floating point values on embedded systems and in this case there is no reason to use float at all, we can just represent the value in millivolts. Therefore the formula can be simplified to:

batteryVoltage = adcValue * 2000 / (4095 / 3.3)
batteryVoltage = adcValue * 2000 / 1241

Converting this voltage to an estimated capacity in percent requires a more complicated algorithm, because Lithium-ion batteries have a non-linear discharge curve.

How to write battery friendly software?

The key to save battery is to enable only what you need when you need it. NRF52832 has a lot of functionalities allowing you to draw as little current as possible. Here are some tips and tricks:

  • Disable / shutdown / put in sleep mode all devices around the MCU (display controller, touch controller, external memory,...).
  • Disable all peripheral inside the MCU when you don't need them (SPI, TWI(I²C),...). The power management of the NRF52832 is very smart and will completely shut down (power off and disable the clock) the peripheral when the software disables it.
  • Put the MCU to sleep as soon and as often as possible. If you are not using a RTOS, this is done by calling WFE (wait for event) instruction. Most of the time, RTOS implement this functionality. For example, FreeRTOS calls it the tickless mode : it puts the CPU in sleep mode when no task is planned for execution for more than a specified time, and wakes up as soon as an event is detected or when a task is ready to run.
  • Do not use logging (JLink RTT, SWO, semihosting,...), it uses a lot of power.
  • Ensure that the debug circuitry of the MCU is not enabled when you measuring the battery life. The debug peripheral is enabled as soon as you connect a debugger to the device, and is not automatically disabled, even if you disconnect the debugger. The software running in the NRF52832 cannot disable the debug peripheral. How to disable the debug circuitry:
 - using nrfjprog --reset
 - using JLinkExe : issue the command writeDP 1 0


The button on the side of the PineTime is disabled by default. To enable it, drive the button out pin (P0.15) high.

While enabled, the button in pin (P0.13) will be high when the button is pressed, and low when it is not pressed.

Touch panel

The touch panel is controlled by a Hynitron CST816S chips. Unfortunately, there is not much information about this chip on the internet apart from the datasheet below and a reference driver. This is enough to implement a basic driver, but crucial information needed to implement advanced functionalities are missing (I²C protocol and registers, timings, power modes,...).


  • P0.10 : Reset
  • P0.28 : Interrupt (signal to the CPU when a touch event is detected)
  • P0.06 : I²C SDA
  • P0.07 : I²C SCL


  • Device address : 0x15
  • Frequency : from 10Khz to 400Khz

NOTE : The controller go to sleep when no event is detected. In sleep mode, the controller does not communicate on the I²C bus (it appears disconnected). So, for the communication to work, you need to tap on the screen so that the chip wakes-up.

Touch events

Touch informations are available in the 63 first registers of the controller. Remember : the device is in sleep mode when no touch event is detected. It means that you can read the register only when the touch controller detected an event. You can use the Interrupt pin to detect such event in the software.

These 63 bytes contain up to 10 touch point (X, Y, event type, pressure,...) :

Byte Bit7 Bit6 Bit5 Bit4 Bit3 Bit2 Bit1 Bit0
0 ?
1 GestureID : (Gesture code ,

0x00: no gesture,

0x01: Slide down,

0x02: Slide up,

0x03: Slide left,

0x04: Slide right,

0x05: Single click,

0x0B: Double click,

0x0C: Long press)

2 ? Number of touch points
3 Event (0 = Down, 1 = Up, 2 = Contact) ? X (MSB) coordinate
4 X (LSB) coordinate
5 ? Touch ID Y (MSB) coordinate
6 Y (LSB) coordinate
7 Pressure (?)
8 Miscellaneous (?)

Bytes 3 to 8 are repeated 10 times (10*6 + 3 = 63 bytes).


  • The touch controller seems to report only 1 touch point
  • Fields X, Y, Number of touch points and touch ID are updated. The others are always 0.


The reference driver specifies some registers and value, but there is no information about them:

Register Address Description

WARNING : Writing the SLEEP command (write 0x05 in HYN_REG_POWER_MODE) seems to freeze the controller (it returns only static values) until the battery is totally drained and the whole system reset. Analysis and debugging is more than welcome!

Programming firmware

Using JLink programmer and nrfjprog tools

The following steps have been tested with the Segger JLink embedded in the NRF52-DK development board.

1. Connect the Pinetime SWD pins to the debugger (P20 on NRF52-DK)

Pintime JLink
VCC (3.3V) VTG (target detect)

2. Unlock the device and erase the memory. You need to execute this step only once, to remove the read protection on the memory. Note that it will erase the whole flash memory of the MCU! :

nrfjprog -f NRF52 --recover

3. Program the BLE softdevice (if needed by the firmware). Replace PATH_TO_NRF_SDK by the path where you unzipped the NRF52 SDK :

nrfjprog -f NRF52 --program /PATH_TO_NRF_SDK/components/softdevice/s132/hex/s132_nrf52_6.1.1_softdevice.hex --sectorerase

4. Program the firmware (replace firmware.hex by the actual filename of the firmware):

nrfjprog -f NRF52 --program firmware.hex --sectorerase

5. Reset and run the new firmware:

nrfjprog -f NRF52 --reset

Using OpenOCD and a Raspberry Pi

Instructions in Medium post, subsequently updated with a more reliable method under development, so may be a bit of a moving target.

Using OpenOCD and a JLink

Start OpenOCD:

openocd \
   -c 'interface jlink; transport select swd; source [find target/nrf52.cfg]' \
   -c 'init'

Now you can connect to `` port `4444` using telnet to invoke OpenOCD commands. GDB should be available on port `3333`.

Using STM32 bluepill as blackmagic probe

Instructions in forum post or gist (mac os)

Manual / Articles

Development efforts

Project Homepage Project Source PineTime Implementations
FreeRTOS https://www.freertos.org https://sourceforge.net/projects/freertos/ JF002/Pinetime


Zephyr https://www.zephyrproject.org https://github.com/zephyrproject-rtos/zephyr
mynewt https://mynewt.apache.org/about/ https://github.com/apache/mynewt-core lupyuen/pinetime-rust-mynewt
MbedOS https://os.mbed.com https://github.com/ARMmbed/mbed-os sethitow/mbed-pinetime
RIOT http://riot-os.org/ https://github.com/RIOT-OS/RIOT/ bosmoment/PineTime-apps
TinyGo https://tinygo.org https://github.com/tinygo-org/tinygo aykevl/go-smartwatch
MicroPython https://micropython.org/ https://github.com/micropython/micropython daniel-thompson/wasp-os
AdaFruit bootloader https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_nRF52_Bootloader daniel-thompson/wasp-bootloader
UI concepts and drawings arteeh/pinetimeos

Datasheets and Schematics


Component Datasheets