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Microcontroller development environment with C/C++ compiler support for a freshman mechatronic stude

M

Mike Harding

Jan 1, 1970
0
1. Do you need ICE : In Circuit Emulator ? This is hardware which lets you
stop your program at the places you choose and look at your variables. If
you are a newbie or in a hurry, or need insurance, an ICE is required. The
alternative is "Crash and Burn", where you write some code, fiddle until it
works, write some more. People say they don't need an ICE, but I would not
pay someone to spend days finding a bug by trial and error.

I'm just in the process of buying an 8 bit ICE for around A$12,000.
I'd say that was a bit pricey for a student, wouldn't you?
2. Only the bigger chips do C++, because of required code memory.

That leaves C for the smaller chips. Let me share a secret : programmer
productivity and quality when using C (and C++) is fairly low, ie you take
more time to produce code with more bugs. This is to do with the C language
itself. There may be screams of outrage from others on this group, but you
can save brain cells, time and quality by using Pascal or even a good
compiled Basic. Don't be too proud.
Rubbish.

3. Get the most powerful chip you can : the most RAM, FLASH, EEPROM, speed,
timers, peripherals, ports etc. You aren't going to make 1000 of these, so
saving $50 and spending 2 months extra time is silly.

Maybe, except the high end CPUs tend to be a lot more complex
which is probably not what a beginner needs.
For $450 you can buy the JTAG ICE for AVR - a real In Circuit Emulator.

Better than my A$12k but still a lot for a newbie.
The AVRs have so much grunt that I write all my interrupt handlers in C.
Not a line of assembler anywhere.

Errr... hang on a mo... didn't you just say in [2] above... no,never
min.

Mike Harding
 
D

David L. Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
Johnny said:
With the Philips LPC210X series in the last year, and also with the
Atmel SAM7 series, the costs of the ARM7 development tools and
compilers for ARM devices continue to come down. It won't be long
before ARM7 will make a cost effective platform for learning of
embedded computing.

Not as cost effective as the 8bit micros though, not a chance.
They will start to make Rabbit micro look very
out of date which it actualy already is.

Nothing is "out of date" if it meets your requirements.
PIC 16 series... Don't even mention it.

Why not, they sell in their hundreds of millions, and are probably the
#1 selling 8bit micro line in the world.

Dave :)
 
R

Randy M. Dumse

Jan 1, 1970
0
Johnny said:
With the Philips LPC210X series in the last year ... It won't
be long before ARM7 will make a cost effective platform for
learning of embedded computing.

TiniARM(TM) from New Micros, Inc. is $69. LPC2106 w/ 128K Flash, 64K
RAM. GCC for ARM is available.

We've got advanced info from Phillips on a cheaper new version processor
to come, with a little less memory. We'll be targeted a new ARM based
"Tini" at $29.

While I'm mentioning the line, we've also got TiniAVR(TM), TiniPod(TM)
now, with Tini430 and TiniHC12 coming soon.
 
R

Randy M. Dumse

Jan 1, 1970
0
Jim Granville said:
Wow = $69 to $29, that new Philips chip must be a LOT
cheaper ? :)

Yes, like an equivalent to a low-to-middle grade PIC or a ATMEGA8 sorta
price, but with a 60MHz 32-bit processor with better than 4x the memory,
iirc.

I'm really liking where the ARM's are going. We've also got Atmel ARM
and Motorola ARM design work in progress. These are ~200MHz.

I think what finally convinced me I like the ARM's was the comment it
was 6502 inspired. I used to be Rockwell's answer man on the 6502
processor line, and had studied them all before picking that processor,
which then determined where I decided to go to work. So that really
reached me.

I'm not sure how Phillips is doing this, but I sure am pleased with
their pricing trend. This isn't the first time I've heard the ARM called
the 8051 of the fuutre. I'm thinking 32-bits is the new 8-bits.
 
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David L. Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
Randy said:
I'm not sure how Phillips is doing this, but I sure am pleased with
their pricing trend. This isn't the first time I've heard the ARM called
the 8051 of the fuutre. I'm thinking 32-bits is the new 8-bits.

Tell that to the countless people who need a 50cent micro solution...
32bit will never match the price point of the 8bit solutions.

Dave :)
 
T

Terry Collins

Jan 1, 1970
0
Nico said:
What is the best (not expensive) microcontroller development environment
with C/C++ compiler support for a freshman mechatronic student?

This is a general question for other lurkers. I am wondering if any of
this need is related to courses at Ultimo TAFE? and if so, which
subjects?

TIA.
 
J

Johnny

Jan 1, 1970
0
Not as cost effective as the 8bit micros though, not a chance.

There are advantages of useing a popular 32bit platform for
educational projects. It is possible to learn about the use of an
RTOS and more viable LAN networking for example. The use of ANSI C is
something that you cannot do on a PIC 16.
Nothing is "out of date" if it meets your requirements.

It is out of date if there are solutions that allow more flexibility
and are supported by a wider range of superior development tools for a
processor that is available at a similar price.
Why not, they sell in their hundreds of millions, and are probably the
#1 selling 8bit micro line in the world.

They are very inefficient using C compilers and do not support ANSI C.

The 16 series PIC only make economic sense if the volumes are high
enough to justify the use of assembly code progamming. If you want to
use C language the AVR, or MSP430 are both far superior in every way,
since it they have architecture that is more reasonable, more
addressing modes, and more MIPs as well. The PIC 16 series is a quite
a shocker by comparison, and I think they are poor value for money
where high level languages are to be used.

regards,
Johnny.
 
D

DS

Jan 1, 1970
0
Hi

I will be starting Advaced Diploma in Electrotechnology
Electronics/Computing Engineering at Illawarra TAFE at Wollongong next week.
One of my teachers has said to stick with PICmicro, because most of the jobs
here in Oz require PICs. He also advises learning the Motorola 68HC11. He
said to stick with the C compilers for PICs, because he said that if you
said in an interview that you programmed in BASIC they would laugh at you.
He closely follows what is happening down the road at Wollongong University,
which uses C.

Cheers

Dale
 
S

Spehro Pefhany

Jan 1, 1970
0
Tell that to the countless people who need a 50cent micro solution...
32bit will never match the price point of the 8bit solutions.

Dave :)

It probably could get close enough that volume makes up the difference
for micros of comparable ROM/RAM/periperals. As happened with
4-bit->8-bit.



Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
 
R

Randy M. Dumse

Jan 1, 1970
0
Spehro Pefhany said:
It probably could get close enough that volume makes up the
difference for micros of comparable ROM/RAM/periperals.
As happened with 4-bit->8-bit.


This is kind of funny, considering I've heard this exact argument on why
the 8-bitters were overkill and the 4-bitters (PPS, COP, TMS10000) would
always be there. You just didn't need 8-bits for most control problems.
Appliances could get by fine with 4-bit processors.

Back then, in the 6 micron days (1980), I kind of believed them.

Then that crazy 8051 started taking off.

The king is dead, long live the king.

I think we will see 50cent ARM's in a few years. They were around 10
bucks. They're a few bucks now, and falling, very comparable to AVR, and
now approaching low end PICs.
 
G

Guillaume

Jan 1, 1970
0
With the Philips LPC210X series in the last year, and also with the
Not as cost effective as the 8bit micros though, not a chance.

By not that much!

Actually, GCC for ARM is extremely mature (as robust as GCC for x86), so
you get a whole bunch of 100% free and open tools.

The chips themselves are only a bit more expensive than the PICs, and
given that you don't get (as of yet) any decent free compiler for PICs
(well, SDCC is slowly getting there, but not quite ready yet), you have
a real bargain here. And a 32-bit architecture.

Granted, these are a bit more complicated to learn and use (no DIP
package, but you can find those "tinyarm" boards for rather cheap,
and they give you a DIP pin-out...)
 
D

David L. Jones

Jan 1, 1970
0
DS said:
Hi

I will be starting Advaced Diploma in Electrotechnology
Electronics/Computing Engineering at Illawarra TAFE at Wollongong next week.
One of my teachers has said to stick with PICmicro, because most of the jobs
here in Oz require PICs. He also advises learning the Motorola 68HC11. He
said to stick with the C compilers for PICs, because he said that if you
said in an interview that you programmed in BASIC they would laugh at you.
He closely follows what is happening down the road at Wollongong University,
which uses C.

Cheers

Dale

It doesn't really matter too much which micro you have experience with,
a good micro designer will be able to easily move between platforms,
especially if you have C experience. But it pays to have played with
multiple platforms so you can show that you have cross-platform
experience. You can't go wrong with knowing PICs though, they aren't #1
for nothing.

C is critical though in todays market, you have to know it. Assembler
experience ain't worth much on it's own if you don't know C.
Yes, BASIC still has a "beginner" stigma attached to it. Although I'd
rather hire a crash hot BASIC programmer over a lousy C programmer any
day. Languages can be taught, the ability to be a good programmer can't
:->

Dave :)
 
D

DS

Jan 1, 1970
0
No Probs

Guess what? I just enrolled in 343 Ad Dip Computer Systems Technology myself
today! I hadn't planned to do computer systems specifically, but everone is
enrolled in the same course because first year is pretty much the same for
all strands of the course. I might be able to email you some course
materials as I come across them. Today I started C programming intro. I
should knock it off in two or three weeks.

I am doing Electrical Principles 1, Control Programming Style ( intro C ),
Operating Systems 1, and Industrial Computer Systems, plus some basic maths
and other junk subjects. The course is taught mostly through online
materials at the college or the Internet, so you can knock off the easy
subjects in as little as a week or two.

Cheers

Dale
 
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