Arduino Due and some other ARM platforms

The microprocessor world seems to be going in ARM direction. And so seems to be microcontrollers. Cheap ARM based 32-bit micro-controllers are taking their place and trying to replace less powerful 8- and 16-bit micro-controllers.

I wrote earlier that Arduino Goes ARM. It took quite bit of time for Arduino to take that step and release ARM based product. After a years-long wait, an ARM powered Arduino is finally due. The long waited Arduino Due just hit the market on Monday yesterday.

The idea of Due is to replace the 8-bit, 16MHz brain of the popular Uno microcontroller prototyping platform with a 32-bit, 84MHz processor, while augmenting inputs and capabilities all around. The board is somewhat more expensive ($49 USD / €39.00), which will mean that there will be also place for the cheaper Arduino models as well.

On board the Arduino Due is an Atmel-sourced ARM Cortex M3 microcontroller running at 84 MHz. The Due has an impressive list of features including a USB 2.0 host, compatibility with the Android ADK (lest you still need an IOIO), 12 analog inputs with 12-bit resolution, 2 analog outputs running at 12 bits, a CAN interface, and more input pins than you can shake a stick at. The form factor is similar to Arduino Mega. Due is a very advanced high performance processor which has been added to the Arduino line up. RCArduino blog article Arduino Due has a nice compares several Arduino platforms.

Quick Comparison with current Arduinos

Arduino UNO Arduino Mega Arduino Due
MCU ATMega 328 ATMega 2560 AT91SAM3X8E
Architecture 8 bit AVR 8 bit AVR 32 bit ARM Cortex M3
CPU Speed 16Mhz 16Mhz 84 Mhz
Flash Memory 32K 256K 512K
RAM 2K 8K 96K
EEPROM 1K 4K 250K
Digital Pins 14 54 54
PWM Pins 6 15 16
Analog Inputs 6 16 12
DAC 0 0 2

Arduino Due is bound to give a boost to the Arduino platform. The Due will open up huge new range of applications that are simply not possible with the current generation Arduino. By using the same platform and development tools it is possible that you can learn the basics on a tough little Arduino Uno, and then later you transfer exactly the same skill set to the super performance Arduino Due.

There are also some other downsides on the new Due platform besides the besides the higher (but not unreasonable) price. Arduino Due will not be compatible with the vast number of extension shields that have been developed for the older 5V Arduino Mega. You need probably to be more careful with the new board than with the old one. However like anything high performance it needs to be treated a little more carefully.

Arduino Due is not the only one player on cheap ARM platforms game. There are several competing more powerful ARM based platforms on the same price range. And there are also cheaper ARM micro-controller platforms. Let’s start from more powerful ones.

For example Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi is a super high performance platform (8-12 times faster CPU clock), more memory, runs full Linux, and costs less (just $35). Raspberry Pi has also built-in features like video output (HDMI and composite video) and Ethernet interface. Arduino uses a microcontroller; Raspberry Pi uses an applications processor. The downside is that Raspberry Pi is not directly compatible with Arduino shields, but there is a project going to make Raspberry Pi and Arduino shield to work together. Arduino is a marvellous thing, and I don’t feel the two are directly comparable or competiting. You’ll be using them for different things.

A13-OLinuXino is another interesting low-cost single-board Linux computer in a very compact nano-ITX form at 45.00 EUR price range. Also VIA introduces amazing $49 APC Android computer.

And now I give you pointers to some very cheap and interesting ARM micro-controller platforms.

Teensy 3.0 that costs $19. Teensy 3.0 is an affordable 32 bit ARM Cortex-M4 board, for development in Arduino or C/C++. Like the Due, the Teensy is based on an ARM Processor core the Teensy actually uses a Cortex M4 core which has advantages for digital signal processing applications over the Cortex M3 core offered by the Arduino Due. RCArduino blog article Arduino Due has a nice compares several Arduino platforms and Teensy 3.0.

If you wan to go to really low cost end on ARM micro-controllers, check out The Stellaris® LM4F120 LaunchPad. It costs less than 10 euros. The Stellaris LM4F120H5QR microcontroller offers an 80MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4 CPU with floating point, 256Kbytes of 100,000 write-erase cycle FLASH and many peripherals such as 1MSPS ADCs, eight UARTs, four SPIs, four I2Cs, USB and up to 27 timers, some configurable up to 64 bits. The board also features on-board emulation, which means you can program and debug your projects without the need for additional tools. It looks as though Texas Instruments are really reaching out to the hacker community with their new ARM-powered Stellaris dev board.

106 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARM Cortex A9 MCU development board runs Linux
    http://www.edn-europe.com/en/arm-cortex-a9-mcu-development-board-runs-linux.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=10003685&vID=1593&from_mail=1#.UzA2OYVM0ik

    Silica has launched a new ArchiTech development board that offers a low cost streamlined platform for Linux based designs.

    The ArchiTech Hachiko board is supplied with a Linux kernel optimised for the Renesas RZ/A1H MCU

    The Linux distribution with Hachiko is Yocto compatible

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained Kit (ATSAMA5D3-XPLD)
    http://store.atmel.com/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10500374#tc:description

    The SAMA5D3 Xplained is a fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design. The board comes with a rich set of ready to use connectivity and storage peripherals and expansion headers for easy customization. A Linux distribution and software package gets you running fast. A USB device connector can be used to power the board as well as programming and debugging it.

    SAMA5D36 Cortex-A5 microprocessor

    Dual Ethernet (GMAC + EMAC) with PHY and connectors

    $79

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    STM32 Nucleo prototyping boards, free from distributor’s “Board Club”
    http://www.edn-europe.com/en/stm32-nucleo-prototyping-boards-free-from-distributor-s-board-club.html?cmp_id=7&news_id=10003651&vID=44#.UzJt8YVM0ik

    Future Electronics enables designers working with any STM32 microcontroller to benefit free from the combination of tools and peripheral boards supported by the STM32 Nucleo systems

    Under Board Club (at http://www.my-boardclub.com), Future itself funds the a stock of development boards relating to microcontrollers, and other products, that it stocks as silicon. Those boards are then available to be issued free of charge to engineers who can make a case that the project they have in development is likely to have a certain on-going value (to Future, in subsequent orders).

    STM32 Nucleo boards are compatible with ARM’s mbed application development platform. They also include ST Morpho extension headers to allow access to all of the microcontroller’s on-chip peripherals, and Arduino headers which accept shields from the extensive Arduino ecosystem, allowing developers to add specialised functionality quickly and easily.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained Kit (ATSAMA5D3-XPLD)
    SKU: ATSAMA5D3-XPLD
    http://store.atmel.com/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10500374#tc:description

    The SAMA5D3 Xplained is a fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design.
    Linux
    SAMA5D36 Cortex-A5 microprocessor
    256MBytes DDR2
    256MBytes NAND Flash
    Dual Ethernet (GMAC + EMAC) with PHY and connectors

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nvidia takes on Raspberry Pi with the Jetson TK1 mini supercomputer
    Will power Audi’s self-driving cars
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2336440/nvidia-takes-on-raspberry-pi-with-the-jetson-tk1-mini-supercomputer

    NVIDIA HAS UNVEILED what it claims is “the world’s first mobile supercomputer”, a development kit powered by a Tegra K1 chip.

    Dubbed the Jetson TK1, the kit is built for embedded systems to aid the development of computers attempting to simulate human recognition of physical objects, such as robots and self-driving cars.

    With a total performance of 326 GFLOPS, the Jetson TK1 should be more powerful than the Raspberry Pi board, which delivers just 24 GFLOPS, but will retail for much more, costing $192 in the US

    “The Jetson TK1 also comes with this new SDK called Vision Works. Stacked onto CUDA, it comes with a whole bunch of primitives whether it’s recognising corners or detecting edges, or it could be classifying objects. Parameters are loaded into this Vision Works primitives system and all of a sudden it recognises objects,”

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nvidia has just unveiled Jetson TK1 development kit powered by their 32-bit Tegra K1 quad core Cortex A15 processor with a 192-core Kepler GPU. This board targets computer-vision applications for robotics, medical, avionics, and automotive industries that can leverage the compute capabilities of the Kepler GPU.

    Read more: http://www.cnx-software.com/2014/03/26/192-nvidia-jetson-tk1-development-board-with-tegra-k1-quad-core-cortex-a15-soc/#ixzz2xHTCO941

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teensy USB Development Board
    http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensy3.html

    The Teensy USB Development Board is a complete USB-based microcontoller development system.
    Version 3.0 features a 32 bit ARM processor.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bare-metal Programming On The Teensy 3
    http://hackaday.com/2014/04/14/bare-metal-programming-on-the-teensy-3/

    The Teensy 3.x series of boards are amazing pieces of work, with a tiny, breadboard-friendly footprint, an improbable amount of IO pins, and a powerful processor, all for under $20.

    [Karl] is using CodeBench Lite for the compiler, linker, assembler, and all that other gcc fun, but the CodeSourcery suite doesn’t have an IDE.

    Visual Studio 2008 Express is [Karl]‘s environment of choice

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A 32-bit Development System For $2
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/05/09/1653233/a-32-bit-development-system-for-2

    “If you are too cheap to buy a $20 Arduino or too elitist to not have at least a 32-bit processor, Dr. Dobb’s shows you how to take a $2 chip, put it on a breadboard with a TTL serial (or USB) cable”

    Breadboarding ARM
    May 08, 2014
    http://www.drdobbs.com/embedded-systems/breadboarding-arm/240168141

    The result is an easy to work with 32-bit development system that can create systems that are very inexpensive to deploy.

    LPC1114FN28. The NXP chip is similar to the chip on the KL25Z board — slightly less flash and RAM (32K and 4K, respectively) but otherwise the same Cortex M0 CPU, a round of peripherals, and most importantly, a bootloader. The chips cost about $3 in singles.

    The device takes 3.3V and has an internal 12MHz clock that you can boost up to 48MHz if you like. The DIP package is highly amenable to a breadboard (or a prototype through hole PC board). If you provide power, you only need a TTL-level serial port to program the chip through its bootloader. The inputs are 5V tolerant or will, of course, accept 3.3V levels, so any TTL converter based on a MAX232 or many of the USB to TTL serial adapters will do the trick.

    Assuming you already have a breadboard and a few simple items, you can start using these CPUs with very little effort. Even if you have to buy everything, you could spend as little as $20 — perhaps $40 if you buy the Link board for debugging.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Introducing The Arduino Zero
    http://hackaday.com/2014/05/15/introducing-the-arduino-zero/

    The Arduino Zero uses an Atmel ARM Cortex-M0+ for 256kB of Flash and 32k of RAM. The board supports Atmel’s Embedded Debugger, finally giving the smaller Arduino boards debugging support.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arduino Tre
    http://arduino.cc/en/Main/ArduinoBoardTre

    Arduino TRE, the first Arduino board manufactured in the U.S.

    Thanks to the 1-GHz Sitara AM335x processor, Arduino developers get up to 100 times more performance with the Sitara-processor-based TRE than they do on the Arduino Leonardo or Uno. This performance opens the doors to more advanced Linux-powered applications. The Sitara-processor-based Linux Arduino can run high-performance desktop applications, processing-intensive algorithms or high-speed communications.

    The Arduino TRE is a Sitara-processor-based Linux Arduino plus a full AVR-based Arduino, while leveraging the simplicity of the Arduino software experience.

    Arduino TRE is partially the result of a close collaboration between Arduino and the BeagleBoard.org foundation

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Meet Arduino ZERO – the new board jointly developed by Arduino and Atmel
    http://blog.arduino.cc/2014/05/15/meet-arduino-zero/

    Arduino and Atmel unveil the Arduino Zero, a simple and powerful 32-bit extension of the platform established by Arduino UNO.

    The board is powered by Atmel’s SAMD21 MCU, which features a 32-bit ARM Cortex® M0+ core and one of its most important feature is Atmel’s Embedded Debugger (EDBG), which provides a full debug interface without the need for additional hardware, significantly increasing the ease-of-use for software debugging. EDBG also supports a virtual COM port that can be used for device programming and traditional Arduino boot loader functionality.

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Maple Microcontroller Board
    http://leaflabs.com/devices/maple/

    At the center of the Maple is a 72MHz ARM Cortex M3 chip

    For those who love and are familiar with Arduino, the Maple is offered in an Arduino-compatible format, complete with Arduino pin layouts and programming environment.

    The LeafLabs Maple is a microcontroller board based on the STM32F103RB microprocessor. The Maple runs at a maximum of 72 MHz, has 39 digital input/output pins, 16 analog inputs, native full speed USB, 3 USARTs (hardware serial ports), integrated SPI/I2C support, a power jack, and a reset button. The Maple is programmable over USB

    The Maple can be programmed using our Arduino-style, sketch-based programming environment

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    As part of this effort Freescale has teamed up with Element 14 to distribute the RIoTboard featuring a Freescale i.MX6Solo 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 processor, costing £56. Making it affordable for developers has practical commercial considerations behind it all, as Wainwright emphasised.

    Source: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2014/05/07/freescale_internet_of_things/

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIoTBoard Revolutionizing the Internet of Things
    http://www.element14.com/community/community/knode/single-board_computers/riotboard

    The RIoTboard is an open source platform based on an i.MX 6Solo applications processor, using an ARM® Cortex®-A9 architecture. The platform is ideal for Android and GNU/Linux development and is designed for and supported by a community of Design Engineers and Application Developers.

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    mbed
    https://mbed.org/

    The mbed development platform is the fastest way to create products based on ARM microcontrollers.

    The project is being developed by ARM, its Partners and the contributions of the global mbed Developer Community.

    Reply
  17. strawberry says:

    If some one wishes expert view on the topic of running a blog after
    that i propose him/her to go to see this blog, Keep up the fastidious job.

    Reply
  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    32-Bit PSoC 4 Dev Board Only $4
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1322669&

    Hey Max, if a major semiconductor company offered a 32-bit development board for $4.00, you’d think that was pretty big news, right? Well, by happenstance, two days ago I discovered these CY8CKIT-049 4xxx Prototyping Kits for the PSoC 4 from Cypress Semiconductor.

    The PSoC 4 is a nice little chip, and previously the cheapest development board was the $25 PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit.

    The PSoC 4 is a very clever little device that boasts a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 processor core running at up to 48 MHz, up to 32 kB of flash and 4 kB of SRAM, programmable analog and programmable digital fabric, and CapSense Touch Sensing technology.

    At only $4, these are an incredible bargain, and we all need to snap some of these up while the snapping is good.

    Reply
  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PSoC 4 CY8CKIT-049 4xxx Prototyping Kits
    http://www.cypress.com/?rID=92146

    The prototyping kits support PC connectivity through the Cypress USB-Serial controller. The devices can be programmed using the USB-Serial controller and the Bootloader Software Host tool.

    The CY8CKIT-049 Prototyping Kits serve as a low cost alternative to customers looking to sample PSoC 4 devices. The kit provides an open platform and complete access to all of the PSoC 4 device I/O, including default features such as LEDs and a push button. The kit will serve users who are looking to rapidly integrate, develop, and test the PSoC 4 device family with their end design or project.

    Reply
  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cypress Launches $5 ARM Dev Board
    http://hackaday.com/2014/06/16/cypress-launches-5-arm-dev-board/

    For those needing a cheap ARM solution, Cypress has just released a PSoC based board that’ll cost you less than $5.

    There’s two main ICs on the development board. The first is the target: an ARM Cortex M0+ based PSoC 4 MCU. The second is a CY7C65211 USB bridge. This device is communicates with the target’s built in bootloader for flashing code.

    The bridge can also be configured to talk UART, GPIO, I2C or SPI. If you need a USB to serial converter, this part of the board could be worth $5 alone.

    Reply
  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    RIoTboard
    http://www.element14.com/community/community/designcenter/single-board-computers/riotboard

    The RIoTboard is an open source platform based on an i.MX 6Solo applications processor, using an ARM® Cortex®-A9 architecture. The platform is ideal for Android and GNU/Linux development and is designed for and supported by a community of Design Engineers and Application Developers.

    Reply
  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Parallella
    http://www.parallella.org/

    The Parallella platform is an open source, energy efficient, high performance, credit-card sized computer based on the Epiphany multicore chips developed by Adapteva. This affordable platform is designed for developing and implementing high performance, parallel processing applications developed to take advantage of the on-board Epiphany chip. The Epiphany 16 or 64 core chips consists of a scalable array of simple RISC processors programmable in C/C++ connected together with a fast on chip network within a single shared memory architecture.

    Zynq-7000 Series Dual-core ARM A9 CPU (Z-7010 or Z-7020)
    16 or 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator

    The 66-core version of the Parallella computer delivers over 90 GFLOPS on a board the size of a credit card while consuming only 5 Watts under typical work loads. For certain applications, this would provide more raw performance than a high end server costing thousands of dollars and consuming 400W.

    Reply
  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Development, Bakes In Linaro Support
    http://hothardware.com/News/ARM-Launches-New-Reference-Platform-For-64bit-Developers-Bakes-In-Linaro-Support/#!7C4vF

    One of the trickiest aspects to launching a major new platform update is the chicken and egg problem. Without any hardware to test on or take advantage of, developers are leery of committing to supporting new hardware features. Without software that takes advantage of new hardware capabilities, customers aren’t willing to pay for new equipment.

    The Juno development platform combines several of ARM’s most advanced technologies, including the ARMv8 instruction set, all on a single board. The product supports big.Little in an asymmetric configuration; each board ships with two Cortex-A57s, four Cortex-A53s, and a modest Mali T-624 core.

    All this hardware needs an OS to run on — which is why ARM is announcing a 64-bit port of Android as part of this new development board. By including AOSP support as well as additional hooks and features from Linaro, ARM wants Juno to be a sort-of one-stop shopping product for anyone who needs to test, prototype, or design a 64-bit product for the ARM ecosystem. The Android flavor that’s coming over isn’t an ancient port — it’s based on Linaro Stable Kernel 3.10 and compiled with GCC 4.9. 32-bit ports and OpenEmbedded ports will also be available.

    One thing I want to clarify is that these kinds of products don’t come cheap. Nvidia turned heads earlier this year when they announced a Tegra K1 development board for just $192, but the vast majority of these types of specialty products are expensive So why buy a chip from ARM when you could buy a device from Samsung, Nvidia, or Qualcomm and develop on that?

    Many ARM vendors do their own custom work

    Reply
  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained Kit (ATSAMA5D3-XPLD)
    http://store.atmel.com/PartDetail.aspx?q=p:10500374#tc:description

    The SAMA5D3 Xplained is a fast prototyping and evaluation platform for microprocessor-based design.
    $79

    A Linux distribution and software package gets you running fast.

    SAMA5D36 Cortex-A5 microprocessor
    256MBytes DDR2
    256MBytes NAND Flash
    LCD connectors
    Dual Ethernet (GMAC + EMAC) with PHY and connectors
    Three USB connectors (2 Host + 1 Device)
    1x SD/eMMC and 1x MicroSD slots
    Expansions headers, Arduino R3 Shield compatible
    Power measurement straps

    Reply
  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A $5 ARM development board
    http://hackaday.com/2013/08/07/a-5-arm-development-board/

    With a $5 price tag, the open hardware McHck (pronounced McHack) is meant for quickly building projects on a small budget. The board created by [Simon] is based on a Freescale Cortex M4 microcontroller, and can be plugged directly into one’s computer. As a Direct Firmware Update (DFU) bootloader is present on the microcontroller, there is no need for external programming equipment.

    Reply
  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Self Built MC HCK for $5
    https://mchck.org/blog/2013-08-06-self-built-mchck-for-5-dollars/

    The MC HCK boards can easily be ordered from the usual suspects in China. Just download the fabrication gerbers and attach them to your order; usually you will have to create a zip file. Now wait 10 days or so until your PCBs arrive. Cost: $10 + shipping for 10 boards

    You can sample a compatible MCU directly from Freescale. Cost: $5 for 5 MCUs.

    Reply
  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARM-BMW, The Open Hardware Cortex-M0 Development Board
    http://hackaday.com/2014/08/26/arm-bmw-the-open-hardware-cortex-m0-development-board/

    [Vsergeev] tipped us about a neat Cortex-M0 based development board with a total BoM cost under $15. It’s called the ARM Bare Metal Widget (ARM-BMW), focuses on battery power, non-volatile storage and debuggability.

    The chosen micro-controller is the 50MHz NXP LPC1114DH28 which provides the user with 32kB of Flash, 8kB of SRAM, a 6 channel ADC and I2C/SPI/UART interfaces among others.

    Reply
  28. online-focus-group.com says:

    With the latest study from PEW Research stating that
    95% of teens have access to the Internet, 80% of kids
    have cell phones and 48% have data plans, providing a safe cyber-space should be
    a priority for all parents. Then consider yourself one of the few,
    true internet marketers. A internet marketing business, in a nutshell,
    a business that’s designed to run on the internet via a website.

    Reply
  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Introducing USB Armory, a Flash Drive Sized Computer
    http://hackaday.com/2014/10/14/introducing-usb-armory-a-flash-drive-sized-computer/

    [Andrea] tipped us about USB armory, a tiny embedded platform meant for security projects. It is based on the 800MHz ARM Cortex-A8 Freescale i.MX53 together with 512MB of DDR3 SDRAM, includes a microSD card slot, a 5-pin breakout header with GPIOs/UART, a customizable LED and is powered through USB.

    This particular processor supports a few advanced security features such as secure boot and ARM TrustZone.

    USB armory from Inverse Path
    http://inversepath.com/usbarmory

    The USB armory from Inverse Path is an open source hardware design, implementing a flash drive sized computer.

    The compact USB powered device provides a platform for developing and running a variety of applications.

    The security features of the USB armory System on a Chip (SoC), combined with the openness of the board design, empower developers and users with a fully customizable USB trusted device for open and innovative personal security applications.

    The hardware design features the Freescale i.MX53 processor, supporting advanced security features such as secure boot and ARM® TrustZone®.

    The USB armory hardware is supported by standard software environments and requires very little customization effort. In fact vanilla Linux kernels and standard distributions run seamlessly on the tiny USB armory board.

    Freescale i.MX53 ARM® Cortex™-A8 800Mhz, 512MB DDR3 RAM
    USB host powered (<500 mA) device with compact form factor (65 x 19 x 6 mm)
    ARM® TrustZone®, secure boot + storage + RAM
    microSD card slot
    5-pin breakout header with GPIOs and UART
    customizable LED, including secure mode detection
    excellent native support (Android, Debian, Ubuntu, FreeBSD)
    USB device emulation (CDC Ethernet, mass storage, HID, etc.)
    Open Hardware & Software

    Reply
  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New to the Store: Teensy 3.1
    http://hackaday.com/2014/10/15/new-to-the-store-teensy-3-1/

    New today in the Hackaday Store is the Teensy 3.1. This development board blows away most others in its class. The board plays nicely with the Arduino IDE, but embedded developers who are hardcore enough have the option of bare metal programming for the Coretex-M4 chip.

    Why would we say this blows most others away? In our minds, the 64k of RAM and 72 MHz clock speed place this far outside of what you would normally see hanging out in the Arduino ecosystem. That may be changing with new players like the Edison, but the Teensy 3.1 doesn’t require a host board and comes in just under $20 compared to the Edison’s $50 price tag.

    Reply
  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Toradex: What is a Customized SBC?
    https://www.toradex.com/products/customized-single-board-computer?gclid=CPXqgsb7sMECFcTFcgodHg8Adw

    The SBC approach helps system developers to focus on the application specific parts. An extensive range of SBCs based on a variety of microprocessors, memory sizes, supported interfaces and operating systems such as Windows Embedded Compact, Linux, Android etc. are available in the embedded market.

    However, the SBC approach suffers inherently from various drawbacks. First of all, the SBC approach leads to high switching cost to migrate to future technologies. As SBCs comes in standard sizes and real world interfaces, so it is difficult to accommodate future improvements in technology and thus the OEMs need to switch to an entirely new SBC solution. Secondly, customizing a SBC is cumbersome as the processor chipset and surrounding I/O are closely coupled due to the single-board design. Finally, space constrained applications may also struggle to use the standardized SBC available in the market.

    The Computer On Module (COM) or System On Module (SOM) coupled along with a baseboard offers an equivalent solution as that of the SBCs. The COM approach separates the complex microprocessor part from the relatively simple I/O part and thus offers flexibility to customize the baseboard part based on the feature and size requirements of the end-product. Furthermore, pin-compatible modules ensure convenient and cost effective way to migrate to future technology.

    A Customized SBC is an off-the-shelf embedded solution that is a combination of a COM/ SOM and a carrier board. This combination provides a desirable alternative to SBCs in developing any embedded end-products as the former offers the flexibility and scalability inherent to the COM approach and yet, is a ready-to-use complete embedded solution, one of the main benefits of the SBC approach.

    Reply
  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    24 More: Moving From Arduino to 32 Bits
    http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1324303&amp;

    So you just finished your most recent Arduino project and are hungry to build something new and impressive. Feeling confined by the Arduino’s limited environment, peripherals, and power, you begin looking around for other options, but there are too many choices. There are microcontrollers from dozens of vendors in eight-, 16-, and 32-bit flavors, each requiring its own compilers and programmers, which could add up to a fortune. Is there no cheap and viable alternative for the little blue board that has stolen all our hearts?

    Enter the ARM Cortex M series of 32-bit microcontrollers. They offer a common tool chain and core design across multiple vendors. There are many ways to access the Cortex M series, from MCU vendor dev boards with built-in proprietary debuggers to professional-grade open dev boards. The open approach is the way to go.

    Reply
  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Arietta G25 Has Us Wondering Where ARM Boards are Going
    http://hackaday.com/2014/11/01/arietta-g25-has-us-wondering-where-arm-boards-are-going/

    This tidy little ARM board is the Arietta G25. It’s based around an AT91SAM9G25 which is an ARM9 chip running at 400MHz. Paired with the DDR2 RAM (in 128 or 256 meg options) to the left, the board runs Linux and runs it well.

    The 20×2 pin header breaks out a lot of the SAM9’s features. We really like the interactive pinout posted for this device.

    Arietta G25
    http://www.acmesystems.it/arietta
    Tiny, cheap and easy ARM9@400Mhz Linux Embedded module for DIY and Maker cultures

    Arietta pinout and device tree blob compiler
    http://www.acmesystems.it/pinout_arietta

    Reply
  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Micro Linux Module >
    ODROID-W [ODROID-W]
    http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=g140610189490

    ODROID-W is a miniature computing module which is fully compatible with all software available for the Raspberry-Pi.

    The W stands for:
    – Wearable device development
    – Widely applicable Internet of Things (IoT) development
    – Workable DIY electronics prototyping

    Reply
  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARM Pro Mini
    http://hackaday.com/2015/01/19/arm-pro-mini/

    Slowly but surely, the age of 8-bit micros being the first tool anyone picks up is coming to an end, and we’re seeing more and more ARM dev boards in nifty, breadboard-friendly packages. [Zapta] thought he would throw his hat into the ring with the ARM Pro Miini, a tiny little board based on the ARM M0 microcontroller.

    The ARM chip on this board is the NXP LPC11 with 64 kB of Flash, 12 kB of RAM, and just enough pins to make the whole endeavor worthwhile.

    ARM PRO MINI
    https://github.com/zapta/arm/tree/master/pro-mini

    ARM PRO MINI is a small barebone open source ARM M0 microcontroller board that is great for quick prototyping and as a starting point for your own ARM based custom designs. It was designed and named after the venerable Arduino Pro Mini and it is an excellent stepping stone for makers and hobbyists ‘graduating’ from Arduino to the ARM architecture.

    Zero software installation when using with the mbed.org online IDE.
    Full support of Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.
    Supports optional debuggers (such as the OM13014,598) for single stepping and full debugging capabilities.
    I/O library and a hello world example (with serial printing over USB, parallel port io, blinking LED, and timing).
    No nonsense open source license (no commercial restrictions, sharing and attribution not required).

    Reply
  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra
    http://www.element14.com/community/docs/DOC-73554/l/sama5d4-xplained-ultra

    Atmel SAMA5D4 Cortex®-A5-based microprocessor
    512MBytes DDR2
    512MBytes SLC NAND Flash
    1x SD/eMMC and 1x MicroSD slots
    LCD connectors compatible with PDA4301
    HDMI connector
    2x Ethernet 10/100 with PHY and connectors
    Three USB connectors (2 Host 1 Device)
    Expansions headers, Arduino R3 Shield compatible
    Power measurement straps

    The Atmel® SMART SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra is a member of Atmel’s Xplained fast prototyping and evaluation platforms. The board is based on the Atmel SAMA5D4 microprocessor and comes with a rich set of ready-to-use connectivity, an LCD and HDMI interface, an embedded debug interface unit, as well as storage peripherals and expansion headers for easy customization. A Linux distribution and software package gets you evaluating fast. A USB device connector can be used to power the board as well as to program and debug it. Seven headers, compatible with Arduino R3 (Uno, Due) and two Xplained headers are available for various shield connections.

    Reply
  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    $49 Arduino-compatible board features enhanced Cortex M7 MCU
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/electronic-product-reviews/other/4439834/-49-Arduino-compatible-board-features-enhanced-Cortex-M7-MCU–touch-screen-LCD–audio–and-more?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_review_20150710&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_review_20150710&elq=949a37222c604ad19afcbca6b670bbf9&elqCampaignId=23866&elqaid=26959&elqat=1&elqTrackId=ea406c01e08c44c391396af524794143

    STMicro’s Arduino-compatible STM32F7 Discovery Kit is an exciting development for DIY-ers interested in Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications. Although intended primarily for “mainstream” embedded developers, the board and associated development tools make it easy and affordable for the Maker/DIY-er crowd to get their hands on the STM32F7*, STM’s the latest and highest-performing Cortex-M7 core. Developers involved with Connected Lighting and other Smart Home/Smart Building applications will also find this a great way to see if STM’s most IoT-capable MCU is a candidate for their next project.

    The STM32F7 Discovery Kit comes with ST’s STM32Cube firmware library, as well as direct support from a wide ecosystem of software-development tool partners and the ARM® mbed™ online community. The development tools work seamlessly with the Discovery Board’s integrated ST-Link debugger/programmer (no need for a separate probe).

    32F746GDISCOVERY
    Discovery kit with STM32F746NG MCU
    http://www.st.com/web/en/catalog/tools/FM116/SC959/SS1532/LN1848/PF261641?icmp=pf261641_pron_pr-massmarket_jun2015&sc=stm32f7discovery-pr

    Reply
  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Getting Started with ARM Using mbed
    http://hackaday.com/2015/08/11/getting-started-with-arm-using-mbed/

    Even though the Arduino was hardly the first 8 bit microcontroller board to support a bootloader and the C/C++ language, it quickly became the de facto standard for hobby-level microcontrollers as well as a common choice for one-off or prototype projects. I’m sure there are a lot of reasons why this occurred, but in my mind there were three major reasons: price, availability of lots of library and sample code, and the existence of a simplified GUI IDE that you could install in a few minutes. The build process is simple, too, even though if you ever have to actually figure it out, it is quite ugly. For most people, it works, and that makes it not ugly.

    First, let’s talk price. I’m going to focus on the KL25Z Freedom board from Freescale. It isn’t much bigger than a standard Arduino board and it costs (today) about $13. What do you get for that? A 32 bit ARM processor running at 48MHz. It has 128K of flash, 16K of RAM, a USB port, and several SPI, UART, I2C, and PWM peripherals. It also has 16-bit A/D converters and a 12 bit DAC. The board itself also has an accelerometer and a touch sensor along with a tri-color LED. Not bad for $13.

    Of course, you are thinking you can get an ATMega chip for less and plug it in a breadboard. You can use the same techniques I’ll talk about to program an LPC1114FN28 chip. Sure, it only has 4K of RAM and 16K of program storage, but it will easily fit in a breadboard and costs less than $5, even if you are only buying one.

    The KL25Z even has an Arduino-compatible daughterboard socket (you know, a place to plug in a shield, as much as it pains me to say shield). You do have to be careful as the board is 3.3V and not 5V. Some 32-bit devices have 5V compatible I/O, but you should always make sure before directly connecting anything.

    A $13 development board with a lot of memory and other goodies; sounds good, right? But surely the development tools are expensive or difficult to set up, right? Actually, no. ARM provides the mbed website that offers a full-blow C/C++ IDE in your browser (see picture to the left). No software to install at all. Version control, sharing libraries between users, documentation. Everything you might want in an IDE except debugging (but don’t forget the Arduino IDE doesn’t have debugging either). You don’t have to use the online IDE if you prefer to use a local toolchain. However, the IDE is very pleasant and has a lot of productive features.

    The mbed library (and also third party libraries, including those you create) let you sidestep complexity the same way you do with the Arduino.

    Reply
  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Go Forth on a Breadboard
    http://hackaday.com/2015/08/30/go-forth-on-a-breadboard/

    Forth isn’t a shiny new programming language, but it has a staunch following because it is lightweight and elegant. The brainchild of [Chuck Moore], the language is deceptively simple.

    [Jean-Claude Wippler] likes to experiment with physical computing and he found a Forth image ready-made for the LPC1114. Why is that interesting? The LPC1114 is one of the few (or maybe the only) modern ARM processor in a breadboard-friendly DIP package.

    Forth on a DIP
    http://jeelabs.org/2015/07/22/forth-on-a-dip/

    Reply
  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Want a low-cost ARM platform? Grab a Prepaid Android Phone!
    http://hackaday.com/2015/09/10/want-a-low-cost-arm-platform-grab-a-prepaid-android-phone/

    What would you pay for a 1.2Ghz dual-core ARM computer with 1GB RAM, 4GB onboard flash, 800×600 display, and 5 megapixel camera? Did we mention it also has WiFi, Bluetooth, and is a low power design, including a lithium battery which will run it for hours? Does $15 sound low enough? That’s what you can pay these days for an Android cell phone. The relentless march of economies of scale has finally given us cheap phones with great specs. These are prepaid “burner” phones, sold by carriers as a loss leader. Costs are recouped in the cellular plan, but that only happens if the buyer activates said plan. Unlike regular cell phones, you aren’t bound by a contract to activate the phone. That means you get all those features for $15-$20, depending on where you buy it.

    The specs I’m quoting come from the LG Optimus Exceed 2, which is currently available from Amazon in the USA for $20. The same package has been available for as little as $10 from retail stores in recent weeks.

    Once you have your phone, the first order of business is to boot it up. Many prepaid phones try to force the user to go through an activation process. There is always a back door for installers to exit the process though

    Some applications require root permissions. To achieve this, your best bet is to do a bit of Googling for your particular phone model. The XDA developers forums are a great resource for this.

    Between these low-cost phones and the used phones every family seems to have floating around now, there are a heck of a lot of devices out there waiting to be used. What can you do with a spare Android phone? Quite a lot. There has never been a better time to learn to code for the Android Platform. Android Studio is the current official development environment. If you know a bit of Java, it’s easy to jump in and start making apps. If you’re not a Java head but want to learn, there are tutorials all over the web to help get into the swing of things.

    Reply
  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARMing a Breadboard — Everyone Should Program an ARM
    http://hackaday.com/2015/10/09/arming-a-breadboard-everyone-should-program-an-arm/

    I’m always a little surprised that we don’t see more ARM-based projects. Of course, we do see some, but the volume isn’t what I’d expect given that low-level ARM chips are cheap, capable, low power, and readily available. Having a 32-bit processor with lots of memory running at 40 or 50 MIPS is a game changer compared to, say, a traditional Arduino (and, yes, the Arduino Due and Zero are ARM-based, so you can still stay with Arduino, if that’s what you want).

    A few things might inhibit an Arduino, AVR, or PIC user from making the leap. For one thing, most ARM chips use 3.3V I/O instead of the traditional 5V levels (there are exceptions, like the Kinetis E).

    The 28 Pin Solution

    One solution that addresses most, if not all, of these concerns is the LPC1114FN28 processor. Unlike most other ARM processors, this one comes in a 28 pin DIP package and works great on a breadboard. It does require 3.3V, but it is 5V tolerant on digital inputs (and, of course, a 3.3V output is usually fine for driving a 5V input). The chip will work with mbed or other ARM tools and after prototyping, you can always move to a surface mount device for production, if you like. Even if you are buying just one, you should be able to find the device for under $6.

    Reply
  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARMing a Breadboard — Everyone Should Program an ARM
    http://hackaday.com/2015/10/09/arming-a-breadboard-everyone-should-program-an-arm/

    I’m always a little surprised that we don’t see more ARM-based projects. Of course, we do see some, but the volume isn’t what I’d expect given that low-level ARM chips are cheap, capable, low power, and readily available. Having a 32-bit processor with lots of memory running at 40 or 50 MIPS is a game changer compared to, say, a traditional Arduino (and, yes, the Arduino Due and Zero are ARM-based, so you can still stay with Arduino, if that’s what you want).

    A few things might inhibit an Arduino, AVR, or PIC user from making the leap. For one thing, most ARM chips use 3.3V I/O instead of the traditional 5V levels (there are exceptions, like the Kinetis E). There was a time when the toolchain was difficult to set up, although this is largely not a problem anymore. But perhaps the largest hurdle is that most of the chips are surface mount devices.

    The 28 Pin Solution

    One solution that addresses most, if not all, of these concerns is the LPC1114FN28 processor. Unlike most other ARM processors, this one comes in a 28 pin DIP package and works great on a breadboard. It does require 3.3V, but it is 5V tolerant on digital inputs (and, of course, a 3.3V output is usually fine for driving a 5V input). The chip will work with mbed or other ARM tools and after prototyping, you can always move to a surface mount device for production, if you like. Even if you are buying just one, you should be able to find the device for under $6.

    The circuit is so simple, you almost don’t need a schematic. Here’s one anyway:

    You can use any ARM tool chain that can generate code for the LPC1114. There are plenty to choose from

    The code is simple. Just like the Arduino has a lot of helper library routines, mbed provides most of what you need to drive the devices on the CPU

    Reply
  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brother, can you lend me an ARM?
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/benchtalk/4440771/Brother–can-you-lend-me-an-ARM-?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_funfriday_20151106&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_funfriday_20151106&elq=68c70178c0b3416dbb2d5967e52c2c4f&elqCampaignId=25608&elqaid=29145&elqat=1&elqTrackId=c3aa067b3db94e68b42219303b1faf9d

    ecently stumbled upon an incredible offer: STM has an $11 devboard combining a ARM Cortex-M4 µC, two USB ports, and most exciting of all, a bucketload of MEMS sensors, namely, an accelerometer, compass/magnetometer, and gyroscope – all 3-axis!

    The Cortex-M4 is the most powerful embedded ARM family, beyond which lie the “A”-series chips, as used in smartphones, for instance, though the chip on this board is not quite top-of-the-line. It runs at up to 90MIPS, has 256kB of flash, and 48kB of RAM (parts with two or three times the performance and more memory are available). Apart from the whole kit’n’kaboodle of digital peripherals, the µC on this $11 (did I mention? It’s $11) board also has a quartet of 5MSa/s 12b ADCs and a pair of 12b 1MSa/s DACs. The CPU handles floating-point, and has DSP extensions to the instruction set. This is one powerful and integrated part. It’s worth about $5 in quantity. Isn’t Moore’s Law wonderful? (as is the fact that many companies now offer similarly powerful and low-cost boards).

    Reply
  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Brother, can you lend me an ARM?
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/benchtalk/4440771/Brother–can-you-lend-me-an-ARM-?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20151117&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20151117&elq=87be80ba777e408d965a7a3d084c2335&elqCampaignId=25754&elqaid=29323&elqat=1&elqTrackId=43a05cc51694483ca421d710a8a9fcf7

    STM has an $11 devboard combining a ARM Cortex-M4 µC, two USB ports, and most exciting of all, a bucketload of MEMS sensors, namely, an accelerometer, compass/magnetometer, and gyroscope – all 3-axis!

    STM32F3DISCOVERY
    Discovery kit with STM32F303VC MCU
    http://www.st.com/web/catalog/tools/FM116/SC959/SS1532/PF254044

    The STM32F3DISCOVERY helps you to discover the STM32 F3 series Cortex-M4 mixed-signals features and to develop your applications easily. It includes everything required for beginners and experienced users to get started quickly.

    Based on the STM32F303VCT6, it includes an ST-LINK/V2 embedded debug tool, accelerometer, gyroscope and e-compass ST MEMS, USB connection, LEDs and pushbuttons.

    The STM32F3DISCOVERY discovery board does not support STM32F313xx MCUs (1.65 V to 1.95 V power supply).

    A large number of free ready-to-run application firmware examples are available on http://www.st.com/stm32f3discovery to support quick evaluation and development.

    Reply
  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Completely free tool for ARM development

    ARM-based processors there is a legion of different development tools. Some of them are free, but in general the design size is limited in some way. Swedish Atollicin new tool package, rather than completely free.

    Atomillicin True Studio Lite is completely free to download, use and distribution. Use does not even require registration.

    Still, the tool corresponds to commercial C / C ++ – programming tools, Atollic praises. According to the company True Studio Lite was developed for the ARM development world would get rid of fragmentation. The market has a lot of the same types of tools that offer basic editing, compiler and debugging, but most of the usability is poor, because the tools are not integrated in any package.

    True Studio Lite is based on open Aclipse platform planted with commercial tools familiar wizard tools as well as extensive support for different manufacturers of ARM-controller circuits.
    Atollicilla is also a commercial package, which it sold under the name True Studio Pro.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3602:taysin-ilmainen-tyokalu-arm-kehitykseen&catid=13&Itemid=101

    Reply
  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    tinyK20, small uC board and debugger
    https://hackaday.io/project/8525-tinyk20-small-uc-board-and-debugger

    Small ARM Cortex M4 board for wearable, data logger or other projects. Board is able to program and debug other ARM Cortex devices too.

    This project is about to build a small and tiny (48mm x 19mm) development board based on a Freescale Kinetis K20 device (ARM Cortex-M4 running at 48 MHz). The microcontroller pins are on the outside to use the board with a breadboard. The board includes the option for an micro SD card, 32 kHz clock and a 3.3V DC-DC converter. The ARM Cortex can be debugged with standard development tools (Eclipse, GNU, SWD).

    Reply
  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Polyphonic FM Synthesizer uses ARM
    http://hackaday.com/2015/12/14/polyphonic-fm-synthesizer-uses-arm/

    There seems to be a direct correlation between musicians and people who can program. Even programmers who don’t play an instrument often have a profound appreciation of music and so we see quite a few musical projects pop up. [Ihsan Kehribar’s] latest project is a good example. He married an STM32F031 ARM development board, an audio codec, and a simple op amp filter to make a playable MIDI instrument. Of course, it is hard to appreciate a music project from a picture, but if you want to listen to the results, there’s always Soundcloud.

    He’d started the project using an 8-bit micro, but ran into some limitations. He switched to an STM32F031, which is a low-end ARM Cortex M0 chip.

    The project has good documentation and uses an optoisolated MIDI interface. The transfer between the ARM and the CODEC uses DMA and [Ihsan] uses an interesting trick to simulate double buffering on the ARM’s DMA channel (and a good use of the “half complete” interrupt).

    Polyphonic FM Synthesizer with STM32F031
    http://blog.kehribar.me/build/2015/12/06/polyphonic-fm-synthesizer-with-stm32f031.html

    Please note that, there is no single tone for this device. Almost every parameter is tunable on the fly.

    In the future I may build a user interaface with buttons and knobs for this device but at the moment I’m just following change software – recompile – burn path for creating different sounds. Not much effective but works at the moment. :)

    Reply

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