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ARM LPC22xx development tools

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by okalex, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. okalex

    okalex Guest

    Hi folks,

    Instead of using a Coldfire core (as I wrote in a previous post), I've
    decided to use the NXP (Philips) LPC2210, as it's cheap and has a
    large enough memory bus to handle the 4MB SRAM we're going to use. I
    now need to decide upon a development kit and software tools. The
    dev. board has to have Ethernet capabilities, preferably using an
    RTL8019AS, though a CS8900A would be okay, RS-232, on-board flash
    (512kB should be enough) and RAM (4MB would be nice, but not
    necessary), and all of the useful pins (memory bus, I2C, GPIO) should
    be brought out on headers to interface with the other devices in the
    system. Does anyone have any recommendations? Preferred vendors?
    Which vendors are known for best quality/support?

    In addition, I'll need to decide upon software development tools.
    Would anyone care to chime in regarding their preferred toolset, and
    their reasons for that preference?

    Thanks in advance,
    Alex Parkinson
     
    okalex, Feb 7, 2007
    #1
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  2. okalex

    rickman Guest

    I can tell you that I have tried the Keil tools from ARM and was not
    impressed. The watch window in one case would not display a
    variable. In several (many) cases a local variable would display
    wrong values when the register assignment changed in mid routine.

    I have not done enough with the IAR tools to say if they work better,
    but that is what we use at work.
     
    rickman, Feb 8, 2007
    #2
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  3. I used a Phytec phyCORE development board (equipped with an LPC2294) for
    development until my LPC2210 board was ready. It can accept up to 8MB
    SRAM and 16MB flash, though the "base" board I used has 1MB SRAM and 2MB
    flash standard. It is TINY, but brings all signals out to fine-pitch
    connectors. I got Phytec's carrier board for the phyCORE, which brings
    all the I/O out to standard connectors, and an optional breadboard that
    plugs onto the carrier board.

    Phytec will sell you the board, or package it with either Keil or IAR
    tools. Their documentation of the board is first rate.

    http://www.phytec.com/products/sbc/ARM-XScale/phyCORE-ARM7-LPC229x.html

    The 2294 is very similar to the 2210, with the primary differences being
    CAN support and on-chip flash, so it was pretty simple to port to the
    2210 when the time came.
    I use Rowley CrossWorks for ARM, along with the Rowley CrossConnect JTAG
    adapter. It is a custom IDE and debugger around the GCC compiler, and I
    have found it excellent in all respects, and Rowley support very
    responsive. It is also approximately 1/3 the cost of the IAR or Keil
    tools.

    http://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm

    --Gene
     
    Gene S. Berkowitz, Feb 8, 2007
    #3
  4. okalex

    FreeRTOS.org Guest


    IAR can sometimes struggle with register variables, and even file scope
    statics. On ARM it seems to just tells you that the variable does not
    exist, whereas on 8051 it displays an incorrect value.

    Regards,
    Richard.

    + http://www.FreeRTOS.org
    + http://www.SafeRTOS.com
    for Cortex-M3, ARM7, ARM9, HCS12, H8S, MSP430
    Microblaze, Coldfire, AVR, x86, 8051, PIC24 & dsPIC
    ..... and soon AVR32
     
    FreeRTOS.org, Feb 8, 2007
    #4


  5. Have a look at
    www.oasistech.co.in

    Thanks and regards
    Harshal shete
     
    harshal shete, Feb 8, 2007
    #5


  6. Have a look at
    www.oasistech.co.in

    Thanks and regards
    Harshal shete
     
    harshal shete, Feb 8, 2007
    #6
  7. okalex

    Tom Lucas Guest

    Seconded.
     
    Tom Lucas, Feb 8, 2007
    #7
  8. okalex

    rickman Guest

     
    rickman, Feb 8, 2007
    #8
  9. okalex

    Tom Lucas Guest

     
    Tom Lucas, Feb 8, 2007
    #9
  10. okalex

    okalex Guest

    To be worth it, it would need to save me about a week of development
    time (I'm young and just started freelancing, so I don't charge very
    much) over the life of a six-month project, as opposed to using the
    free version of the tools combined with Eclipse. In what ways could
    the Rowley development tools save me time? I imagine imagine most of
    the time is saved by having a support system available if I ever have
    any problems and by reducing the amount of time required to set the
    tools up, correct?

    It was brought to my attention that the microcontroller I use will
    need an SDRAM controller, since 4MB of SRAM is expensive (compared to
    $1 for SDRAM, at least). I've narrowed my search down to a few
    microcontrollers, and I'd love it if I could get some feedback from
    the anyone and everyone regarding the merits and pitfalls of these
    processors.

    Leading the pack, is the Sharp LH79525. This has everything we need,
    is fairly inexpensive, and seems to have a decent amount of online
    support. However, I've seen a few random postings on the internet
    stating that Sharp is discontinuing the BlueStreak line (for instance,
    http://www.revely.com/). Is the 79525 a member of the BlueStreak
    family, and, if so, is there any truth to these rumors? It seems like
    a fairly new chip, so I'd be amazed if they're end-of-lifing it
    already.

    Next up, we've got the OKI ML674001 and 675001. This chip seems
    pretty good, and the price is great, but I've read that OKI's support
    for smaller manufacturers is pretty terrible. Also, I couldn't find
    much of an online community for this chip, so I'm a bit concerned that
    I'll spend a lot of time troubleshooting problems.

    The Freescale MCF5270 would be a suitable controller, as well. The
    only real problem is that I haven't been able to find a low-cost ($300
    or less) development board for it. I know that NetBurner makes
    inexpensive boards for them, but they seem to want you to use they're
    bundled software, but you have to either use their modules which my
    employer doesn't want to do for various reasons, or purchase a site
    license, which is out of our price range. Has anyone had success
    using their development board for non-NetBurner-based projects? If
    so, what tools did you use for debugging? The NetBurner engineer I
    wrote to said that they don't have a BDM header on board.

    The Freescale MCF5208 would also work well, but I haven't been able to
    find a distributor who has the QFP version in stock. All I could find
    was a small number of BGA devices at Digikey. I don't want to go
    through with the design only to find out later that the QFP is
    unavailable. Anyone know of a source for these chips?

    Similarly, the Samsung S3C4510 would work well, but again, I haven't
    been able to find a vendor who has them in stock. I haven't even
    found a vendor who has them in their database, so I don't know how
    much they cost, if I could get a hold of them.

    The Atmel AT91RM9260 seems like a good part which fits our
    specifications. It would probably be overkill for our application,
    but at $11 a piece (in quantities of 100), that's perfectly fine.
    Like the MCF5270, however, I haven't been able to find an inexpensive
    development board. The only one I've found is the evaluation kit
    manufactured by Atmel, which costs nearly $700.

    Lastly, we've got the NXP LPC2468...sort of. As far as I can tell,
    this part is only just being released. None of the major distributors
    have them in stock, so I'm assuming that it's still sampling and
    hasn't been put into full production yet. I could develop on a
    LPC2378, but my main concern is relying on a brand-new chip. I've
    read the NXP has a reputation for their Rev. 0 silicon being extremely
    buggy (for example, the LPC2378 cannot write to it's external bus).

    Thoughts or comments on any of the above microcontrollers would be
    greatly appreciated, and will likely be handsomely rewarded in the
    afterlife, your next life, or through good karma (depending on your
    beliefs).

    Cheers,
    Alex
     
    okalex, Feb 8, 2007
    #10
  11. okalex

    rickman Guest

    I recommend that you stick with the Atmel or NXP parts.

    The AT91RM parts are fairly old. Atmel has a new AT91SAM9260 part
    which is listed as "production" and shows stock at Digikey. They also
    have the eval board for $560. I can't say why this board is so
    expensive. It may have a lot on it, I don't know.

    I don't know exactly why the NXP parts seem to be more popular with
    smaller designers, but the Atmel parts are very good. We are using
    one of the SAM7S parts here and another project is using the SAM7X.
    No real issues that made trouble for us. I expect the SAM9 will be
    pretty good as well. Check out the Yahoo group, AT91SAM might be a
    good place to ask questions.

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/AT91SAM/
     
    rickman, Feb 8, 2007
    #11
  12. okalex

    Tom Lucas Guest

    The support is absolutely first-class which is a good time-saver. It all
    depends how familiar you are with the free environments. The Rowley kit
    works straight out of the box and has lots of example projects to get
    you up and running. Give them a call and they'll happily talk you
    through the options and benefits - they are a friendly bunch.
    The 79525 certainly is BlueStreak and Sharp is discontinuing all its
    microcontrollers at the end of next month so don't design it into
    anything new. Good processor as well - it's a pity to lose it. I've just
    spent a year designing a system around an LH79524 and I expect I will
    probably go to xscale to replace it. I use Logic PD's rather excellent
    card engines in my design so the xscale one should be almost a drop in
    replacement (and it will already be supported by the Rowley tools) but
    then there is the worry of how long Marvel will keep the line alive :-(

    <snip>
    If I was going to be designing in a new ARM7 part then I would probably
    go for one of the NXP LPC microcontrollers because they have a good
    range and are likely to still be around in five years.
     
    Tom Lucas, Feb 9, 2007
    #12
  13. okalex

    ChrisQuayle Guest

    Have also been doing a survey of arm 7 devices recently, to replace a
    Dragonball device which has gone end of life. Initially started looking
    at Coldfire, but most of them seem to be bga only, which I really don't
    want to deal with at all. Also wanted an on chip lcd controller, but
    only a few of the Japanese arm devices include this and again don't want
    to buy far east because of concerns (real or imagined) over long term
    commitment to supply. At the mo, it's narrowed down to Philips / NXP,
    Atmel or ST microelectronics, with an Epson off chip lcd controller. Of
    the 3, ST have the most on chip flash and ram and seem to have the best
    support, including complete device driver libraries (even usb) which are
    free to download. For hardware, Embest http://www.embedinfo.com, have
    the widest range and look like the best value in terms of evaluation
    boards and ide based gnu toolkit.

    What I would like to find out is how the performance of the arm 7
    devices, eg: lpc2210 compare to Dragonball VZ328 in terms of throughput.
    Are they much more powerfull, about the same or what ?. Can find no
    figures on the web for arm, in old fashioned mips style ratings...

    Chris
     
    ChrisQuayle, Feb 9, 2007
    #13
  14. okalex

    rickman Guest

    I don't remember much about the Dragonball, but I seem to recall that
    it was several different processors. Some of them were ARM7 devices.
    If so, the clock speed would give you a good idea of the CPU speed not
    including memory speed. I think this is a part that uses external
    DRAM and Flash, no?

    The LPC22xx parts are all ARM7 as are the SAM7 parts. I am not so
    familiar with the ST parts, but I think the STR7 parts are all ARM7 as
    well. So the clock speed combined with the wait states for memory
    should be a good indicator of relative performance.

    There is a collection of info on many ARM7 parts at www.gnuarm.com.
    Go to the Resources page and scroll down to ARM Device Comparison
    Chart. I need to fix a few errors/typos, but it is pretty complete at
    the moment. I need to add some of the newer LPC and SAM parts as
    well.
     
    rickman, Feb 9, 2007
    #14
  15. okalex

    okalex Guest

    Thanks for the advice. The only NXP devices that fit our requirements
    (must have I2C and SDRAM controller, Ethernet MAC is a bonus) are the
    LPC8880 and LPC2468. However, the LPC8880 is BGA-only, which we'd
    like to avoid, and the LPC2468 doesn't seem to be in full production
    yet and if it is, I'm hesitant to use a brand-new chip considering
    NXP's record for releasing buggy devices.

    That leaves us with Atmel, and the AT91SAM9260 is the closest fit for
    this project. I think we may be able to deal with the expensive
    development kit. Will we need to buy a JTAG debugger as well, or does
    the AT91SAM9260-EK come with an on-board debugger?

    Alex
     
    okalex, Feb 9, 2007
    #15
  16. okalex

    rickman Guest

    I don't know. The AT91SAM7 kits I have seen use a separate debugger
    device, but that is about $100 IIRC.
     
    rickman, Feb 9, 2007
    #16
  17. okalex

    ChrisQuayle Guest

    I was using the 68vz328, which is a 68k derivative, but there's no real
    alternative from Freescale and am quite annoyed that they end of life'd
    the whole 68k Dragonvball series in such a short space of time.
    Suddenly, the whole range is no longer manufactured and guess this is
    the result of the sale of the semi division.There is a Coldfire device
    with an on chip lcd controller, but it's in a tiny 256 ball bga and is
    also very expensive compared to the Dragonball. Arm is low cost, seems
    to be ubiquitous and heavily second sourced, so I guess it will be the
    way to go for the future.
    Unfortunately, it's not that easy. Clock speed isn't really a good
    indicator, because it depends on architecture, instruction format,
    cycles per instruction, instruction mix for the application etc. Looked
    at the embedded benchmark org website, but there's not much there on arm
    at all. Overall, the rule for arm7 seems to be mips = 0.9 x clock speed,
    which would suggest far more throughput, but it's such a different
    architecture, it's hard to get a fix on actual performance. The only
    real way will be to get an eval kit and run some code on it.
    A really good site, thanks. The lpc parts in particular seem very
    capable and low cost. Can also recommend the Keil Arm arch primer, to
    help get up to speed. Very usefull summary.

    Would like to use Solaris on Sparc for development, but memories of fun
    and games building 68k cross gcc etc to run under another unix variant
    suggests that it may not be straightforward. All part of the rich
    tapestry however...

    Chris
     
    ChrisQuayle, Feb 9, 2007
    #17
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