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Cheapest 8-bit eval board with Ethernet?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by larwe, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. larwe

    larwe Guest

    I need to put together one to a few quick prototypes of an
    Ethernet-connected system, and the customer is concerned to minimize
    the materials cost of his prototype(s). The requirement is for enough
    flash and RAM to run a TCP/IP stack and download a small HTML file via
    http. Board must have both a serial port and a Centronics port to
    connect to one of two different printers, but I can hack both of those
    on with external hardware of course.

    The cheapest retailed EVB I can see is Olimex's MSP430F149 board with
    10bT Ethernet at $69.95. This price is acceptable (though RAM is a bit
    tight - I will have to add external SPI EEPROM to store the downloaded
    file), but I'd like to hear alternatives if they exist.

    Particularly something with more RAM (8K would be nice). MSP430, ARM or
    AVR preferably. What I really want is a stripped down version of one of
    Olimex's ST or Philips-based ARM boards. I _JUST_ want the Ethernet and
    the micro, nothing else :)
     
    larwe, Sep 11, 2006
    #1
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  2. larwe

    larwe Guest

    Oops, please ignore the subject line. I started thinking one thing then
    started typing another :)
     
    larwe, Sep 11, 2006
    #2
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  3. Would one of the low-end Rabbits (e.g. RCM2200) not do? Seems to meet all
    your requirements in terms of Ethernet and TCP/IP, I/O, serial port, RAM
    (battery-backed), and cost.

    http://www.rabbitsemiconductor.com/products/rcm2200/

    Steve
    http://www.fivetrees.com
     
    Steve at fivetrees, Sep 11, 2006
    #3
  4. larwe

    larwe Guest

    Hmm. I'll take a look at it, but I suspect this would be a bad choice -
    I'd never go to production with Rabbit, and their baroque development
    environment would mean an irritating porting effort to the real
    hardware.
     
    larwe, Sep 11, 2006
    #4
  5. larwe

    Alf Katz Guest

    Fred Eady's got a bunch of embedded ethernet modules at http://www.edtp.com/

    Cheers,
    Alf
     
    Alf Katz, Sep 11, 2006
    #5
  6. larwe

    Tim Wescott Guest

    If you're charging for the time it takes you to find the board, the
    cheapest one is the first good one you find.

    If you're not charging to find one (why?), but are charging for the time
    it takes you to make it work, the cheapest one is the one with the most
    generous set of resources and demonstration software.

    Unless you're talking a "prototype" run of 500 or so.

    But you knew that, so I assume the directive is coming from your client...

    --

    Tim Wescott
    Wescott Design Services
    http://www.wescottdesign.com

    Posting from Google? See http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/

    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" came out in April.
    See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
     
    Tim Wescott, Sep 11, 2006
    #6
  7. Production != "a few quick prototypes" ;).
    It's not really that bad. I've just done a small production run with the
    2200; I managed to find a way of organising my files such that they were
    pretty close to ANSI C. (I needed to be able to port the whole thing on to a
    different platform later too.) I found some aspects irritating, sure, but I
    confess I've developed a grudging respect for both the hardware and the
    software environment.

    Steve
    http://www.fivetrees.com
     
    Steve at fivetrees, Sep 11, 2006
    #7
  8. Jouko Holopainen, Sep 11, 2006
    #8
  9. larwe

    Eric Guest

  10. larwe

    Tim Wescott Guest

    "The evaluation kit does not support application development, but does
    permit a user to demonstrate several preconfigured applications..."

    --

    Tim Wescott
    Wescott Design Services
    http://www.wescottdesign.com

    Posting from Google? See http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/

    "Applied Control Theory for Embedded Systems" came out in April.
    See details at http://www.wescottdesign.com/actfes/actfes.html
     
    Tim Wescott, Sep 11, 2006
    #10
  11. larwe

    TheDoc Guest

    Good choice, but remove the 149 device and replace with the 1611 .. 10KB RAM
    and DMA
     
    TheDoc, Sep 11, 2006
    #11
  12. Sandeep Dutta, Sep 12, 2006
    #12
  13. larwe

    Bugman Guest

    larwe a écrit :
    Have a look at this:
    http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps...entCode=MC9S12NE64&nodeId=0162468636K1007596#
     
    Bugman, Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. larwe

    David Brown Guest

    If you are looking at Freescale, you'd be much better off with the
    MCF5223x family now rather than the MC9S12NE64. You get a much more
    powerful 32-bit ColdFire cpu, with more memory and better development
    tools, for a similar price and with the same convenience of having the
    MAC and PHY built into the device. From the Freescale website, I could
    only see fairly large and expensive development cards - a minimal board
    with the device should be no more than about a square inch area.

    http://www.freescale.com/webapp/sps...ntCode=MCF52230&nodeId=0162468rH3YTLC00M98090
     
    David Brown, Sep 12, 2006
    #14
  15. larwe

    Bugman Guest

    Yes, but the 9s12ne64 demo board cost is 75$, and 52330 eval board cost
    is 300$.
     
    Bugman, Sep 12, 2006
    #15
  16. larwe

    David Brown Guest

    Exactly - the Coldfire device is a much better choice of chip, but the
    Freescale cheap demo board is not available yet. There might well be
    other boards available with these devices, however - I've only looked at
    the Freescale page.

    I guess it also depends on how much the customer is determined to use
    the lowest price demo cards regardless of the devices on the card, and
    how much they want to use a card with a device that would be realistic
    for production systems.
     
    David Brown, Sep 12, 2006
    #16
  17. larwe

    Eric Guest

    That's odd!

    Try this one. The only problem here is that they're not in stock. These
    use a powerful Arm chip and it costs $70.

    http://www.embeddedartists.com/products/boards/lpc2138_eth.php


    Or, you can use a real nice dev board with a color LCD for only $116
    (using a very sweet Atmel Arm chip that can also do USB):

    http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam7-ex256.html

    I knew of a place that had a smaller board based on the SAM7X, but I
    can't remember which company that was.
     
    Eric, Sep 12, 2006
    #17
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