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New ARM7 development board with Atmel AT91SAM7X256

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by David Fowler, May 29, 2006.

  1. David Fowler

    David Fowler Guest

    Does anyone have information on the Make Controller Kit board? Is $150 a good price?

    According to www.uCHobby.com it has the new Atmel AT91SAM7X256 with everything except the kitchen sink; 256K Flash, 64K SRAM, JTAG, Ethernet, CAN, USB, 3 UART, 10 A/D, 4 PWM, 2 SPI, Watch Dog Timer, POR and Brownout etc...
    David Fowler, May 29, 2006
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  2. David Fowler

    Richard Guest

    See here: http://makezine.com/controller/

    The supplied software uses FreeRTOS.org :)


    *Now for ARM CORTEX M3!*
    Richard, May 29, 2006
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  3. David Fowler

    Mike Noone Guest

    Hi David - I must admit I feel pretty underwhelmed by that board. It
    appears to just have a couple MAX232s on it for RS-232, a dip-switch,
    some voltage regulators, and 8 higher current outputs. SAM7X chips in
    single quantities are less than $15 each. There is nothing else of much
    cost on that board - highest cost is probabaly the h-bridge parts.
    Markup, obviously, is huge. It also appears that little to no code was
    written by them for this board, so development time on this board was
    little to none.

    Don't get me wrong - the SAM7X is a great chip. I'm using one onboard a
    6-legged robot and it really is a fantastic chip. Very wide compiler
    support - GNU, IAR, etc. It has a rapidly growing user base as well and
    looks like it will be a very popular chip.

    But I fail to see any advantages of this board over, well, much of
    anything else. It's like the official Atmel board with almost all
    features stripped off and with some motor drivers added.

    What's more - to load code onto a SAM7X the standard solutions are JTAG
    or SAM-BA (which uses USB or serial). The Atmel AT91SAM-ICE (for JTAG
    programming) costs $140. There are other cheaper JTAG devices out there
    - but my understanding is that support of them is limited at best. For
    SAM-BA - you first need to first erase the SAM7X, which is accomplished
    by shorting the erase pin to VCC for 10 seconds. On both the official
    AT91SAM7X256-EK Atmel board as well as my SAM7X board, this is
    accomplishd with a push button. There is only one push button on their
    board - and it's attached to a GPIO. If there is some way to erase the
    chip I cannot tell, as they make no mention of it and do not post the

    I could go on but I won't. There are much better boards out there.

    Mike Noone, May 29, 2006
  4. David Fowler

    Bob Smith Guest

    You should probably be aware of the Technological Arts product line.

    Also, I just picked up a Kwikbyte board that came preloaded with Linux.
    The URL is: http://www.kwikbyte.com/KB9202_description_new.htm

    hope this helps,
    Bob Smith
    Bob Smith, May 30, 2006
  5. David Fowler

    Eric Guest

    You mean "Technologic Systems", and not "Technological Arts"...but
    these are Arm9 boards which may be overkill for applications that can
    live with an Arm7.

    Arm7 is frequently used without an RTOS, or with a small and lean RTOS
    (like FreeRTOS).

    Arm9 is used when you need more horsepower and a fatter OS (like a
    linux variant).

    I like EmbeddedArtists for cheap Arm boards. They have one based on the
    lpc2148 (arm7) that has a ton of features for a small amount of money.
    They have smaller boards for a very low price.

    I'd also look at Olimex and the boards marketed by IAR and Keil, among
    others. There's a lot of good boards using Arm devices. I'm not up on
    Arm9's, so I can't give you any advice on them.

    ST Micro just announced a new low-end Arm9 familiy that is kind of
    halfway between Arm7 and Arm9. It looks interesting, but it's very new
    and there's no dev boards out yet. They should be out within a month.

    I always start by considering if I need Ethernet or USB, or both, and
    then I filter that way. If you don't need either of these, I'd go with
    an LPC2138 or LPC2103. For USB only, I'd go with a SAM7S or LPC2148.
    For both, I'd go with a SAM7X.

    Eric, May 30, 2006
  6. David Fowler

    Roman Ziak Guest

    I looked at EmbeddedArtists and it's ok priced. But these guys seem to
    be selling their boards for the cost of parts (LPC2119):

    Roman Ziak, Jun 1, 2006
  7. David Fowler

    Chris Baird Guest

    I looked at EmbeddedArtists and it's ok priced. But these guys seem
    Warning sign: this company doesn't have an Australian Registered
    Business Number, and you'll search up reports from lots of people
    who've been ripped-off.
    Chris Baird, Jun 10, 2006
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