1. This forum section is a read-only archive which contains old newsgroup posts. If you wish to post a query, please do so in one of our main forum sections (here). This way you will get a faster, better response from the members on Motherboard Point.

Suggestions for ARM Single-Board Computer

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Tim Wescott, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    I'm doing a little demo application for an upcoming control systems
    class, and I need a processor board to go with it. Unfortunately
    there's a gazzilion different vendors out there, and I'm rather
    overwhelmed by choices.

    So if any of you have gone through this exercise in the recent past,
    could you share your results? I'm willing to entertain both chip
    manufacturer's eval boards and 3rd-party single board computers.

    I'd like to use either a TMS430 part (because it seems to be
    up-and-coming), or some ARM-based part (because if I'm going to learn
    one new processor it should be ARM). I think TI has me covered with
    TMS430 boards, should I go that route.

    For an ARM board, I'm looking at something that has:

    1. A serial port for talking to a host
    2. At least one analog input for reading feedback. This (these)
    would preferably be at least 10 bit sampling ADCs who's sampling
    can be controlled by a hardware timer.
    3. At least one PWM output for drive.
    4. Some provisions for debugging; an eval board with built in JTAG
    would be the bees knees, but a second serial port that could be
    used with GDB would be acceptable.

    Comments & suggestions are welcome.

    --

    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 7, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Tim Wescott

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Tim,

    The EZ430 from TI should fit the bill. USB programmable from a laptop
    which is nice when you hold classes on the road. The target is the
    430F2013, not automotive but has 16bit ADC (slow, don't expect much
    above kHz signal frequency unless you drop the averaging rate and thus
    ENOB), 16-bit timer, port can be set up for various standards. USB path
    is used for programming and also for ICE-like debug (spy-by-wire or in
    short "SBW").

    You'd have to probably mount a header and provide a little extra board,
    or get a 430F1023 (comes in DIP!), solder it in place and wire the USB
    pod to its SBW lines. That way you'll have space for connectors,
    potmeters, lamps and whatever else is needed for class. Best of all:
    This kit is only $20 a pop so you could even consider giving it to
    paying attendants.
     
    Joerg, Sep 7, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Tim Wescott

    Joerg Guest

  4. Tim Wescott

    John Perry Guest

    Uh, Joerg, the 430 isn't an ARM. You're thinking of the 470. Googling
    TMS470 shows ~60K hits, of which the first page is about half evaluation
    boards.

    John Perry
     
    John Perry, Sep 8, 2006
    #4
  5. If you want Control teaching, and like 'up and coming' and are looking
    for a PCB candidate, then the new Zilog ZNEO appeals to me for
    class-room use : 16 x 32 bit registers, with a socketable package!

    This has Debug, and FREE tools, Compiler and Simulator included, so
    every student can grab those. It has PWM drive for motor control, with
    some smarter features like proper PWM current trip, and a timestamped ADC.

    The EVAL PCBs have expended memory Busses, for large systems,
    Flash+Sram, and they also have IrDA & LIN suport, & Precision OnChip
    Oscillator.

    The peripheral's are similar to the more mature Zilog Motor Control
    family.

    For $99 you get the USB debug link, Eval PCB and all the SW.

    Might still be a bit new, but you did mention "up-and-comming" :)

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Sep 8, 2006
    #5
  6. Tim Wescott

    Joerg Guest

    Hello John,
    Correct. I got confused since Tim wrote "I'd like to use either a TMS430
    part (because it seems to be up-and-coming), or some ARM-based part
    ....". Guess he meant the the 470.
     
    Joerg, Sep 8, 2006
    #6
  7. Hi Tim,

    something to low cost ARM boards:
    http://www.embeddedartists.com/
    http://www.olimex.com/dev/index.html

    As a package deal with integrated JTAG debugger, 32k Compiler from IAR
    http://www.lpctools.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=99&HS=1

    Or from Rowley, full featured compiler but restricted to the board
    (dongle function)
    http://www.rowley.co.uk/crossfire/crossfire_lpc2138.htm
    Also has integrated USB to JTAG

    There are more but that should do for beginners.

    An Schwob
     
    An Schwob in the USA, Sep 9, 2006
    #7
  8. Tim Wescott

    John Perry Guest

    Yeah. Well, I read too fast, and missed his statement about the 430.
    Sorry, I should have left it alone, really. You weren't all that wrong.

    jp
     
    John Perry, Sep 9, 2006
    #8
  9. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    My problem is that there are so many to choose from, and not much
    information about which will actually do what I need.

    Hence the desire to hear from someone with recent experience.

    --

    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 9, 2006
    #9
  10. Tim Wescott

    Tim Wescott Guest

    I came of age as an engineer in the late '80s, when Zilog was making it
    clear that they were only interested in Big Customers, thank you very
    much. Since I was, and still do, work on stuff for smaller companies I
    let Zilog slide right off my radar screen.

    I suppose I need to get un-pissed at them...

    --

    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 9, 2006
    #10
  11. On Fri, 08 Sep 2006 17:39:25 -0700, in comp.arch.embedded Tim Wescott



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

    pointless, no cartoons ,2 mny vwls:-(


    martin
     
    martin griffith, Sep 9, 2006
    #11
  12. Tim Wescott

    Richard Guest

    Tim, I am biased of course, but we just released a USB enabled LPC-2103
    based board. In the minimum state, you plug it in your USB port and go!
    You can use the serial bootloader from Philips/NXP, and you can use our
    fully functional demo C compiler for 45 days. The board is $89 and has
    been listed on the eeproductcenter.com as one of the Products of the
    Day. More info at our website.
    // richard
     
    Richard, Sep 9, 2006
    #12
  13. Hi Tim,

    I am a student with no money haha and desperately wanted to try my hand
    at ARM programming/interfacing so I did buy a board that is quite
    inexpenisve and is based on the AT91SAM7S256. I think it has everything
    you need.
    http://www.olimex.com/dev/sam7-p256.html

    I've been playing with the board and it is quite fast (built in PLL and
    32.768kHz RC OSC).

    1. The board has 2 UARTS including a debug UART ( all can be accessed
    through connectors through the use of jumpers).
    2. The ADC module on this chip is user selectable to 8 or 10-bit sample
    resolution and can be triggered by external pulse or internal timer.
    This ADC uses SA.
    3. The chip has numerous PWM channels.
    4. Built in JTAG (of course the debug UART I believe has to be used by
    your software).

    Best of all with the UARTS and ADC you can use the DMA unit of the chip
    so you can use the ARM to do whatever you need to do while the transfer
    is in progress.

    It cost me $82 CDN which is like maybe $5 US ;) so it probably won't
    hurt you too much. Comes with 256KB of Flash memory and 64KB of RAM.
    Hope this helps.

    -Isaac
     
    Isaac Bosompem, Sep 12, 2006
    #13
  14. I second this suggestion because I recently just made much the same
    choice (I started with the sam7-h64 barebones board). I wanted a robot
    controller - this gets me SPI, TWI, 4 PWM channels + 3 pairs of other
    timer channels, plus a bunch of other GPIO pins.

    Buy the JTAG adapter at the same time so you can develop and debug with
    the IAR free compiler (it is limited to something like 32k of code, so
    it fits better with the -h64 chip's capabilities). There's also a
    Eclipse/GCC/OCD combination, but I'm enough of a microcontroller newbie
    that I'll wait for a while to get to installing it.

    The Atmel AT91 ARM 7 256/128/64/321) chips are pin-compatible, so you
    can do a design and choose the flash/ram level you want. Olimex seems to
    have done that same thing.

    There are a couple of retailers for the Olimex boards in the US;
    sparkfun has worked well for me on all 3 of my orders to date.

    Pete
     
    Pete Bergstrom, Sep 14, 2006
    #14
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.