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Which is the most popular ARM-based microcontroller?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by Mayank Kaushik, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Ive only worked with the Atmel ARM variants, but im curious about
    knowing your views on which ARM-based microcontroller is the most
    popular..Plz enlighten me!

    Regards

    Mayank
     
    Mayank Kaushik, Mar 5, 2005
    #1
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  2. Mayank Kaushik

    larwe Guest

    It's impossible to answer this. ARM cores are used in ASICs and ASSPs
    all over the place. Modern USB flash memory drives - those little
    pocket gumstick drives - even use ARM processors, and they are made by
    the boatload. How many cellphones are there on the market? ARM is very
    popular inside cellphone ASSPs. How many MP3 players on the market? ARM
    is exceedingly popular inside MP3 player ASSPs.

    No two of these devices use the same chip.
     
    larwe, Mar 6, 2005
    #2
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  3. Okay...Lets put it this way..which ARM-based microcontroller is the
    easiest to work with, the criterea for "easy" range from the way to
    access internal components, example code availability, and the
    existance of user groups etc.

    -Mayank
     
    Mayank Kaushik, Mar 6, 2005
    #3
  4. Mayank Kaushik

    larwe Guest

    The market is too fragmented to make a sensible determination here. I'd
    probably say Philips chips have the best hobbyist visibility as
    individual chips, but that doesn't really mean anything. XScale is used
    in a lot more hobbyist projects, but not as chips; people buy modules.
     
    larwe, Mar 6, 2005
    #4
  5. Mayank Kaushik

    Leon Heller Guest

    Probably the Philips LPC2000 family. The LPC2000 Yahoo group I formed is
    very active (1300+ members) and has lots of code and hardware designs
    available. Philips themselves recommend it to customers. :cool:


    Leon
     
    Leon Heller, Mar 6, 2005
    #5
  6. Mayank Kaushik

    Tauno Voipio Guest

    Maybe Philips LPC2000 or Atmel AT91.
     
    Tauno Voipio, Mar 6, 2005
    #6
  7. I think you need to be more detailed in what you want to do..
    The AT91 peripherals are quite advanced so there is more to learn
    but that makes them easier to use if you want to solve the hard problems.

    If you want to run a serial port at very high speed,
    it is easier to work with a controller that has advanced DMA + UART
    features like the AT91 than a low end machine.without the performance
    or the H/W support but where the UART can be descibed in 2-3 pages.

    You will find plenty of examples for the AT91 peripherals
    on the www.at91.com web site, where you can download
    the AT91 CD.



    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 6, 2005
    #7
  8. Hi Mayank,

    based on the interest in the family, it is probably the LPC2000 from
    Philips (links for the Yahoo froum have already been posted.
    There are forums for the Atmel SAM7, the OKI and some others as well
    but Philips was the first to come out with a real simple ARM
    microcontroller. Atmel had big ARM devices for a long time but they
    are not as popular as the small single chip devices.
    So if you need an ARM with lots of external memory, have a look at
    Atmel, OKI, Samsung, Sharp, etc.. If you want a single chip version,
    Philips offers the best selection of small devices with 48 and 64-pins.

    An Schwob
     
    An Schwob in USA, Mar 7, 2005
    #8
  9. It would be interesting to know how You measure this.

    There are plenty of customers which are using the AT91 microprocessors,
    but most of those customers do not use newsgroups and does not use Yahoo.
    The download the AT91 CD which has plenty of examples
    or frequent other distribution lists like the arm-linux kernel list.
    Many I meet get those lists, but seldom make an entry.

    From a market point of view, single chip micros always
    have higher volume than the external bus micros, so I expect
    the volume for the SAM7 to grow nicely.

    I think it would be interesting to measure how many will switch from
    the SAM7 to the Philips and how many will switch in the other direction.

    The AT91SAM7 is just about to enter production but we have already stolen
    quite a few Philips designs.
    If you look at a matrix of part you will notice that Philips has more
    devices
    but the range of Atmel flash parts is wider.


    48 PIN PARTs
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------
    32kB AT91SAM7S32
    64 kB
    128 kB
    LPC2104/5/6

    64 PIN PARTS
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------
    32kB LPC2131*
    64kB AT91SAM7S64 LPC2132*
    128kB AT91SAM7S128 LPC2114
    256kB AT91SAM7S256 LPC2124
    512kB AT91SAM7S512* LPC2138*

    64 PIN PARTS WITH 2 X CAN
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------
    128kB LPC2119
    256kB LPC2129

    64 PIN PARTS WITH 2 X CAN
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------
    256kB LPC2194

    '*' not available yet, LPC213x is close though if I understand things
    correctly.


    100 PIN PARTS WITH 2 X CAN
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------
    256kB AT91SAM7A3


    SMALLEST PART - TQFP48 LOWEST COST
    Atmels smallest part is a 48 pin part with 32 kB Flash and 8 kB SRAM
    Philips smallest part is a 48 pin device with 32 kB part and 16 kB SRAM
    Atmel should win round for lowest cost

    SMALLEST PART - TQFP48 MOST MEMORY
    Atmel has the AT91SAM7S32 with 32 kB + 8 kB SRAM
    Philips has the 128 kB LPC210x family - This is a 128 kB with 16/32/64kB
    SRAM
    Philips wins the round.

    SMALLEST PART - TQFP48 Analog
    Atmel has the AT91SAM7S32 with ADC
    Philips 48 pin parts do not have ADC onboard
    Atmel wins the round

    LARGEST PART FLASH MEMORY
    Atmels largest part in 64 TQFP is 256 kB Flash with 64 kB SRAM
    (AT91SAM7S256)
    Atmels pincompatible AT91SAM7S512 is some time away.
    but also have BGA with 512kb/2 MB Flash and 256 kB SRAM.
    This is a dual chip package and does not have so many features though
    Philips largest announced part is LPC2138 w 512kB Flash and 16 kB
    Atmel wins the round if BGA is acceptable, otherwise Philips (when
    available)

    LARGEST PART SRAM MEMORY
    Atmels largest part in 64 TQFP is 256 kB Flash with 64 kB SRAM
    (AT91SAM7S256)
    Philips has a single part with 64 kB SRAM and this has 128 kB Flash
    The larger parts have less memory. Even the LPC2138 w 512kB Flash has 32 kB
    It is even for 32 kB/64kB Flash
    Philips wins the 128 kB Flash
    Atmel wins the 256 kB Flash

    PERFORMANCE
    Philips has an 128 but wide flash bus running at 20 MHz
    Atmel has a 32 bit wide flash bus running at 30 Mhz
    Philips has higher performance in ARM mode
    Atmel has higher performance in Thumb Mode
    If you really need the performance, the AT91RM3400 will outperform
    the LPC by executing from its 96 kB SRAM at zero waitstates. This will need
    an external SO-8 dataflash
    If you can afford the 30-40% increase in code size incurred by the ARM mode
    then Philips is your choice. If not, go for Atmel.
    If you accept external memories, the peripherals of the AT91SAM7s
    series (except the analog) is available in the AT91RM9200 at 200 MIPS.

    I/O
    Atmel has a 100 pin TQFP series single chip.
    Philips soes not have a 100 pin single chipper.

    PERIPHERALS
    Atmel peripherals are generally more advanced, coming from ARM9 chips.
    This means they can handle more complex problems



    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 7, 2005
    #9
  10. I, for one, would never use a Philips, since it has no memory protection
    scheme.

    Meindert
     
    Meindert Sprang, Mar 7, 2005
    #10
  11. Their selector guides show memory protection on newer models.

    ...and there are ARM uC devices from
    TI : MSP470 series, advanced timer support, 80/100 pins
    ADi : ADuC7xxx : Advanced Analog Modules
    STm : STR7 family

    .... and if a 30-50MHz ARM core, with 32-512K of Code, and 64KRAM is too
    wimpy for your embedded widget, you can always pop in the new TC1796
    TriCore from Infineon : 150 MHz DSP/FPU, 2MBytes/ECC FLASH, 192KB SRAM,
    Automotive Spec, - includes a 32 bit Co-processor for interrupt/DMA
    style tasks...

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Mar 7, 2005
    #11
  12. I think any of the wimpy ARM7 parts will execute *ARM* code faster than the
    Tricore.
    Read the subject line...

    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 7, 2005
    #12
  13. I suppose they just had to, to hold their market share... :)

    Meindert
     
    Meindert Sprang, Mar 7, 2005
    #13
  14. Meindert,

    seems you looked at Philips the last time 18 months ago when the very
    first LPC2104/05/06 became available (more than one year ahead of any
    other small ARM device!!).
    Point well taken, the LPC210x don't have code protection, however, the
    flash devices (>10) all do. Let's call it an oversight of the pioneers
    with the face in the dust.

    As to the availability, somebody marked the devices of the
    LPC2130-series not available that have been acknowledged in the LPC2000
    newsgroup being available for almost 3 months. LPC2138, LPC2132 and
    LPC2131. afaik the LPC2134 and LPC2136 are not released to the market
    yet but given pin compatibility with the LPC2138, everybody can start
    the design.

    Atmels SAM7 has claimed to have better peripherals, it seems there has
    been some oversight to provide enough pins to get them out. Comparing
    the 64-pin devices gives me almost 10 extra I/O pins on the Philips
    devices. There is a point though in making the JTAG pins dedicated but,
    who ever uses Philips has that option, who uses Atmel does not have the
    option to use the JTAG pins as I/O.

    Last but not least the measure about the most popular ARM devices?
    How many people (not volume) are using the device and are willing to
    share their wisdom. That is my measure. So the AVR from Atmel is very
    popular (e.g. in the newsgroups / Yahoo forums), so is the Microchip
    PIC but talking about ARM devices, my bet is on the LPC2000 family.

    Talking about high volume delivery into the market, TI delivered double
    digit million parts into ABS but are their devices very popular (yet)?
    Many high volume designers use the ARM7 (and now ARM9) for ASICs in
    hand-helds but does that make the devices popular?

    A Yahoo forum with more than 1300 members and more than 500 on topic
    messages a month, that makes a device popular.

    That is just my personal opinon.
     
    An Schwob in USA, Mar 7, 2005
    #14
  15. I indeed wasn't aware of the newer types. I'll look into these, thanks.

    Meindert
     
    Meindert Sprang, Mar 7, 2005
    #15
  16. As to the availability, somebody marked the devices of the
    My mistake, the timing was actually referring to the LPC214x.
    Realized that after sending the entry.
    The addition of the on chip voltage regulator is a key feature which cost
    some pins.
    So I wonder how the 250+ projects for the AT91 in my tiny little
    region (which normally consist of 5% of the total world market) compares to
    that.
    Very few (< 10%) use newsgroups, and only a couple use Yahoo.

    Based on experience, I know also that there are probably plenty of projects
    which
    that I dont even know about.

    If this is replicated worldwide, then there is 5000 projects.
    Does that make the AT91 popular or not?

    The fact that a newsgroup does not have so many entries does not
    neccessarily make
    the chip unpopular. It does mean that the user community is not organized.
    It could mean that the local support for the chip is good and that
    newsgroups is not needed.

    I think you mistake activity on newsgroups for popularity or you define
    popularity as activity
    on newsgroups instead of number of people actually using the chips.

    I also hear comments from distributors about which is part sells best
    and comments from tool vendors, which ARM part their customers use
    and that is positive (They could of course be lying their teeths out ;-)

    Which you are entitled to.
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 8, 2005
    #16
  17. ...... It was a side comment, and I had assumed everyone would know the
    Tricore was not binary compatible with ARM, perhaps unwisely ?.

    The point really was, that while the smaller ARM uC vendors argue
    over whose 30/50/60MHz device really is fastest in whatever mode,
    there is another stratum of single chip 32 bit embedded
    microcontrollers emerging out there.
    Will they replace ARM ? - of course not, but to someone who really
    needs _performance_, the opcodes used really do not matter to them.

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Mar 9, 2005
    #17
  18. ..... It was a side comment, and I had assumed everyone would know the
    Is that an OK from you to switch from the 8051 to the AVR then, he he! :)


    The ARM9 should cover the TriCore performance range, but is normally not
    single chip.
    The AT91SAM9261 will run at 180 MHz and has the V5 DSP instructions +
    160 kB SRAM. Can load from an SO-8 size dataflash so it is close to single
    chip.
    Should only be a couple of months to the first internal sample.



    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 9, 2005
    #18
  19. Heresy! I did say an increase in performance ;)

    Besides, who needs to change now, even Atmel has 1 clock AT89LP devices ?
    Nice part, but a nudge short of 2MBytes of on chip ECC flash.

    -jg
     
    Jim Granville, Mar 9, 2005
    #19
  20. Is that an OK from you to switch from the 8051 to the AVR then, he
    An engineering manager at a local company once said:
    "It is good that it is better, but it would be better if it was good"
    but I dont mind making you a little happy!


    --
    Best Regards,
    Ulf Samuelsson

    This message is intended to be my own personal view and it
    may or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
     
    Ulf Samuelsson, Mar 9, 2005
    #20
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