Forums

Best dev kits for ARM Cortex?

Started by mhjerde March 20, 2010
Hi

I've started porting a project from an 8 bit AVR to an ARM Cortex M3 MCU.
I'm reasonably comfy with AVR, but I'm new to ARM Cortex.

I found an NXP part that looked great, price and feature wise. I purchased
an inexpensive LPCXpresso dev kit. However, the drivers and example code is
simply awful. Buggy and poorly written, so development is more like reverse
engineering than making actual progress. I should be coding the "business
logic" by now, but I'm still fiddling with setup. There is nothing
"xpresso" about developing on this kit. Maybe it refers to the amount of
coffee you have to drink, I'm putting in a lot of long nights here.

I can find suitable parts for this project from Luminary/TI, ST, NXP or
Atmel so I'm not locked into any vendor in particular.

I was hoping someone could offer an advice on which manufacturer provide
the best dev kits? With well documented, well commented example code and
drivers? Cost is not an issue (within reason).

	   
					
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Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
On 20/03/2010 14:37, mhjerde wrote:
> Hi >=20 > I've started porting a project from an 8 bit AVR to an ARM Cortex M3 MC=
U.
> I'm reasonably comfy with AVR, but I'm new to ARM Cortex. >=20 > I found an NXP part that looked great, price and feature wise. I purcha=
sed
> an inexpensive LPCXpresso dev kit. However, the drivers and example cod=
e is
> simply awful. Buggy and poorly written, so development is more like rev=
erse
> engineering than making actual progress. I should be coding the "busine=
ss
> logic" by now, but I'm still fiddling with setup. There is nothing > "xpresso" about developing on this kit. Maybe it refers to the amount o=
f
> coffee you have to drink, I'm putting in a lot of long nights here. >=20 > I can find suitable parts for this project from Luminary/TI, ST, NXP or=
> Atmel so I'm not locked into any vendor in particular. >=20 > I was hoping someone could offer an advice on which manufacturer provid=
e
> the best dev kits? With well documented, well commented example code an=
d
> drivers? Cost is not an issue (within reason).
How about you start by saying what you want to get from the kit? It would be no good somebody recommending a kit for a USB part, if you were interested in Ethernet. --=20 Regards, Richard. + http://www.FreeRTOS.org Designed for Microcontrollers. More than 7000 downloads per month. + http://www.SafeRTOS.com Certified by T=DCV as meeting the requirements for safety related systems= =2E
On 20/03/2010 14:37, mhjerde wrote:
> Hi >=20 > I've started porting a project from an 8 bit AVR to an ARM Cortex M3 MC=
U.
> I'm reasonably comfy with AVR, but I'm new to ARM Cortex. >=20 > I found an NXP part that looked great, price and feature wise. I purcha=
sed
> an inexpensive LPCXpresso dev kit. However, the drivers and example cod=
e is
> simply awful. Buggy and poorly written, so development is more like rev=
erse
> engineering than making actual progress. I should be coding the "busine=
ss
> logic" by now, but I'm still fiddling with setup. There is nothing > "xpresso" about developing on this kit. Maybe it refers to the amount o=
f
> coffee you have to drink, I'm putting in a lot of long nights here. >=20 > I can find suitable parts for this project from Luminary/TI, ST, NXP or=
> Atmel so I'm not locked into any vendor in particular. >=20 > I was hoping someone could offer an advice on which manufacturer provid=
e
> the best dev kits? With well documented, well commented example code an=
d
> drivers? Cost is not an issue (within reason).
How about you start by saying what you want to get from the kit? It would be no good somebody recommending a kit for a USB part, if you were interested in Ethernet. --=20 Regards, Richard. + http://www.FreeRTOS.org Designed for Microcontrollers. More than 7000 downloads per month. + http://www.SafeRTOS.com Certified by T=DCV as meeting the requirements for safety related systems= =2E
I was thinking more in terms of how manufacturers compare in quality of
example code and drivers, in general.

As long as the prices for the parts are similar, it makes sense to use the
manufacturer that provides the best docs and tools. I've looked at Luminary
(StellarisWare) and it certainly looks a lot better that what NXP
provides.

This particular project isn't particularly complex, but it exercises a
number of peripherals; it has a TFT LCD display, a bunch of HMI controls,
i2C connected sensors, an ADC input, 4 channel PWM machinery and a USB port
for firmware updates.	   
					
---------------------------------------		
Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
On Sat, 20 Mar 2010 09:37:25 -0500, "mhjerde"
<mhjerde@n_o_s_p_a_m.gmail.com> wrote:

>I was hoping someone could offer an advice on which manufacturer provide >the best dev kits? With well documented, well commented example code and >drivers? Cost is not an issue (within reason).
I've done Cortex-M3 bring up on STM32, NXP LPC17xx, and Luminary/TI LM3S9B92. We've also done a ton of ARM7s and other CPUs. With dev kits, you get what you pay for. In general we always find the Keil kits to be good. If you are going to do a lot of development, the key issue is the tool chain. If you must use C, Rowley are good especially on tech support. If you use the NXP parts, you can use the serial boot loader with FlashMagic and will not need a JTAG unit. For others, you'll need a JTAG unit. Beware some of the cheap ones, they have truly dreadful USB drivers. If you want to use a debugger, you will *need* a JTAG unit. Stephen -- Stephen Pelc, stephenXXX@mpeforth.com MicroProcessor Engineering Ltd - More Real, Less Time 133 Hill Lane, Southampton SO15 5AF, England tel: +44 (0)23 8063 1441, fax: +44 (0)23 8033 9691 web: http://www.mpeforth.com - free VFX Forth downloads
On Mar 20, 7:57=A0am, "mhjerde" <mhjerde@n_o_s_p_a_m.gmail.com> wrote:
> I was thinking more in terms of how manufacturers compare in quality of > example code and drivers, in general. > > As long as the prices for the parts are similar, it makes sense to use th=
e
> manufacturer that provides the best docs and tools. I've looked at Lumina=
ry
> (StellarisWare) and it certainly looks a lot better that what NXP > provides.
I have done the Luminary. It is still not perfect. Unless you paid for professional tool chains (>$1000), you still need lots of work.
> > This particular project isn't particularly complex, but it exercises a > number of peripherals; it has a TFT LCD display, a bunch of HMI controls, > i2C connected sensors, an ADC input, 4 channel PWM machinery and a USB po=
rt
> for firmware updates. =A0 =A0 =A0
I always fall back to AVR if it can handle it, and seems like it could in your case. Despite the problem discussed in another thread, WinAVR is still the best.
> > --------------------------------------- =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 > Posted throughhttp://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm looking into STM32 and Stellaris as these seems to be supported with
much higher quality drivers and example code.




>On Mar 20, 7:57=A0am, "mhjerde" <mhjerde@n_o_s_p_a_m.gmail.com> wrote: >> I was thinking more in terms of how manufacturers compare in quality of >> example code and drivers, in general. >> >> As long as the prices for the parts are similar, it makes sense to use
th=
>e >> manufacturer that provides the best docs and tools. I've looked at
Lumina=
>ry >> (StellarisWare) and it certainly looks a lot better that what NXP >> provides. > >I have done the Luminary. It is still not perfect. Unless you paid >for professional tool chains (>$1000), you still need lots of work. > >> >> This particular project isn't particularly complex, but it exercises a >> number of peripherals; it has a TFT LCD display, a bunch of HMI
controls,
>> i2C connected sensors, an ADC input, 4 channel PWM machinery and a USB
po=
>rt >> for firmware updates. =A0 =A0 =A0 > >I always fall back to AVR if it can handle it, and seems like it could >in your case. Despite the problem discussed in another thread, WinAVR >is still the best. > >> >> --------------------------------------- =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 >> Posted throughhttp://www.EmbeddedRelated.com > >
--------------------------------------- Posted through http://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
On Mar 20, 10:37=A0am, "mhjerde" <mhjerde@n_o_s_p_a_m.gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi > > I've started porting a project from an 8 bit AVR to an ARM Cortex M3 MCU. > I'm reasonably comfy with AVR, but I'm new to ARM Cortex. > > I found an NXP part that looked great, price and feature wise. I purchase=
d
> an inexpensive LPCXpresso dev kit. However, the drivers and example code =
is
> simply awful. Buggy and poorly written, so development is more like rever=
se
> engineering than making actual progress. I should be coding the "business > logic" by now, but I'm still fiddling with setup. There is nothing > "xpresso" about developing on this kit. Maybe it refers to the amount of > coffee you have to drink, I'm putting in a lot of long nights here. > > I can find suitable parts for this project from Luminary/TI, ST, NXP or > Atmel so I'm not locked into any vendor in particular. > > I was hoping someone could offer an advice on which manufacturer provide > the best dev kits? With well documented, well commented example code and > drivers? Cost is not an issue (within reason). > > --------------------------------------- =A0 =A0 =A0 =A0 > Posted throughhttp://www.EmbeddedRelated.com
Have you considered PIC32 (though it is MIPS, not ARM) ? Decent dev kits and tools from Microchip... Hope that helps, Best Regards, Dave