Forums

uC recommendation

Started by Bo August 31, 2005
Looking into uC for an small embedded project.

I need the following interfaces:

Compact Flash with DOS File system
Ethernet MAC
2 Uarts

Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill?

I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file 
system and TCP/IP capability.

So far we've looked at

ZilogEZ80 Acclaim
Intel Xscale
Atmel AT91 ARM
Maxim/Dallas DS80C400


Each of these has plus/minus but the requirement for CF/Dos FS seems to be 
the camel back breaking straw....

Open to any suggestions.... recommendations... experiences good and bad with 
these or other uC....

Thanks,

Bo



>Looking into uC for an small embedded project. > >I need the following interfaces: > >Compact Flash with DOS File system >Ethernet MAC >2 Uarts > >Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill? > >I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file >system and TCP/IP capability. > >So far we've looked at > >ZilogEZ80 Acclaim >Intel Xscale >Atmel AT91 ARM >Maxim/Dallas DS80C400
[snip] Your examples cover quite a broad range of potential candidates - especially in terms of achiveable performance. I therefore asume you are not having much experience in this field. Because of this and also asuming this is for a quick project with low quantities I recommend to take a look at the products from Rabbit Semiconductor. They offer core modules and the SDKs come along with software to do what you want (FAT filesystem TCP IP etc). The docs are really good and you will be up and running in a few minutes acutally. www.rabbitsemiconductor.com Of course all those uCs you listed could be used for the task and I don't consider any of them to be a bad candidate, but designing a board with all this periphals is a significant amount of work. The core modules therefore will save you a lot. HTH Markus
Markus,

Your assumption on experience--wrong. :) Assumption on quick turn/low 
initial quantities good. We looked at the gumstix solution as well, but 
because the potential for rather large quantities exists for the end 
product, we felt that we should be able to get the cost down to ~$50-75 per 
unit by designing our own hardware.

Seems that the problem I encounter is I can find a cheap uC that includes 
HW/SW to support either Compact Flash/DOSFs or Ethernet--but not both. Of 
course, throwing in the added complexity of an RTOS doesn't thrill me. We'd 
considered a Xilinx FPGA with uBlaze, but felt the development there would 
be too costly. Our last V2Pro design used VxWorks and was nightmarish in 
regards to Xilinx's tools. Another reason for not going SoC/FPGA.

I'm going to followup on the rabbit semiconductor recommendation as well. 
Thanks for the input....

Regards,

Bo



"Markus Zingg" <m.zingg@nct.ch> wrote in message 
news:6jmbh1tfa5hvji2l58er5sj5aan0a833jf@4ax.com...
> >Looking into uC for an small embedded project. >> >>I need the following interfaces: >> >>Compact Flash with DOS File system >>Ethernet MAC >>2 Uarts >> >>Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill? >> >>I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file >>system and TCP/IP capability. >> >>So far we've looked at >> >>ZilogEZ80 Acclaim >>Intel Xscale >>Atmel AT91 ARM >>Maxim/Dallas DS80C400 > > [snip] > > Your examples cover quite a broad range of potential candidates - > especially in terms of achiveable performance. I therefore asume you > are not having much experience in this field. Because of this and also > asuming this is for a quick project with low quantities I recommend to > take a look at the products from Rabbit Semiconductor. They offer core > modules and the SDKs come along with software to do what you want (FAT > filesystem TCP IP etc). The docs are really good and you will be up > and running in a few minutes acutally. > > www.rabbitsemiconductor.com > > Of course all those uCs you listed could be used for the task and I > don't consider any of them to be a bad candidate, but designing a > board with all this periphals is a significant amount of work. The > core modules therefore will save you a lot. > > HTH > > Markus > >
Bo wrote:
> Markus, > > Your assumption on experience--wrong. :) Assumption on quick turn/low > initial quantities good. We looked at the gumstix solution as well, but > because the potential for rather large quantities exists for the end > product, we felt that we should be able to get the cost down to ~$50-75 per > unit by designing our own hardware.
Difficult to meet this ($50) with Xcale. Possible with AT91RM9200. It has Compact Flash support. DOS FAT is just firmware. How much FLASH & RAM?
> >>Compact Flash with DOS File system
Included and with firmware
> >>Ethernet MAC
Additional chip
> >>2 Uarts
Included
> >>
Take a look at the NetBurner MOD5270
We have a CF Fat filesystem in Beta.
(We are includeing the HCC embedded file system with our modules in object form.)


Paul

www.netburner.com

> Looking into uC for an small embedded project. > > I need the following interfaces: > > Compact Flash with DOS File system > Ethernet MAC > 2 Uarts > > Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill? > > I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file > system and TCP/IP capability. > > So far we've looked at > > ZilogEZ80 Acclaim > Intel Xscale > Atmel AT91 ARM > Maxim/Dallas DS80C400 > > > Each of these has plus/minus but the requirement for CF/Dos FS seems to be > the camel back breaking straw.... > > Open to any suggestions.... recommendations... experiences good and bad
with
> these or other uC.... > > Thanks, > > Bo
A board rather than a chip, but have you considered the good old x86 based system running FreeDOS and WATTCP? Lots of COTS hardware to choose from. Take a look at JK Microsystems : http://www.jkmicro.com. Any good for you? Regards, Richard. http://www.FreeRTOS.org
pbreed@netburner.com wrote:
> Take a look at the NetBurner MOD5270 > We have a CF Fat filesystem in Beta. > (We are includeing the HCC embedded file system with our modules in object form.) >
$39 per K is a bit expensive. TQFP chips are less than $10 per K.
On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 11:07:34 -0500, "Bo" <bo@cephus.com> wrote:

>Looking into uC for an small embedded project. > >I need the following interfaces: > >Compact Flash with DOS File system >Ethernet MAC >2 Uarts > >Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill?
You might want to look at some of the JK Microsystems stuff. Not sure if they have CF, though. I've not used their products, but I've been thinking about picking up a picoFlash to play with... Regards, -=Dave -- Change is inevitable, progress is not.
"linnix" <me@linnix.info-for.us> wrote in message 
news:1125510945.658806.8250@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> > Bo wrote: >> Markus, >> >> Your assumption on experience--wrong. :) Assumption on quick turn/low >> initial quantities good. We looked at the gumstix solution as well, but >> because the potential for rather large quantities exists for the end >> product, we felt that we should be able to get the cost down to ~$50-75 >> per >> unit by designing our own hardware. > > Difficult to meet this ($50) with Xcale. Possible with AT91RM9200. It > has Compact Flash support. DOS FAT is just firmware. How much FLASH & > RAM? > >> >>Compact Flash with DOS File system > > Included and with firmware > >> >>Ethernet MAC > > Additional chip > >> >>2 Uarts > > Included > >> >>
Ideally this will be a 2 or 3 chip solution--- so, hopefully the uC will be available with enough Flash/RAM on-chip to avoid external ICs. Yes--DOS FAT is 'just firmware'--but given the grief I had proving to Xilinx earlier this year that their FAT library had a serious bug in it, I'm VERY gunshy about trying to roll my own version. An additional ethernet chip would be no big deal---BUT, there needs to be commercial/free available TCP/IP, Ethernet driver Software for the chosen uC to support it. I've also thought about AVR family...but haven't done enough digging yet to know if its feasible. Thanx, Bo
>
Looks OK, but I'm not sure of our management view of a purchased board vs. 
developing one though.... I had not considered x86. Not sure I want to 
either---that's why I got out of the PC/GUI code world.

(Kinda takes all the fun out of it, huh? :)

Seriously though, I'll run it by the project lead....

Bo

"Richard" <nospam@thanks.com> wrote in message 
news:qrmRe.99811$G8.1029@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
>> Looking into uC for an small embedded project. >> >> I need the following interfaces: >> >> Compact Flash with DOS File system >> Ethernet MAC >> 2 Uarts >> >> Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill? >> >> I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file >> system and TCP/IP capability. >> >> So far we've looked at >> >> ZilogEZ80 Acclaim >> Intel Xscale >> Atmel AT91 ARM >> Maxim/Dallas DS80C400 >> >> >> Each of these has plus/minus but the requirement for CF/Dos FS seems to >> be >> the camel back breaking straw.... >> >> Open to any suggestions.... recommendations... experiences good and bad > with >> these or other uC.... >> >> Thanks, >> >> Bo > > A board rather than a chip, but have you considered the good old x86 based > system running FreeDOS and WATTCP? Lots of COTS hardware to choose from. > > Take a look at JK Microsystems : http://www.jkmicro.com. > > Any good for you? > > Regards, > Richard. > > > http://www.FreeRTOS.org > > > >