Forums

Embedded Ethernet platforms -- your view

Started by A. Scott August 24, 2007
Dear Embedded folks,

I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development
platform and tools for a new project.  The task is essentially to embed an
Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network
traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest.  As a first phase, we would like to
get a working hardware platform for code development; later we roll our own
hardware based on the selected controller.  I have been surveying platforms
that provide Ethernet connectivity and sufficient horsepower to process
level-2 packets; the toughest part has been finding appropriate
development tools.

From what I’ve learned here and elsewhere, the Freescale ColdFire (e.g.
MCF5282) or an ARM-based device (e.g. AT91RM9200, Samsung S3C4510B) are
suitable controller choices.  At this point I am leaning towards ColdFire
based on praise of the architecture.

I have been evaluating the NetBurner MOD5282
(http://www.netburner.com/products/core_modules/mod5282.html) . While it
is a nice, compact package, it appears ill-suited for this project: the
debug interface is via the network connection, making it difficult to test
custom network drivers – a straight-ahead BDM debug interface seems more
appropriate.

The Axiom Manufacturing CML-5282 development board
(http://www.axman.com/?q=node/52) seems like a nice basic ColdFire
platform with BDM support.  Anyone have experience with this? 

I see P&E Micro has a BDM-based development suite.  It appears the tools
don’t support C++, but that is not a deal-breaker.  Any comments on
these products? 

On the ARM side, I’ve heard there are many good tool vendors.  Is there
a development/debug package that is head and shoulders above others?

Other items on the wish list include:
o  TCP/IP stack
o  Full Source code for any provided drivers, RTOS, etc
o  Full hardware schematics
o  Small development platform/module preferable

Time-to-demo is more critical than cost at this point.

With thanks for any and all feedback,
~Scott



On Aug 24, 1:30 pm, "A. Scott" <asd...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development > platform and tools for a new project. The task is essentially to embed an > Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network > traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest.
You can't beat the price/performance offering of the AVR32 for this application: http://www.atmel.com/dyn/products/tools_card.asp?tool_id=4102 You can use a BDM device with the Netburner board but you'll have to add on the cost. But I don't have a problem with debugging over Ethernet. Both the AVR32 and the Netburner come with some very good code to get you going. You won't be reinventing the wheel. Arm7 solutions that support Ethernet are less suitable for this task in my mind. Arm9 solutions are more comparible to the AVR32 and Coldfire/Netburner. But your cost and complexity points would be higher unless you can start with some good software to begin with. Eric
On Aug 24, 12:30 pm, "A. Scott" <asd...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development > platform and tools for a new project. The task is essentially to embed an > Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network > traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest. As a first phase, we would like to > get a working hardware platform for code development; later we roll our own > hardware based on the selected controller. I have been surveying platforms > that provide Ethernet connectivity and sufficient horsepower to process > level-2 packets; the toughest part has been finding appropriate > development tools.
How about one of the WRT54G type platforms (one of the alternate ones that still runs linux - the current WRT54G's are a little short on rom). Debug interface options are ethernet, serial (at the cost of a level translator board), and I believe jtag (when you've otherwise bricked it). Mabye I'm overestimating the amount of routing work you need to do and something smaller would work, but it's hard to beat the cost of development environment for the above -$30 for the hardware and nothing for the tools. Of course there could still be substantial "spending" on learning curve depending on if it does not does not mesh with your existing experience. Of course you don't need the wireless, so you can eliminate it when make your own board.
> I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development > platform and tools for a new project. The task is essentially to embed an > Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network > traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest. As a first phase, we would like to > get a working hardware platform for code development; later we roll our > own > hardware based on the selected controller. I have been surveying > platforms > that provide Ethernet connectivity and sufficient horsepower to process > level-2 packets; the toughest part has been finding appropriate > development tools. > > From what I&#2013265922;?Tve learned here and elsewhere, the Freescale ColdFire (e.g. > MCF5282) or an ARM-based device (e.g. AT91RM9200, Samsung S3C4510B) are > suitable controller choices. At this point I am leaning towards ColdFire > based on praise of the architecture. >
The ATNGW100 AVR32 Gateway is low cost H/W combined with Linux. Key features is dual Ethernet, which I believe you will need. The recently released "Buildroot for AVR32" on avrfreaks.net should allow you to get a flying start on the tools side. * gcc-4.1.0 based toolchain (C, C++) * linux 2.6.22.1 based linux kernel * uclibc based root file system with a number of router/gateway related S/W * Target optimized for ngw100 You debug using a JTAG ICE Mk II.
> Other items on the wish list include: > o TCP/IP stack / OK > o Full Source code for any provided drivers, RTOS, etc/OK > o Full hardware schematics/OK > o Small development platform/module preferable/OK > > Time-to-demo is more critical than cost at this point./OK >
-- Best Regards, Ulf Samuelsson This is intended to be my personal opinion which may, or may not be shared by my employer Atmel Nordic AB
I'm using Technologic Systems devices. They have everything what I want and with their 500MHz ARM running Linux board (128MB RAM and 
512MB fast flash, GB ethernet) I'm more than happy.
BTW, no fans needed.
http://www.embeddedarm.com/epc/ts7800-spec-h.htm

Regards,
Igor D.

"A. Scott" <asdel2@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:0KSdncake8ECiFLbnZ2dnUVZ_q6hnZ2d@giganews.com...
> Dear Embedded folks, > > I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development > platform and tools for a new project. The task is essentially to embed an > Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network > traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest. As a first phase, we would like to > get a working hardware platform for code development; later we roll our own > hardware based on the selected controller. I have been surveying platforms > that provide Ethernet connectivity and sufficient horsepower to process > level-2 packets; the toughest part has been finding appropriate > development tools. > > From what I&rsquo;ve learned here and elsewhere, the Freescale ColdFire (e.g. > MCF5282) or an ARM-based device (e.g. AT91RM9200, Samsung S3C4510B) are > suitable controller choices. At this point I am leaning towards ColdFire > based on praise of the architecture. > > I have been evaluating the NetBurner MOD5282 > (http://www.netburner.com/products/core_modules/mod5282.html) . While it > is a nice, compact package, it appears ill-suited for this project: the > debug interface is via the network connection, making it difficult to test > custom network drivers &ndash; a straight-ahead BDM debug interface seems more > appropriate. > > The Axiom Manufacturing CML-5282 development board > (http://www.axman.com/?q=node/52) seems like a nice basic ColdFire > platform with BDM support. Anyone have experience with this? > > I see P&E Micro has a BDM-based development suite. It appears the tools > don&rsquo;t support C++, but that is not a deal-breaker. Any comments on > these products? > > On the ARM side, I&rsquo;ve heard there are many good tool vendors. Is there > a development/debug package that is head and shoulders above others? > > Other items on the wish list include: > o TCP/IP stack > o Full Source code for any provided drivers, RTOS, etc > o Full hardware schematics > o Small development platform/module preferable > > Time-to-demo is more critical than cost at this point. > > With thanks for any and all feedback, > ~Scott > > >

>Dear Embedded folks, > >I am looking for guidance with selection of a hardware development >platform and tools for a new project. The task is essentially to embed an >Ethernet router in an existing system, which will consume some network >traffic (TCP/IP) and forward the rest. As a first phase, we would like to >get a working hardware platform for code development; later we roll our own >hardware based on the selected controller. I have been surveying platforms >that provide Ethernet connectivity and sufficient horsepower to process >level-2 packets; the toughest part has been finding appropriate >development tools. > >From what I&rsquo;ve learned here and elsewhere, the Freescale ColdFire (e.g. >MCF5282) or an ARM-based device (e.g. AT91RM9200, Samsung S3C4510B) are >suitable controller choices. At this point I am leaning towards ColdFire >based on praise of the architecture. > >I have been evaluating the NetBurner MOD5282 >(http://www.netburner.com/products/core_modules/mod5282.html) . While it >is a nice, compact package, it appears ill-suited for this project: the >debug interface is via the network connection, making it difficult to test >custom network drivers &ndash; a straight-ahead BDM debug interface seems more >appropriate. >
The debug interface is completly seperate from the normal packet processing flow. With simple function call you can even make the debug interface dual homed so it does not conflict at all with your normal packet processing. If you want to do low level packet processing we have provided modified versions of the debug ethernet driver that support that functionality. This allows you to step through the packet processing with the debugger. Just submit a support request. Paul CTO Netburner.