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32-Bit Microcontroller for New Project

Started by Unknown September 8, 2008
I'm about to embark on a new project that will require a 32-bit
microcontroller. I've spent the last month evaluating the merits of
the various choices architecturely, and have a pretty good idea of
what's out there. It's come down to development environments, and I'd
like to get some first-hand reports from people on this group.

The three choices on my short-list are:

Pic32 and MPLAB

AVR32 and AVR32 Studio

ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM

If anyone has any opinions on the relative merits of these three
development environments (and the JTAG hardware that goes with them),
I'd appreciate it.

On Sep 8, 12:35=A0am, soda...@gmail.com wrote:

> what's out there. It's come down to development environments, and I'd
I find this really hard to believe, but okay, fine:
> Pic32 and MPLAB
Optimization not available in the freeware compiler (nobody really understands how they get away with this one on GPL grounds). MPLAB is a fairly primitive IDE originally designed for working on 8-bit assembly language files of a few hundred lines, but it works.
> AVR32 and AVR32 Studio
AVR32 Studio is Eclipse, which is full-featured but for my money very slow. The JTAG hardware is JTAG-ICE mk.II which is a rather finicky beast, at least when it's talking to other AVR parts; I haven't used it talking to an AVR32. When it works, it works fine, but it can get into a mood where disconnects, power-cycling target and emulator, and maybe even a reboot become necessary. In my benchmarking, the AVR32 compiler scored poorly on code density even with maximum optimization options turned on.
> ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM
There is no specific JTAG hardware that goes with this combination so it's not possible to make a truly generic comment, but I use the CrossConnect Lite and it is trouble-free for me. CrossStudio+ARM would be my choice out of the three. Of course it gives you by far the widest choice of actual chips to work with, since the other two are proprietary, vendor-specific DKs (yes, I know PIC32 is MIPS, but MPLAB and Microchip C32 are decidedly NOT generic MIPS development tools, and AVR32 is of course totally proprietary).
>I'm about to embark on a new project that will require a 32-bit >microcontroller. I've spent the last month evaluating the merits of >the various choices architecturely, and have a pretty good idea of >what's out there. It's come down to development environments, and I'd >like to get some first-hand reports from people on this group.
You should also consider the SH2A and SH4A from Renesas. The SH has been around as long as the MIPS and ARM cores, and features super-scalar execution for fast operations with slower clock rates. You didn't say what the application was, but these chips excel at motor control, multimedia, and networking. The best part is the tools. The SH MCU/MPU chips use the HEW environment which runs under windows and comes with either GNU or Renesas Compiler (256k binary code size limit for the free version.) Look at the family roadmap diagram on the main web-page and pick a chip (like the 7263 series). There's also a link to on-line training tools. http://america.renesas.com/SuperH You can download the full development suite here and try it out. http://america.renesas.com/evaluation_software --CG
On Sep 8, 1:27=A0am, larwe <zwsdot...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I find this really hard to believe, but okay, fine:
Why is that so hard to believe? All of these microcontrollers are more similar than different. They all come with 256-512K of Flash, 32-64K of RAM, all have I2C, SPI, ADC, GPIO, timers, and other peripherals in very similar configurations. The base architectures are different, sure, but since I'll be writing all of my code in C, that really doesn't matter. Working with reasonable tools is far more important to me than whether the core is MIPS or ARM.
> > ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM
Does CrossStudio have the capability to display processor peripheral registers, such as the timer control registers, like the other IDEs do?
On 8 Sep, 18:27, soda...@gmail.com wrote:
> On Sep 8, 1:27=A0am, larwe <zwsdot...@gmail.com> wrote: > > > I find this really hard to believe, but okay, fine: > > Why is that so hard to believe? All of these microcontrollers are more > similar than different. They all come with 256-512K of Flash, 32-64K > of RAM, all have I2C, SPI, ADC, GPIO, timers, and other peripherals in > very similar configurations. The base architectures are different, > sure, but since I'll be writing all of my code in C, that really > doesn't matter. Working with reasonable tools is far more important to > me than whether the core is MIPS or ARM. > > > > ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM > > Does CrossStudio have the capability to display processor peripheral > registers, such as the timer control registers, like the other IDEs do?
Yes. It's a very good IDE. Leon
On Sep 8, 4:27 am, larwe <zwsdot...@gmail.com> wrote:

> > ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM > > There is no specific JTAG hardware that goes with this combination so > it's not possible to make a truly generic comment, but I use the > CrossConnect Lite and it is trouble-free for me. CrossStudio+ARM would > be my choice out of the three. Of course it gives you by far the > widest choice of actual chips to work with, since the other two are > proprietary, vendor-specific DKs (yes, I know PIC32 is MIPS, but MPLAB > and Microchip C32 are decidedly NOT generic MIPS development tools, > and AVR32 is of course totally proprietary).
I would consider them vendor-specific, but I don't think you can consider gcc (especially with sources for the full version, as in avr32) proprietary.
larwe writes about the MPLAB C compiler for PIC32:
> Optimization not available in the freeware compiler (nobody really > understands how they get away with this one on GPL grounds).
I guess I'm "nobody", since I understand it without difficulty. Nothing in the GPL precludes defeaturing GPL'd software, provided that you meet the GPL terms. They get away with it because they are fully in compliance with the GPL, which merely requires that if they distribute a binary built from modified sources, they have to provide the source code. They do provide the source code; it's on their web site and there's even a link from the compiler product page. Anyone can download that source code, "fix" the problem, and have a compiler with full optimization. They could even distribute binaries or sources of that "fixed" compiler, provided that they meet the GPL requirements. The "fix" is very simple. Build it with a -DSKIP_LICENSE_MANAGER option on the command line. Eric
eric writes about the MPLAB C compiler for PIC32:

> Anyone can download that source code, "fix" the problem, and have a > compiler with full optimization. They could even distribute binaries > or sources of that "fixed" compiler, provided that they meet the GPL > requirements. > > The "fix" is very simple. Build it with a -DSKIP_LICENSE_MANAGER option > on the command line.
That's almost as good as "Linux Genuine Advantage" - a GPL-licensed package (source code link prominent on website) that you can install that after a while won't let you log in anymore unless you buy a license. Freedom after all also means freedom to configure your computer to be _less_ functional.
Eric Smith wrote:
> larwe writes about the MPLAB C compiler for PIC32: > >> Optimization not available in the freeware compiler (nobody really >> understands how they get away with this one on GPL grounds). > > I guess I'm "nobody", since I understand it without difficulty. > Nothing in the GPL precludes defeaturing GPL'd software, provided > that you meet the GPL terms. > > They get away with it because they are fully in compliance with > the GPL, which merely requires that if they distribute a binary > built from modified sources, they have to provide the source > code. They do provide the source code; it's on their web site > and there's even a link from the compiler product page. > > Anyone can download that source code, "fix" the problem, and have > a compiler with full optimization. They could even distribute > binaries or sources of that "fixed" compiler, provided that they > meet the GPL requirements. > > The "fix" is very simple. Build it with a -DSKIP_LICENSE_MANAGER > option on the command line.
Cute. I guess you are the only one who read that source! -- [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net) [page]: <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net> Try the download section.
sodaant@gmail.com wrote:
> I'm about to embark on a new project that will require a 32-bit > microcontroller. I've spent the last month evaluating the merits of > the various choices architecturely, and have a pretty good idea of > what's out there. It's come down to development environments, and I'd > like to get some first-hand reports from people on this group. > > The three choices on my short-list are: > > Pic32 and MPLAB > > AVR32 and AVR32 Studio > > ARM7 and Rowley CrossStudio for ARM > > If anyone has any opinions on the relative merits of these three > development environments (and the JTAG hardware that goes with them), > I'd appreciate it.
Here is another to add to your list :) http://www.ti.com/piccolopr "Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced a new series of 32-bit TMS320F2802x/F2803x microcontrollers (MCU) starting at less than $2 in volume. The new Piccolo(TM) F2802x/F2803x microcontrollers feature architectural advancements and enhanced peripherals in package sizes starting at 38-pins to bring the benefits of 32-bit real-time control to applications typically unable to justify the associated cost." 12 bit ADC and 150ps PWM, as well as a programmable, floating-point control law accelerator (CLA), make for an impressive embedded controller. -jg