very interesting arm/usb dev board

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Newz2000
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very interesting arm/usb dev board

Post by Newz2000 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:32 pm

Saw this advertised in the Dec N&V that came today. www.coridiumcorp.com

They sell a 60MHz ARM dev board for $49 that has an integral basic compiler. They say it runs up to 13m lines of code per second (they admit that is the fastest, and many functions will go slower).

It uses a USB to serial converter so you program it through a serial terminal emulator. They provide a windows program which is written in TCL, but you can program it from Linux as well. Device is powered from USB or DC voltage.

Looks interesting, and for $49 I'm trying to figure out what the catch is. I can't find much documentation on interrupts, and it doesn't look like it has a/d. It can do PWM, I2C, SPI, FREQOUT on any pin though.

Maybe a good Christmas present to myself... someone, point out a flaw.

Newz2000
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Post by Newz2000 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:37 am

I posted this msg right before bed, and after I laid down, I realized the flaw.

If you're using a $5 uC, it's no big deal to solder it into the circuit and pick up a new one for your next circuit - however, with this, you'd probably only use it for non-permanent purposes, such as experimentation.

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viskr
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ARMmite

Post by viskr » Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:56 am

The ARMmite product is for real, and the bundled BASIC compiler makes it easy to use. You can spend the time programming rather than downloading instructions from forums. The compiler runs on the PC for the ARMmite, so it is currently limited to Windows platforms.

In addition there is a pre-configured GCC compiler setup for the board, and again targeted at Windows platforms.

Actually the "burst" rate for BASIC instructions probably exceeds 30M lines/sec, but the informal measure most people use is a loop with x=x+1 within the loop. Comparable Stamp-like products use interpreted code so they for the same CPU would be 10-30 times slower. Add that to the 10x performance of the ARM, and this is quite a bit faster than other solutions.

In BASIC interupts are not currently supported in user code, but the hardware serial port is buffered through interupts.

You can always start your project from scratch, or you can get a headstart by buying a pre-configured hardware/software platform.

And yes, I work for coridium.

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Post by Newz2000 » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:14 pm

Thanks for the reply... in response to my last point I made in this thread about how cheaper parts can simply be soldered into a circuit vs. more expensive parts such as this and the BS which are not nearly as disposable, I might have just had a flip-flop in my thinking...

I've found in the last few projects I've started (they don't all get finished) I've grown really resentful, for lack of a better term, about how much time is spent fiddling with the hardware and trying to make things work. Even basic circuits, such as the USB accelerometer I'm making now, just getting the chip programmed successfully, plugged into a board and communicating with the various hardware is taking too much time. I don't want to mess with the low level details.

While $50 for the USB board isn't too bad of a price, and I'm seriously thinking about buying one btw, what I'd love is a cheap, versatile, but disposable solution. Something that can be used in a variety of different projects and you just plug it in and start writing code.

I'm also starting to see that while the PIC platform is super cheap, you pay for it in development time. I'm actually contemplating ditching PICs for something that was engineered to be used with higher level languages. I'd probably be happy with the PIC if I could get the MikroE compilers working in Linux because they have an awesome set of libraries bundled in.

We'll see. I have a fixed hobby budget so I'm stashing it away for now so that I can contemplate making an architecture change soon.

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MrAl
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Post by MrAl » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:54 pm

Hi there,

What do you mean by High Level Language?
Isnt C high enough?
LEDs vs Bulbs, LEDs are winning.

Newz2000
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Post by Newz2000 » Sun Dec 17, 2006 8:14 pm

Yes, C is high level enough if it has easy to use libraries readily available. However, and maybe I just haven't looked hard enough, most of the C compilers give you a basic language with stdlib and thats about it. MikroE gives you i2c, sound, pwm, SD/MMC, button debouncing and tons of other stuff, so it qualifies, imho, as high-level. Plus its free for programs under 2k words. Unfortunately it requires Windows to run. :-( I'll check to see if it works with the newest beta of crossover office - interestingly, ExpressPCB works perfectly.

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Post by Colinr » Thu Dec 21, 2006 5:37 am

just got my ARMmite ordered when i first read this thread it fitted a requirement that just came up.
Haveing played withit for a couple of days now the list of potential uses for this board is growing this includes tepreture logger and an intelegent Nimh battery charger.

my only consern with it is documentation which is not clear especally when trying to interface to something other than the Tcl interface.

also the TCL interface needs additional work the error messages from the compiler are very cryptic somethin i can understand when the compiler is with in the device but now it is within the PC this can be inproved.

Colin

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Post by stevech » Fri Dec 22, 2006 10:40 am

The flavor of BASIC for this seemed too crude to me. For example, all variables are global. Hard to write a non-trivial program. No bytes or floats as I recall. Not a structured basic language as you'd expect for an ARM, as compared to the really nice compilers for 8 bit micros like the Atmel AVRs... GCC (free), CodeVision (cheap), Zbasic.net, etc.

This ARM is fast, for sure, if that speed is needed.

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viskr
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very interesting arm/usb dev board

Post by viskr » Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:26 pm

The ARMexpress and ARMmite products come with a simple BASIC compiler, with hardware support for SPI, I2C, PWM, FREQOUT, async SER, sync SHIFT routines. Its targeted at getting simple control projects done quickly. 32bit integers and arrays and strings are the standard types.

A pre-configured full ANSI C using GCC is also supported. The library of hardware support routines available for the BASIC are also available in C.

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