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Old 21st September 2009, 02:49 PM   #1
sjalloq is offline sjalloq  United Kingdom
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Default Rapid Prototyping with ARM Cortex-M3 MCU

This is just a heads up for all of you out there who play around with MCU's. ARM and NXP have today launched "mbed" which is a rapid prototyping platform based around an NXP LPC1768 on a 40 pin 0.1" DIP package.

The compiler is online and you download the binary image via USB. It appears as a USB Flash drive on your computer (Mac/PC/Linux).

I've been playing with one of the beta units and it's good fun. As easy, if not easier, as Arduino to get up and running but with more power under the hood.

http://www.arm.com/news/25871.html and http://mbed.org/
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Old 24th September 2009, 04:38 PM   #2
star882 is offline star882  United States
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There's also the BeagleBoard which appears to have more features.
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Old 24th September 2009, 05:16 PM   #3
sjalloq is offline sjalloq  United Kingdom
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There's a slight difference between a MCU and an apps processor so I'd hope it would have more features. They're also aimed at completely different markets.
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Old 24th September 2009, 08:41 PM   #4
PB2 is offline PB2  United States
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What is the ball park cost for mbed?

It is not exactly a micro-controller, more a full blown microprocessor being a 32 bit with 140 DMIPS. Closer to the early Sun Sparc and MIPS RISC processors.

Pete B.
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Old 24th September 2009, 08:47 PM   #5
andy_c is offline andy_c  United States
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I followed the link to digikey, which listed them as $60.

I was impressed that the compiler was C++, with an actual class library to access the various features. Mighty fancy!
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Old 24th September 2009, 08:55 PM   #6
sjalloq is offline sjalloq  United Kingdom
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OK, so it's a mighty powerful MCU but it's still an MCU. The OMAP3 devices have onboard DSP, graphics hardware, DDR and Flash POP memory, and are targeted at running a full OS.

The mbed is designed for embedded systems but lets you do more than you might otherwise be able to with an Atmel based Arduino or any of the other open source boards out there now.

You get the full RVDS compiler for free so you've saved yourself $3k or whatever straight away.

The beauty of mbed is the library and online compiler. You can be up and running in less than a minute and the useful things you might want to do, like write/read digital I/O or read an ADC are all ready to go with their own API.

Laters.
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Old 24th September 2009, 08:56 PM   #7
sjalloq is offline sjalloq  United Kingdom
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Billy says it much better than I can.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6kECR7T4LY
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Old 24th September 2009, 09:28 PM   #8
andy_c is offline andy_c  United States
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That's hilarious man! Thanks for posting it .
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Old 25th September 2009, 03:16 AM   #9
PB2 is offline PB2  United States
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Seems like everytime I Google a topic I find new and interesting things. Here are ARM SBCs and modules with C and BASIC compilers starting at $29 for just hardware $59 with the compilers, not sure if that is the demo version of the compilers or if they are just bundling them. The small board has a USB interface:
http://www.coridiumcorp.com/Products.php

http://www.coridiumcorp.com/catalog/...products_id=58

These use a different ARM processor, but they are 32 bit and high MIP rate units.

Pete B.
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Old 28th August 2010, 12:42 AM   #10
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Actually the Coridium boards start at $29. All are based on ARM7 or ARM-Cortex processors.

Full versions of the BASIC and C compilers for those boards can be downloaded for free from the support page of their website.

The C is a simple IDE for Yagarto GCC

The BASIC is a proprietary compiler, originally like PBASIC (Parallax) but now much more extended and following VB syntax.
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