inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Hi - do to the recent reccomendations from a number of people here - I
think I should get familiar with ARMs. Is there an inexpensive way to get
into them? I mean for example, when I started programming AVRs, I bought a
couple AT90S8515 chips and an AVRICE, probabaly $45 total - and I was set.
So are there any fairly inexpensive programmers for ARMs? And do most
people code for them in assembler, or C, or something else? (I've only
programmed in assembler, though I do plan on learning C in the near
future). So what software would I need? I'm hoping not to spend an arm and
a leg on all of this, being that I'm just another broke college student.
Also - does anybody have any suggestions for a good chip to begin with?
Thanks so much!

-Michael Noone

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Hi,

For hardware see:  http://www.olimex.com/dev/lpc-p1.html with an olimex JTAG
wiggle.  Very low cost.

For compiler see:  http://www.gnuarm.org (free), or http://www.keil.com
(eval version is not time limited)

Regards,

Richard.

http://www.FreeRTOS.org




Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Is this what you mean by the JTAG wiggle? http://www.olimex.com/dev/arm -
jtag.html. The price is right - but it seems that they're syaing that it
has a limitation with programming Philips LPC21xx chips that only the
Rowley compiler can overcome, and at $200/license for the educational
version of that, I don't see that as a feasible option. Will that
limitation be a serious problem if I use other compilers? Or do all
reasonably (a relative term I know, but understand that I'm a broke
college student) affordable programmers suffer from this problem?

Now from what I can tell, gnuarm is a C/C++ compiler for ARM chips. So
should I take it that it is standard to write code for them in C/C++,
and not assembler? I must admit that my experience with C is very
limited, though I do plan on trying to become more familiar with it in
the next couple of months, while I am alot more familiar with assembler.

Thanks for your help,

-Michael

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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It is actually compatible with the Macraigor 'Wiggler':
http://www.macraigor.com /

A genuine Wiggler is quite expensive, but it's quite easy to design
something that does the same job, like my JTAG interface.

The Wiggler type of interface works with most of the development software
that is available, including Rowley's, and gcc which is free (gnuarm). Join
the LPC2000 Yahoo group for more info:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lpc2000 /


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Most people use C with ARM chips, because the compilers are very efficient,
but they are quite easy to program in assembler.

Leon



Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Hi Michael.

I have used the Wiggler from a Win32 host with the FREE OCDLibRemote tool as
an interface and the FREE GNUARM compiler using the FREE programmer from
Philips along with the FREE Insight graphical debugger...  The Wiggler can
be used to program the flash also but takes longer.

These software tools are all free but you have to invest some time in
setting them up.  I have only done it from a Win32 host but have found all
the tools prebuilt and working well.  The debugger has some quirks.  If you
want a flash interface and all the setup done for you then I suggest Rowley,
but it is not necessary.

This page has links to all the tools and a description of how to set them up
and use them:

http://www.freertos.org/portlpc2106.html

See the

"Building and executing the demo application - Debug via JTAG"
"Building and executing the demo application - Standalone from flash "

sections.  These pages talk about using an RTOS, which I don't suggest for
yourself if you are new to C, but the setup procedures are not are the same
with or without the RTOS.

Regards.



Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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The Philips LC210x is the easiest ARM chip to use, see my web page:

http://www.geocities.com/leon_heller/lpc2104.html

Leon



Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Am I right in thinking that the ARM JTAG programmer here:
http://www.olimex.com/dev/arm-jtag.html would not be able to program
that chip? On your web site you mention that it's possible to add a JTAG
connector, but according to the Olimex website it cannot program such a
chip. What am I missing? Thanks,

-Michael

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Currently there is no low cost flash downloader for the Philips. We will
be offering one for around $175-$200 in Jan 2005. Our compiler will also
be available then, for $199.

--
// richard
http://www.imagecraft.com

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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None at all? Sounds like I shall just be avoiding that series of chips
for now then!

-Michael

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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I am sorry. I may be giving the wrong impressions. Let me rewrite that.
Most ARM flash MCUs have a bootloader builtin, so the eaiest way to get
start is to use that and the cost is usually free. It uses a serial port
and may not have fancy stuff, but it does work.

As a tool vendor, my goal is a bit different: I want to support a single
interface if possible, , plus I want the same interface to support
debugging, so that leaves the JTAG dongle. Currently, I am not aware of
any low cost JTAG HW/SW combo that supports the LPC2K series and we will
be filling the gap.

--
// richard
http://www.imagecraft.com

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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I must admit I didn't really know what a bootloader is, so I just read
up on them. From what I can tell a bootloader would be a very good
option, but is it enabled by default on most ARM chips? I was looking at
bootloaders for AVRs, and it seemed you had to enable the bootloader via
some fuse bits, which as far as I know can only be done via a
programmer. Is it the same on ARMs, or is this not a problem? Thanks,

-Michael

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
mnoone.uiuc.edu@127.0.0.1 says...
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The Philips and Analog Devices processors have built-in bootloaders that
are invoke by having a specific pin held low at reset (as do some other
non-ARM micros such as the ST10/C167).  There is a standard ISP header
developed for those processors
(see http://www.open-research.org.uk/ARMuC/index.cgi?Standard_ISP_Header
)

There are free untilities for both those families to provide serial
download support.

The ST STR7 series originally advertised that they would support a
similar serial download but they appear to have dropped the idea.

From ARM micro to ARM micro only the instruction set remains the same
(mostly).  The peripherals, the flash interface and even the details of
the interrupt support vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Having the same instruction architecture does reduce the height of the
learning curve though.

Robert

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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Can't be so. We had an in-house dog and pony show with ST guys imported
from France just a couple of weeks ago, and they were very specific
that the STR7 had a serial bootloader capability. What wasn't specified
was if this is in separate ROM, or merely factory-programmed into a
write-protected sector of main flash.


Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
snipped-for-privacy@larwe.com says...
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That's indeed interesting.  It's listed as reserved in the last  few
versions of the user manual.  Earlier versions showed how serial bootload
modes was entered and only lacked details on how to use it.  I've been
asking questions about it and the response I've been getting is that it's
not supported.

To quote:
"We recommend to use the JTAG for flash programming
The serial bootloader from the BOOTFLASH will not be will not be
available."

That's pretty hard to misinterpret but maybe there's a language issue.

I'd be delighted to learn I was wrong.

Robert

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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Withthe Philips ARM chips, all you have to do is hold a pin high when they
are reset, they will then load the code via one of the UARTs. Philips
provides Windows-based boot loader software.

Leon



Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
says...
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Not entirely true Richard.  It is quite possible to program them over the
serial port and there is an adapter to simplify doing just that.

http://www.aeolusdevelopment.com/Articles/InSystemProgramming.html

Of course it's not JTAG but the connector is a little smaller.  

Robert

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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Yes, sorry. I qualify and clarify what I meant in an update post. Thanks
for the info.

--
// richard
http://www.imagecraft.com

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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Of course the Olimex JTAG can program the LPC2000 devices, as well as other
ARM chips like those from Atmel! Mine does as well. The Olimex boards come
with a JTAG connector. I left it off my board because the chip may also be
programmed via an RS-232 port and I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
JTAG also allows debugging, which is very useful.

Leon



Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?

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One more question - it seems that the Philips chips are the most
reccomended, but is there any particular reason why? Looking around, I
see that there are various other manufacturers of ARM devices,
specifcally Analog Devices and Atmel (and I expect there are varios
others as well). What makes them so different? I mean as I've said - my
primary embedded programming experience is with Atmel AVR
microcontrollers, and with them you pretty much choose the chip that has
the features you need. Moving code from one AVR to another is a fairly
simple task in most cases, at least in my experience. I mean it seems to
me that once you know how to program one AVR, you can program for most
any AVR. Is this not the case with ARM devices? Is there really that
large of a difference between chips and manufacturers? Thanks,

-Michael

Re: inexpensive way to get into ARM?
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The Philips ARMs run at nearly 60 MIPS from flash, and I think that they
were the first of the single-chip ARMs; that is probably why they are so
popular. Also, there are lots of low-cost boards available for them.

The new devices from Atmel and ADI are similar to those from Philips, and
all ARM chips with the same core are identical from a software point of
view.

Leon



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