Recommendations for micro-controller

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In the past I have used the H83334 and the Rabbit 2000.

The Hitachi part is obsolete and feel that the Rabbit with it's external
EPROM/Flash and memory is too expensive.

For this application speed is not essential and program memory will probably
need to be 48k or so (guess).

Given that I may be starting from scratch in terms of a development system,
the cost of the development system is paramount.

Any steers would be appreciated.



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
MSP430F169, just released, or '149.

Al

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Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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probably
system,
Had a good look.  The 169 doesn't seem to be available yet.

The 149 seems to be priced OK.  Unfortunately the links for the application
notes and user guides for the compilers/assemblers/linkers seem to be going
AWOL.

What are the tools like?

I quite like the concept of Motorola's BDM system which I have used in the
past but with a much larger micro.



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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external
application
going

MSP 430xxx is good stuff, the FET board is cheap and a good start..
IAR compiler sucks for serious work, but is ok for the hobbyist, i think
there may be a gcc port for 430..
Cygnal is good for 8051 variants, JTAG debug quite good too.. lots of good
compilers
just depends on your pref and cost..




Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
The basic tools are the so called FET kits. these consist of a
programming dongle, cables, a small board with a ZIF socket to suit, and
2 samples of the family you buy the kit for. Basically there are two
types, the sub 28 pin kit and the 64 pin kit. The software is called
Kickstart. You can download this for free, and it includes all the
schematics. It includes IDE, linker assembler and a 4k limited C
compiler. The whole deal costs US$49 for the low end parts and US$99 for
the high end parts. Ti are currently touring the US and Canada with
course at US$49, for the new 169, with that course you get a free kit!!

In addition Olimex sell the program/debug dongle for US$10. There are a
variety of C compilers some as follows:-

GCC    free, and supported by fans
ICC430     from imagecraft, $199 + $100 for the debugger
AQ430    from Quadravox $399
CCS430? from rowley associates 500 (Crossworks)
IAR full version US$2000+

I'd recommend any of the middle 3 if you want a compiler.

All data can be found on the website, but Ti in their infinite wisdom
class the MSP430 as an analog family part.

The 169 is not in full production, but EVK boards, demo kits etc are
available from Softbaugh, who make the kits for Ti's course. Some of the
compiler vendors do bundle deals with Softbaugh, so you could start
learnign with it.

The IAR IDE tool is fine, I have no problems with it, once you learn its
idiosyncrasy's. Their debug tool C-Spy is another thing, it's OK, but it
can be crude, sometimes its response to a fault is to crash your PC,
however the built in JTAG and debug is extremely useful, better than
when I tried the HC12B32 a few years ago. All of the third party tools
come with their own interfaces, being a cheapskate I've stuck with IAR,
as I only program the MSP in assembler.

Al

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Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
On Tue, 23 Sep 2003 14:16:43 GMT, onestone

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Why not the GNU compiler?

Mike Harding


Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
Dunno Mike, I don't use compilers for the MSP anyway, so don't know them
all.

Al

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Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
On Wed, 24 Sep 2003 07:59:07 +1000, Mike Harding

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I don't (currently) use the MSP430, but I do a lot of AVR work.  

I'd be cautious with GCC for the MSP430 because it's so new.  I'd
certainly get a copy and learn to use it.  But if you're developing
software on a schedule for commercial purposes, I'd get at least one
other compiler as a backup, and write the code to work on both
compilers.

This is what I do with the AVR.  Avr-gcc has been around a while and
does a good job, but I recently ran into a bug with one of the delay
routines -- or rather, the inline assembly the delay routine used.
The other people in the group were able to continue work because I was
able to provide them with working code from the other compiler while I
found a work-around for the GCC problem.  

Note this goes both ways: I had a problem with the other compiler, and
was able to continue work using avr-gcc until a fix arrived from the
vendor (CodeVisionAVR from HP Infotech -- Not the greatest compiler
I've ever used, but very good support).

Given the choices above, I'd get GCC and ICC430.  I've heard good
things about Imagecraft, nothing (good or bad) about Quadravox or
Rowley, and had good experience with IAR (but who has a spare $2k to
blow?).

All IMHO.  Regards,

                               -=Dave
--
Change is inevitable, progress is not.

Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Dave Hansen) wrote in

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FWIW, if you have an 8kB part, the 8kB compiler is $800 I seem to
remember. We were able to apply this to the purchase of the full tool when
we moved to greater than 8kB. I used make and my own editor to edit and
build, I only used the GUI debugger and things went pretty smoothly.

--
- Mark ->
--

Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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probably
system,

Can anyone give their opinions?



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
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 This is a pretty open request. 48K and <= Rabbit ?
Do you need ADC's
Is 5V power/tolerance important
Is 2nd source important
48K guesstimate is based on which core

 Smaller-than-Rabbit uC candidates would be
- Cygnal - expanding family, low power, high performance
- Zilog eZ8 - new in flash, but uses mature core
- TI MSP430 - low power,
- Atmel AVR -
- STm  uPDS33xx family ( adds Turbo Core C52, and InSystem Debug), very
new
- Philips LPC21xx ARM core
- Zilog eZ80 family
- Hitachi/Mitsubishi/Motorola....

If you have used rabbit already, the eZ80 could appeal, as the
mindset is very similar, but the eZ80 has flash/single chip.

Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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external

I know it is an open request but each person has their own reasons for
choosing "their" processor and I would like to hear their arguments.

Whilst the rabbit is an 8 bit device, it has an external 1MB of externally
addressable memory.  I hated putting things into XMEM which the Rabbit 2000
then paged in and out since code wise could only really address 64k.  I felt
it didn't really work and the compiler though nice to use created bloated
code.  For the same price as the Rabbit you can get a far more powerful
processor.  I understand the Rabbit 3000 no longer has the 64k limit on root
memory, but is a more expensive beast.

The TI MSP430 seems quite popular amongst this group.  I hadn't come across
it before and warrants further investigation.

I know someone who has used the AVR but his code has outgrown it.  Sounds
interesting.

I recall that the Zilog processors were quite affordable.

Perhaps I'm spoilt but its unfortunate that not many of the low end
processors have a BDM or JTAG port for development.

Many thanks for your opinion.  I am sure I am not the only one wanting such.



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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Same memory architecure on the Rabbit 2000 and 3000.

If you're stuck with the Rabbit, I highly recommend the Softools C compiler:
the 'far' pointers alone are worth the money.

Kelly



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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compiler:
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So the Z-world compiler still has all the glorious problems of XMEM with the
3000!  :-(




Re: Recommendations for micro-controller

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probably
system,

You could use an AVR and GCC.

Very cheap startup and well supported.

Ralph



Re: Recommendations for micro-controller
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probably
system,

The ATmega64 or the ATmega32 are the part in the AVR family that should fit
you best.
Tool cost is
STK500 development board and ISP programmer : $79
STK501 (needed for ATmega64, not for ATmega32): $79 or maybe $99.
AVR Studio : Free from www.avrfreaks.net
JTAG emulator : ~$300
C compiler: Free gcc from www.avrfreaks.net
                   better compiler :  www.imagecraft.com    $? Richard
                   best compiler: www.iar.se        $2k
                    Using code generation as criteria.

If you are cost limited, get the imagecraft compiler.



s is a personal view which may or may not be
share by my Employer Atmel Nordic AB



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