Hi - I just have a couple pretty simple questions regarding ARMs and DSPs. I should preface this by saying that I'm coming from the world of AVRs (8 bit uCs).
First of all - when researching options that go beyond the power of AVRs I've run into DSPs alot. I can't tell exactly what a DSP is though, and how it is different from a microprocessor/microcontroller. From what I can tell, a DSP is essentially a microprocessor that has been specifically designed for performing complex mathematics in real time. Is that fairly close to being accurate?
But anyways - the main reason for my post - is I'm planning on getting into the world of ARMs. Being a poor college student I'm hoping to not have to spend too horridly much - so my current plan is to use GNU ARM for code development. But the one thing that I still haven't figured out yet is how exactly to move code onto the ARM. With AVRs there was, in my mind at least, a very clear choice: an AVR ISP. For $30 I had a device that could program just about any AVR out there. But with the complexity and the range of manufacturers of ARMs there doesn't seem to be any clear choice. I've seen JTAG programmers mentioned quite a bit. I've been looking at this one in particular:From what I've read these devices are able to program all ARMs out there except for a specific series of Philips ARMs. For $20 it doesn't seem like a bad choice.
But what about boot-loading? I've heard this talked about some - but I can't find any mention of it in the couple ARM datasheets I've looked through. Maybe it has a different name? Is boot-loading a viable option for getting code onto an ARM, or is it best to have an actual programmer?
Lastly - can anybody reccomend a specific ARM chip to me? Hopefully one that a ARM beginner can get up and running fairly quickly. I really don't have a specific set of features I'm looking for in one right now.
Thanks so much for your help,
-Michael J. Noone