microcontroller suggestions anyone?

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My project will be composed of an LCD (approx 150x15 pixels), an
alphanumeric keypad and rougly 15-20 push-button inputs.

The microcontroller must also have a USB interface to support USB 1.1
communication.

I'm sure that I can do some sort of multiplexing to handle the large
number of inputs from the push-buttons... so if adding more I/O pins
to a microcontroller is too expensive... then I have the multiplexer
alternative.

Any suggestions for the microcontroller?

How would you suggest going about the input multiplexing?

Thanks!

Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
Hi,

I would say smth like that:

Atmel ATmega128 + FTDI FT232BM chip which acts like
a good old MAX232 for USB. This is certainly the quickest way
to get the USB running, I suppose. There are many USB-ready
uP nowadays, but I'm still afraid about their market 'persistence'.

ATmega is here to stay and FTDI too I hope.

For the ATmega you can also get C compiler for free (GCC)
or almost-professional-one for mere 150$ (CodeVision).

This is of course very personal point of view, but I've just
finished my project with ATmega and FTDI chip :-)

Take care,

Mark



Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
And once you get you're design up and running and are ready to deal with
Atmel on a serious basis you can expect to be pissed about, ignored and
insulted on a regular basis.

Anyone from Atmel stupid enough to have me elaborate? I thought not.
_____________________________________
Murray R.Van Luyn
Revolutionary Urban Guerilla.
Ph:   +618 9354 1375
E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@ses.curtin.edu.au
           snipped-for-privacy@cs.curtin.edu.au

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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
I'm not from atmel but I am using one of their controllers in a product I'm
developing.

What sort of problems have you had? Has anybody else out there had similar
problems?

Craig


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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
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Sorry about that Craig. Hope I didn't put anyone off Atmel. I've made too
broad a generalisation regarding the type of product support that they
offer, and unfairly based this on my interactions with select group of
'shit-heads' whom they employ.

Regards,
Murray.
_____________________________________
Murray R.Van Luyn
Revolutionary Urban Guerilla.
Ph:   +618 9354 1375
E-mail: snipped-for-privacy@ses.curtin.edu.au
           snipped-for-privacy@cs.curtin.edu.au




Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?

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similar


That wouldn't be because of them EOLing
product lines realitively soon after introducing them ?

Realtivly soon being a few years.

Or would that be issuses with some of the tools ,
ices etc they sell ?
Not the ice40 ?


Alex



Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
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They tend to EOL products very soon after release (total life of the
Mega163 was around 18 months).

We have been repeatedly promised that emulators we have bought will be
upgradeable but when a new device becomes available or when a device
is EOL'ed you have to get a new emulator. We've been caught for about
5 grands worth of tools in this way in the last 3 years.

Their "free" tools (which you have to use with their emulators) are
pretty crappy and are basically debugged by their users. Studio 3
finally became stable and usable at about V3.5, Studio 4 is still only
at V4.07 and while an improvement is still not a particularly
professional piece of software. I would happily have paid for a decent
emulator front end.

Atmel are also prone to sending snotty e-mails to people who complain
about this stuff in public.

I think the AVR is a great processor and I'm glad we chose it. We have
about 15 boards now with various flavours of the device. We'll
continue to use it in new products so my experiences with the device
can't have been that bad.


Cheers

Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
In the defense of Atmel I would say that when they EOL most of the AVRs,
they have another part that is pin compatible in its default mode.  Is
that not true for the Mega163?

If I wanted to complain about anything it would be the support.  I found
that the support team is rather slow about responding.  Often you are
referred to the AVRfreaks web site which is not even run at Atmel!  I
know they support it financially, but it is silly to let someone else
run *your* support site!!!


Ted Wood wrote:
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--

Rick "rickman" Collins

snipped-for-privacy@XYarius.com
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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
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'Pin Compatible' does not mean zero engineering effort. The
'new' devices are not likely to run the old code/fuse options,
and those with CE approvals should, strictly, get their product
re-approved....

On the EOL map are also ATtiny11/ATriny12, and AT90S1200, AT90S2313.

-jg

Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
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Yes, they are to be replaced by parts which are (optionally) available
in 32-lead MELFs (physically smaller than the 8-DIP!). I've been
talking to Atmel about these parts because I had planned to use them
in my upcoming book. Apparently these parts are in an old process, and
I'm "somewhat assured" that the replacements will be mostly
code-compatible. Anyway, Atmel won't be leaving a hole in their
lineup.

I don't have a lot of details yet. My Atmel contact is out of town at
the moment. Fortunately, I have other things to work on in the
meantime. I've been so busy over the past couple of months, virtually
dropped off the Internet. Lots of catchup to do.

-- Lewin A.R.W. Edwards http://www.zws.com /
Learn how to build high-performance embedded systems on a budget!
(Amazon.com product link shortened)

Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
These first two replies bring up another point:

You have both suggested a standalone microcontroller to be combined
with a USB IC.  Isn't it possible to get all this functionality on a
single chip?

Which way is cheaper?  Is the hardware design significantly more
complex if I'm using the two chips instead of one?

Jim

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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
Hi All,

You might want to check out the Cypress pSoc @ www.cypressmicro.com.  It
offers a low cost development system with ICE.  There are several sample
project application notes available on the site that include lcd and USB
integration.  I agree with Marek with regard to the FTDI FT232bm chip.  I
have used it in a few designs and it takes all of the USB pain away!

BTW, Cypress offers micros with both USB 1.1 and 2.0 support also.

Regards,
Rob

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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?

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have a look at

www.cygnal.com
http://www.cygnal.com/products/datasheets.htm
http://www.cygnal.com/products/C8051F320.htm US$13.67  32pin lqfp
http://www.cygnal.com/products/C8051F321.htm US$13   mlp 28
8051 with extra features


also ezi-usb which Rob mentioned

Alex



Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
Mehamerla,

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Can you elaborate when you say the code is not well optimized? From what
I saw of this compiler and options, it has pragmas for code size/speed
optimizations plus several passes that I didn't see listed in other
compilers (ImageCraft, GNU for sure, etc).

I'm considering purchasing this, so any other comments you have would be
appreciated.

Thanks,
TR.


Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
John napisal(a):

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Hmm, I never use any optimisation. My projects are rather small and
slow so I do not have to bother with optimized code. Many times had to
find bugs in the output code and optimization does not help to find
them.

I was analyzing CodeVision output code a few times. Once because of
the error generated by CV. I have seen that CV puts many strange
instructions making the code longer which make code harder to analyze.
I did not count instrucion times and length but it seemed strange to
me that CV many times used very short functions (AFAIR 2 instrucions)
despite putting inlines. In opposition Keil (for 8051) output code is
very clear and easy to analyze.

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I think that it is worth its price. Compare it to the Keil price which
is much higher. Besides you can check CV yourself - as I said it can
be used for free with minor restrictions.

--
Pozdrowienia, Marcin E. Hamerla

- What about your soul?
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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?

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I'd second the FTDI chips, they're very easy to use.

If anyone is thinking of using them and wants a simple
example of the PC software needed to drive them there's
an example on the downloads page of our web site below.
This is about the simplest possible (C++ builder) code
needed to get the USB interface working.

I'm a hardware engineer, not software, and the FTDI
example had me baffled, there's too much GUI cleverness
etc when all I wanted was a simple tutorial.


Hope this helps anyone considering the FTDI chips.


Nial Stewart

------------------------------------------------
Nial Stewart Developments Ltd
FPGA and High Speed Digital Design
www.nialstewartdevelopments.co.uk



Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
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This is system engineering. Given the estimated number of units, find a couple
of hw solutions and pick the cheapest one. Now figure out how to push some of
the hw into sw and amortize the effort into the cost saving per unit x number
of units. I know it sounds crazy, but doing the usb in sw might actually pay
off at some huge volume.

Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?

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Just about anything certified for use in a nuclear power plant.

Or lots of military applications.

There are tons of applications where the cost/effort required
to replace a device with a different "compatible" model are
completely out of proporation to the actual cost of the device
itself.

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Could be.  But when they're your customers, you try to meet
their requirements and make them happy.  If you don't, somebody
else will.

--
Grant Edwards                   grante             Yow!  MMM-MM!! So THIS is
                                  at               BIO-NEBULATION!
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Re: microcontroller suggestions anyone?
On 17 Jul 2003 20:38:26 GMT, the renowned snipped-for-privacy@aol.com

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Yeah, right. All we need are "cost effective" cheap unproven
instrumentation and controls running nuclear reactors and oil
refineries.

There are darn good reasons why the process control industry is very
conservative.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
snipped-for-privacy@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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