uC recommendation

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Looking into uC for an small embedded project.

I need the following interfaces:

Compact Flash with DOS File system
Ethernet MAC
2 Uarts

Can anyone recommend a uC that fits the bill?

I'd greatly prefer avoiding an RTOS if possible--but I do need DOS file
system and TCP/IP capability.

So far we've looked at

ZilogEZ80 Acclaim
Intel Xscale
Atmel AT91 ARM
Maxim/Dallas DS80C400


Each of these has plus/minus but the requirement for CF/Dos FS seems to be
the camel back breaking straw....

Open to any suggestions.... recommendations... experiences good and bad with
these or other uC....

Thanks,

Bo




Re: uC recommendation
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[snip]

Your examples cover quite a broad range of potential candidates -
especially in terms of achiveable performance. I therefore asume you
are not having much experience in this field. Because of this and also
asuming this is for a quick project with low quantities I recommend to
take a look at the products from Rabbit Semiconductor. They offer core
modules and the SDKs come along with software to do what you want (FAT
filesystem TCP IP etc). The docs are really good and you will be up
and running in a few minutes acutally.

www.rabbitsemiconductor.com

Of course all those uCs you listed could be used for the task and I
don't consider any of them to be a bad candidate, but designing a
board with all this periphals is a significant amount of work. The
core modules therefore will save you a lot.

HTH

Markus



Re: uC recommendation
Markus,

Your assumption on experience--wrong. :) Assumption on quick turn/low
initial quantities good. We looked at the gumstix solution as well, but
because the potential for rather large quantities exists for the end
product, we felt that we should be able to get the cost down to ~$50-75 per
unit by designing our own hardware.

Seems that the problem I encounter is I can find a cheap uC that includes
HW/SW to support either Compact Flash/DOSFs or Ethernet--but not both. Of
course, throwing in the added complexity of an RTOS doesn't thrill me. We'd
considered a Xilinx FPGA with uBlaze, but felt the development there would
be too costly. Our last V2Pro design used VxWorks and was nightmarish in
regards to Xilinx's tools. Another reason for not going SoC/FPGA.

I'm going to followup on the rabbit semiconductor recommendation as well.
Thanks for the input....

Regards,

Bo



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Re: uC recommendation

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Difficult to meet this ($50) with Xcale.  Possible with AT91RM9200.  It
has Compact Flash support.  DOS FAT is just firmware.  How much FLASH &
RAM?

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Included and with firmware

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Additional chip


Included



Re: uC recommendation
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Sorry :-)

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The RCM2110 should fit the bill. In fact the core does include
ethernet and a CF can be connected to the external bus. I know for
sure since I did this myself. FAT code along with TCP/IP is also
available. The core costs $42 in 1K quantities, which gives another $8
room for the CF connector and power supply. Add to this the CF card
you are going to use and you should end up significantly below $75.

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Rabbit DOES support both.

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There is no RTOS. For an easy project their aproach using state
machines and the costatements they use etc. make the job quite easy.
I.e. a HTTP server showing pages stored on the CF is IMHO part of the
sample code available. I hardly can't imagine to have an easier start.

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I fully agree that developement costs would be a lot higher. With the
rabbit you hook the CF to the bus and add a voltage regulator and you
are done. Again, been there done that.

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You are welcome.

Markus

Re: uC recommendation
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Rabbit offers uC/OS if you need an RTOS.

I concur that Rabbit's tools make it easy to do easy projects.  In my
experience, however, Dynamic C stops being a tool and becomes an
adversary as your project gets larger and more complicated.  Thankfully
there is an ANSI C compiler available from Softools.

Kelly

Re: uC recommendation
check the beck SC12 or SC13

99$ 32 pin dil   -RTOS + mac + serial +dos



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Re: uC recommendation
Take a look at the NetBurner MOD5270
We have a CF Fat filesystem in Beta.
(We are includeing the HCC embedded file system with our modules in object form.)


Paul

www.netburner.com


Re: uC recommendation

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Thanks for the link and info. This looks quite promising--- if my management
buys into a 'no HW design' approach. How is support? Do you have FAEs? The
word 'beta' scares me :)

I must say though that for our application, this seems to be a bit of
overkill in terms of processing power. We could probably get by with just
the 5213 if there's enough IO to add Compact Flash.I guess we could buy a
5270 development kit, use its schematic as basis for a new board design
using the smaller processor but retaining the CF interface???

I expect we will send/receive minimal data over Ethernet--maybe one or two
packets per minute. The uarts will be collecting data from a plethora of
RS485 type sensors and logging data to the CF. Host then will request CF log
data on infrequent intervals....so you can see, not a great need for speed
here.

Power may also be a concern. Requirements are in development, but its
possible we may need to run on a few AA batteries for several days at a
time. I assume that reducing the clk speed is a viable way to do this? Is
there a minimum clk required on these devices?

Thanks, Bo






Re: uC recommendation

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Google for comments on Netburner rin comp.arch.embedded,
I think that you would find the answer to this question more valuable from
our customers, rather than from an employee. ;-)

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Netburner licensed the file system from HCC embedded.
The HCC embedded flash file system is not Beta.
As shipped from HCC it requires that the customer do some porting integration
work.
We are now providing this integration and including it in object format.
It's this integration with our standard tools and the asociated install, build,
make,  and link  that is  beta.

We have a number of customer happily using the HCC embedded file system in
shipping applications.




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Re: uC recommendation

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You would need the CF interface and UART drivers.  Not a "no HW design"
solution.  How about a custom order HW solution?  We are currently
custom building an AT91RM9200 for a client.  Other than the CPU, all
requirements are similar.

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If you have to layout a new board, why not mount the chips on your new
board?  For $50 each (per 1K), we can build the boards to your
specifications.  Coldfire 5213 plus a ethernet chip should be enough,
in addition to Flash, Ram and etc.

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But you need a good enough micro for ethernet.  You can use a 8 bits
micro to sample and buffer the data.

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You can also use the 8 bits micro to suspend/awake the 32 bits micro.
8 bits micro can last for weeks on batteries.

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Re: uC recommendation
Looks OK, but I'm not sure of our management view of a purchased board vs.
developing one though.... I had not considered x86. Not sure I want to
either---that's why I got out of the PC/GUI code world.

(Kinda takes all the fun out of it, huh? :)

Seriously though, I'll run it by the project lead....

Bo

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Re: uC recommendation
Hi,

As far I remember has one of the parts from Netsilicon the features.....


Regards Jens

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be




Re: uC recommendation

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CF can be run in IDE mode, and IDE is nothing more than a /CS and a couple
of 8/16 bit I/O accesses. This should be very easy to do with all
controllers.

Alternative: MMC/SD-Cards. They are smaller, cheaper and can be run in SPI
mode, and all controllers should have SPI.

FAT should really no problem unless you are an absolute beginner.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Frank-Christian Krügel

Re: uC recommendation
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The AT91SAM7X256 contains ARM7 + Ethernet MAC + 256 kB Flash + 64 kB SRAM.
The Compact Flash is just some pins and can be handled in S/W.
The CPU runs at close to 40 MIPS so this should not be a bottle neck.
FreeRTOS has uIP or lwIP TCP/IP Stack.
The UARTs should run at pretty high speed w the DMA support.

--
A. P. Richelieu



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