Choosing between STmicro and Freescale

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Gibson486, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. Gibson486

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 20, 2012
    199
    12
    Any of you had to make this decision? I have to make this decision. Hardware wise, Freescale seems to win (they have a 32 pin QFN package with 128K flash with an M4 core), but you have to think about software as well.

    Just from what I have tried:

    Freescale has great intentions with there SDK/IDE. It works out of the box (just getting an LED to blink). However, their implementation is rushed. For example, some of their freedom boards do not have their "code generation" working and you have to manually upgrade their IDE for support on certain MCUs. That said, I found that it was pretty easy to get the board working without the code generation as the IDE is pretty integrated (and it runs on Linux) and their library API is well documented. JTAG wise, you need to spend money, though. Also, their micro seems to give you much more flexibility in terms of what pins can get assigned to.

    STmicro, it is sort of the opposite. That said, their code generation GUI works very well (in Windows). However, I am not 100% confident I could get things working without it because their libraries are pretty intense and not well documented. Also, aside from the code generation GUI, there is no IDE. Despite releasing their Linux IDE (just Eclipse), I was unable to get things up and running with their nucelo boards. Under Windows, running with the GUI and the free version of Attolic was very easy, but messy. JTAG wise, they sell their cheap JTAG that actually works very well for programming out of the box except for the fact that I cannot get printf to work over JTAG, even with their printf tool.

    That being said, STMicro is still used much more. Am I missing something? Why is STmicro more appealing in the market? Neither of the companies are perfect, but it seems like I had to put much more effort into getting the STmicro up and running. Thoughts?
     
  2. dannyf

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2015
    1,810
    362
    If I were you, I would focus on the end use and figure out which mcu is better. All efforts you have to spend now get it going is jur invermeents.

    Having said that, freescale is mug bigger and much stronger of the two for mcus. The peripherals are mug more powerful on the freescale products, partixularly for mixed signal applicatiosn, and the software too - PE iss probably the best bar none. But you obviously pay through your nose and then some for that.

    Being less established, St generally Haas more innovative and bugier products, poorly and ever changing software support. But you get them for a song.

    If you want to get started on the St, I have a set of blogs on that. That are more picturials designed to get one going. Windows. Only, however.
     
  3. Gibson486

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 20, 2012
    199
    12
    Either could be used for what I am using them for (just PID and controls stuff). I did see that Freescale had better peripherals (16 bit ADC is standard), but we prefer to use external peripherals anyways.

    I would like to see your blog.

    Thanks!
     
  4. dannyf

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2015
    1,810
    362
    If that's the case, it comes down more to vendor support and reputation and price and sourcing. Freescale wins on the first two and st on the last two.

    you mentioned the nucleo boards. they are much better boards to start because of their use of st-link v2.1 which supports uart over usb. some discovery boards also have st-link v2.1.

    getting started on stmf1 / coide: https://wordpress.com/post/dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/911
    getting started on stmf1 / keil: https://wordpress.com/post/dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/992
    getting started on stmf1 / arduino: https://wordpress.com/post/dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/1132
    uart over usb: https://wordpress.com/post/dannyelectronics.wordpress.com/1631

    There are a few other chips that I touched upon in the "getting started" series in case you are interested, like PIC24/32, TI's LM4F120 / CCS, and some NXP chips/ LPCXpresso.
     
  5. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
    604
    121
    I also have a similar problem. I think whether to buy a Ferrari or a Hummer. I kicked some tires, and Hummer's tires were so nice, and Ferrari didn't have much of a tire to kick, although the salesman told me the tires were very good. And the sales person at Hummer dealership had such a pretty face. Why anyone would ever buy Ferrari? Such a crazy market!

    Seriously, everything depends on what you want to do with it. That's a good place to start the thinking process. Once you figure that out, you can look at the specific chips and see which ones meet your goals better.
     
    nsaspook likes this.
Loading...