Dipping Toes into ARM... pointers/starting-point needed

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by BobaMosfet, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. BobaMosfet

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 1, 2009
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    All--

    I've spent a lot of time in the 8-bit MCU world, doing all manner of amazing things... but need to step up to something in the 32-bit ARM Cortex-M3 or M4 Range. Brand (STX, Atmel, etc) doesn't really matter so long as it has a) a compiler, b) an In System Programmer, and c) is reasonably priced with decent documentation/examples. I don't need a Dev Board, everywhere I look those are either way too expensive or sold out. I can design the schematic and PCB for what I need, that's not an issue.

    I've looked all over, contacted OEMs.... but I'm still kind of at a loss as to the initial 1, 2, 3 steps for where/what so I can start working with 'bigger iron' for larger projects. For those of you who have made this leap, how did you get started with it, and what would you recommend?
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    You kinda have to go with dev board in this case. The chips themselves are usually come in one of those compact packages, meaning fine wires so you are not going to build thing on breadboard. You can get an adapter, plug the chip into adapter, plug adapter into breadboard, but at this point you might as well start looking at a dev board.

    9 bucks: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/stmicroelectronics/STM32L100C-DISCO/497-13930-ND/4357642

    http://www.digikey.com/product-sear...=1&stock=1&quantity=0&ptm=0&fid=0&pageSize=25
     
  3. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    http://www.st.com/content/ccc/resou...df/jcr:content/translations/en.DM00071990.pdf

    http://www.st.com/content/ccc/resou...df/jcr:content/translations/en.DM00031020.pdf

    http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/slas826d/slas826d.pdf

    http://www.ti.com.cn/cn/lit/ug/slau356c/slau356c.pdf

    I haven't been intimate with a chip for decades. So I started studying these a few months ago, to catch up.

    I'm still studying.

    But I would recommend a high quality board, too. I got the two boards for the above for about 18 bucks.
     
  4. BobaMosfet

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jul 1, 2009
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    Wow... thanks people. I don't mind making the PCB myself, but honestly I see your point. $9-$20-- I can't design and build out a PCB 'devkit' myself for that (in terms of time, materials, etc). Last time I looked at this stuff, it was > $200 for a devkit. I never figured the prices would drop like this.

    Nevermind my compiler question, I found it. They have a 'workbench' that will do it :)

    _thank_you_ *really* appreciate the help.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
  5. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    Everything comes with it, at least mine.
     
  6. BR-549

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    It's quite amazing, some of the best chips and software......no cost at all.
     
  7. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,399
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    Maybe you were thinking FPGA, now those start at 200 usd and go to the sky from there.
     
  8. dannyf

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 13, 2015
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    Those nucleo boards are very good for a complete package. Or stm32f103 board plus St link for value.

    With that said, expect a challenge on the coding side.
     
  9. NorthGuy

    Active Member

    Jun 28, 2014
    605
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    They lure you in. Free cheese and all that ...
     
    BR-549 and nsaspook like this.
  10. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
    3,250
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    I'm in the same boat and opted for a C.H.I.P. computer that costs $9 with about $5 shipping; shipping was $7 for 5...

    People ordering now are looking at a 1-2 month lead time. I waited a year to get my first one (Kickstarter reward) and 7 months for my other 5.

    This is a single board computer with an ARM V7 core (single, 1GHz), 512MB memory, 4GB FLASH, Wifi, Bluetooth, composite video, 1 full size USB port, 1 mini USB (for power/flashing), battery connector. VGA or HDMI adapters are extra; $10 and $15, respectively.

    It comes with a Debian distribution and some applications pre-installed. The default shell is Bash and a compiler isn't included; but readily available from Debian.

    It has a low res ADC, 1 PWM, around 16 GPIO's (I haven't figured out all that can be used or how to use the pins driving the adapters).

    They have a forum (that they call a BBS) with a number of active members. Membership is ramping up as more people get their Chips. https://bbs.nextthing.co/
     
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