Choosing the correct 32 bit ARM MCU (SAM, TI or STM32)

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by embedded_, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. embedded_

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    6
    0
    Goodday people,

    Last week i finished a prototype of a product which uses an 8-bit Atmega2560 (running at 8Mhz) to sample data from 6 sensors, This data is then send to an online database. This prototype works good, however from the beginning i knew that the atmega had to go and make place for a microcontroller with more performance. Also the atmega lacks some peripherals that i need like more accurate timers.

    Now i have been looking at 32-bit microcontrollers from STmicroelectronics, Atmel, NXP and Texas instruments. Mainly their ARM Cortex M0+/M3 and M4 based ones. But right now I am at a loss of which one to choose:(

    During my search i am mainly focussing on the following:
    1) low-cost, order quantity 50+ per order, so they need to be fairly cheap
    2) If the vendor has an ultra low power consumption series (which they all do)
    3) Free IDE with debugging capabilities en build in toolchain

    Here are my findings:
    Atmel SAM series -- Atmel Studio 7
    TI

    Greetings,

    Maarten Roozendaal
     
  2. embedded_

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    6
    0
    (I posted to early and now i can't edit my post for some reason. So here is the remainder of what i wanted to post)

    IDE's I have used to program development boards of all vendors are:
    Vendor: Dev board: IDE:
    Atmel -- ATSAM4S-Xplained -- Atmel Studio
    TI -- TIVA C -- Code composer studio
    STM32 -- STM32F4 Discovery -- Eclipse with plugins

    I have experience with SAM4S from Atmel, TM4C123 from TI and STM32F4 from ST. Now I see only minor differences between these families. All vendors have great IDE's (while setting up a free one for ST took me a long time). They all supply good documentation and examples. The only thing is that comparable TI chips are usually more expensive.

    Now, i need to make a choice but i'm kinda stuck as they are all alike. Hoping you guys can give me some advice.

    Greetings,

    Maarten Roozendaal
     
  3. Sensacell

    Moderator

    Jun 19, 2012
    2,424
    802
    Christianity, Buddhism, Catholicism...

    Take your pick.

    You see where I am going with this...

    There is no 'best choice' - go with what you already know and like.
     
  4. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    19,114
    6,145
    I am using STM32F and am absolutely being amazed with its capabilities.
     
  5. Mahomed Khomo

    New Member

    Jun 14, 2017
    4
    0
    I am also using ARM cortex-M0 on eclipse its nice
     
  6. embedded_

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    6
    0
    Hi, i am seriously considering choosing an STM32F part. Mainly because the are usually the cheapest out of the 4 vendors i stated above. The only thing that worries me is that a lot of people report that de STM32 HAL library is full of bugs. I don't know to what extend this is true though. May i ask your experience with this?
     
  7. embedded_

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    6
    0
    I agree, it has an amazing debugging interface. What parts do you use?
     
  8. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
    19,114
    6,145
    I have been using STM32F407 for over five years now. When I started, HAL did not exist.
    I am currently not using HAL or CubeMX. I am surprised that any bugs in HAL have not been reported and corrected.
     
  9. embedded_

    Thread Starter New Member

    Aug 31, 2015
    6
    0
    Yes I know, all of them have pros and cons. The problem is that i like working with all of them.
    I'm just very interested in you guys's experiences.
     
  10. Mahomed Khomo

    New Member

    Jun 14, 2017
    4
    0
    Not quite sure what you mean but, but mainly I have done ADC,timers,PWM. I once tried Direct Memory Access(DAM) with ADC. I wanted to sample 4 ADC channels at a time, boy I saw flames the program was just too buggy but I'm still gonna do it
     
  11. Stuntman

    Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    213
    55
    Been using the STM32 F0 line. I use the CooCox IDE which seems to now be defunkt. (I still use my old version but skip all of their online features) and GNU compiler.

    Their last HAL (standard peripheral library or SPL) took some time to get used to, but was not impossible. I don't believe they are using/supporting this peripheral library anymore and now have gone exclusively to the STM32Cube, a program which allows you to graphically select the features/setup you want for the chip, then generates the necessary chip/peripheral code. I honestly can't remember if it generates SPL code, or direct register code.

    For the record, I have heard positive reviews from those who have used the Cube and may port this last project over at some point just to try it out.

    I'll be brief and say the HALs are only as good as the documentation that comes with it. After going through a few episodes, there is something particularly pleasing and straight-forward about programming my PICs register by register.
     
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