Which microcontroller should I use for this project?

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by Nav Malhotra, May 19, 2017.

  1. Nav Malhotra

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2017
    I'm fairly new to microcontrollers and have read multiple guides, although still asking the question.
    I have used Arduino for quite a long time and have developed some product concept. I am only 14 years old though.
    I am currently developing a wearable project, therefore size, weight, and battery are huge constraints.
    My project will include; Touch OLED, Gyro, IR LED and receiver.
    As I have used Arduino, I am quite familiar with the Arduino offset of C++.
    It will be appreciated if the MCU has example codes/ others have used similar components.
    Could you please help me on both; hardware and software.

    Thankyou in advance.
  2. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    Welcome to AAC

    I dunno much abt arduino but what are you planning to make ?
  3. qrb14143


    Mar 6, 2017
    The Texas Instruments MSP430 and MSP432 range come in all shapes and sizes and are fairly cheap. They're a bit less "beginner friendly" than arduino though. How good is your programming?
  4. BR-549

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 22, 2013
    Congratulations. 14.....you have a talent. I suggest you go with a professional environment now....just as mentioned earlier.

    There are several to consider.....after getting familiar with one....get a little familiar with all.

    Pretty soon they'll have all my desktop in a speck and using high level language. You have a great future.
  5. Nav Malhotra

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2017
    Im not planning to use Arduino in this project.
    Planning to use a microcontroller only.
  6. Nav Malhotra

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2017
    My programming is decent (probably an amature).
    Therefore I would appreciate if their are example codes, that I can then edit.
    I am pretty familiar with the Arduino C++ offset though.

  7. StayatHomeElectronics

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 25, 2008
    You can migrate to the ATMega328, which is at the heart of the arduino uno. It can be programmed using the Atmel Studio environment, even while it is in an arduino board. You will just need a stand alone programmer.
  8. Nav Malhotra

    Thread Starter New Member

    May 19, 2017
    I will look into that.
    Pls, do advise me with more options as well.
  9. bogosort

    Active Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    Hi, while integrating a microcontroller yourself is a tremendous learning opportunity, it will pose a significant challenge above and beyond the many other engineering challenges you'll face as you design your application. If you feel you are ready, and have the time and resources, then go for it!

    If you do go this route, ARM owns the embedded market (might as well learn the leader), and their Cortex M0+ processor core is designed specifically for low-cost, low-power applications. ARM doesn't manufacture chips, so you'll need to pick a silicon vendor. NXP/Freescale has pretty good datasheets (this matters: you'll be reading a *lot* of datasheets). Browse their LPC line here:

    As an alternative to integrating the microcontroller yourself, you can use a very small development board, such as Teensy:

    These are small, inexpensive, USB-programmable dev boards that are very easy to use. The Teensy 3.x line is based on the NXP Kinetis series (ARM Cortex-M4) microcontrollers, and are far more powerful than Arduino Mega, at a fraction of the size. Coming from Arduino will be especially easy, as almost all Arduino libraries are compatible with Teensy. You can even use the Arduino IDE.

    If you need something even smaller, Adafruit makes this little guy specifically for wearables:

    Whatever you decide to use, you will surely learn a lot in the process. Keep at it, and don't get too discouraged by setbacks -- they're a necessary part of the learning process.
  10. hapedo

    New Member

    May 25, 2017
    I've been using many microcontroller platforms during last 10 years. I think that most of companies are migrating to Cortex-M based devices for such easy projects. I'd choose Cortex-M0 from e.g. ST or NXP. This platform is widely used - there is a good chance that your potential problem was already solved by somebody. Also Internet is full of code examples.

    When coparing e.g. STM32F03xxx with atmega you have faster core, better peripherals and lower price in case of STM. Their Discovery/Nucleo boards are cheap and include on-board STLink that can be used for flashing/debugging your application on your board.

    Another important point is that you can use free toolchain (gcc) and free IDE (eclipse) with no code size limitations.

    I'd also suggest to use C++ and try to use HAL (hardware abstraction layer). It will help you to port your code to another platform without heavy modifications.

    See my post how to start with gcc+eclipse here: http://blog.hapal.cz/blog/configuring-eclipse-for-arm-cortex-development/
  11. hapedo

    New Member

    May 25, 2017
    Heh, I didn't notice that you're 14 years old. Then I'd suggest to use some atmega - easy peripherals, old AVRStudio (v4.xx) is easy to use, Internet is full of examples, Atmel documentation is OK. You can also use your arduino board with AVRStudio. Migrate to some Cortex-M after you learn how microcontroller and its peripherals work.