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Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards

Posted by x2800m 
Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 14, 2009 11:46AM

I'll probably start a flame war by saying this, but I've never really been a fan of the arduino or PIC electronics designs (being a ARM guy myself... personal preference...) anyway while shopping at www.mouser.com I've stumbled across a rather inexpensive, yet powerful family of ARM uC development boards:

Mouser PN: DB-LQFP48-LPC2103 and DB-LQFP48-LPC2106



Proper use would require the use of a programming dongle: [www.mouser.com]

The way I see it 7.50USD for the LPC2103 dev board
10.00USD for the LPC2106 dev board
17.00USD for the USBprogrammer
is a pretty good deal. Of course one could always skip the programmer by using the LPC series serial bootloader (which is exactly what the programmer does..) all you'll really need is a voltage level shifter or USB to RS232 converter depending on what computer resources you have available.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/14/2009 11:50AM by x2800m.
Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 15, 2009 04:28PM
Thanks for pointing these out to me. Now if only they'd build one with USB support.
Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 29, 2009 06:12AM
I haven't programmed ARMs before, but I agree in general. However, the bigger ARM micros aren't much more expensive, and I'm planning a board based on ST's STM32F103VBT chip myself.

More pins means the L297 aren't required, and then it's a small step to put the drivers on the same PCB... I put some details on the "beyond the Sanguino" thread.

Graham Daniel.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/29/2009 06:13AM by grael.
Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 29, 2009 04:39PM
The STM32F103VBT looks nice... except for the price. I've been looking at the LPC23xx for similar jobs and they are FAR cheaper, though their ADC's aren't as nice. But they DO include ethernet.

Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 29, 2009 11:27PM
My distributor must have given me the special "Introductory" deal eye popping smiley
Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
January 30, 2009 02:11PM
The price was $15.86 from digikey. For the largest LPC23xx (LPC2388), it's $11.65.

Quick feature comparison:

Program memory: 512kx8/128kx8
RAM: 98kx8/20kx8
I/O: 104/80
Core: ARM7TDMI-S/ARM Cortex M3
Speed: 72MHz(64MIPS)/72MHz(90 MIPS)
USB: Device,Host,OTG/Device
Ethernet: MAC/NONE
SPI: 1+2xSSP/2 *Note: SSP's are like SPI only more programmable
I2C: 3xI2C/2xI2C
PWM: 6xPWM+16 OC/12xPWM + 12 x OC
CAN: 2/1
I2S: 1/NONE <---Not that we need sound or anything...
RTC: Complete Year Month Day Hour Minute Second with battery backup & SRAM/NONE
SD/MMC: Complete/SPI

Ok, so the STM has more ADC, PWM and is faster. EVERYWHERE else, including price, the LPC wins. Now do you see why I've been flogging it?
Re: Inexpensive Microcontroller Development Boards
February 07, 2009 04:47AM
Annirak Wrote:
> The price was $15.86 from digikey. For the
> largest LPC23xx (LPC2388), it's $11.65.

I just had a look at the STM ARM 7 chips, (LPC2388 is an Arm 7), and STM are not impressive there.

I agree, the LPC 2388 is a good deal, it has ethernet and more RAM.
The STM32 have caught up on flash though, check out the STM32F103ZE chips.

For my purposes though, I'm using most of the ADC and PWM outputs, on the 100 pin chip, there's 16 of each, and STM have made many functions available on alternate pin options, so I can get really good utilisation of the special functions.

Unless the smaller RAM or the lack of Ethernet on the STM32 are problems, I think that I still have a good choice. I'm not anticipating video processing myself, If you were going to do that, you MIGHT be able to squeeze some in with the LPC chip, not much though. The later version STM32 have a memory interface, and are available with more pins again, so that might be the preferable option. Then again... perhaps an FPGA or CPLD interface might be more suited to preprocessing that sort of data, with a big DRAM attached. Depends on resolution, speed, and available processor cycles.

I notice most of the Digikey price differential is on the low quantity figures, as you go up in quantity, they are fairly similiar.

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