I'm considering moving from an Atmel XMEGA environment to and ARM
environment. (various reasons, one being the purchase of Atmel by
Microchip and some corresponding price increases...)
I'm looking at the following scenario:
1) buying an explorer/development board: Nucleo 64 bit with a F446RET6
processor from STM. Seems to have the highest performance for
processor intensive solutions and would support daughterboards with
memory access (good for things like displays and extra memory).
2) I will probably (for these designs) go bare metal. The reasoning
is that I do not want Linux at the moment, and these are embedded
building blocks of larger systems. I already have an operating system
that needs to be rewritten (low level drivers only) for the ARM. It
already exists for the Xmega.... no, it's not FreeRtos. (there are
2A) kinds of designs are display drivers mostly, which is where I need
the most processing power. May end up keeping the Xmega stuff for
smaller functions, that's not all that bad depending on what Microchip
does with the prices (already up some....)
3) Assuming that a 13 dollar development board will do well enough
(it's cheaper than I can make a board and populate it), and that there
are enough processor pins to run the daughter boards (which I don't
4) What development tools are there that would work reasonably well?
I'd be using the (purchased with board) ST_link protocol.
5) cost IS an object, so I'd be looking for a free version that is NOT
code size limited. I've had Xmega projects at about 100K bytes of
code, which knocks out the "go see what it's like then pay us money"
approach of the major compiler vendors.
6) I'm hoping that people here with experience in ARM development have
some preferences and could help. The BBB is not a hardware candidate
for several reasons, one being cost (I tend to do distributed systems,
which means lots of processors), another of which is simply
complexity. A processor with add-ons (Arduino approach) seems to be a
minimalist hardware approach, which for now, is worth investigating.
Currently I am using the AVR studio IDE, and developing in either C or
C++, PC projects tend to be Lazarus Pascal for historical reasons and
the fact that Microsoft's .net framework drives me up a wall.
Comments welcome, and if this is sufficiently off topic for the group,
please reply directly. Also would like to hear about inexpensive
hardware development boards that might work. Considered the PSOC 5LP
boards, but they're such a loss leader that I wonder if they're going
to be permanent... Then again, everything changes.