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Author Topic: ARM microprocessor advice  (Read 1506 times)

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Offline dualTopic starter

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ARM microprocessor advice
« on: August 19, 2009, 02:24:41 PM »
Hi, I would like to start learning how to use an ARM microprocessor since I have deduced that in order to properly implement a triangulating camera setup in my robot, I would need the fire power of an ARM microprocessor.

Do you guys have an advice for a starter? I've looked at AVR32 bits, and Texas instrument ARM uP but they all seem to be atleast 64+ pins and my school nor myself have access to equipment that can solder them onto PCB boards.

Is there a development board that you can recommend to me? It does not have to have an extravagant setup, in fact, it would be nice if it had headers that I can plug into my protoboard.

Offline sonictj

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 02:49:15 PM »
Hey another UF guy. there is no reason you can't use more than 64 pins.  I've soldered 100 pin TQFPs by hand.  I work in MIL in building MAEB we've got a microscope in there just for this kinda stuff.  We also have a hot air rework station.  Can you explain in more detail what you are diong I'm not sure an ARM is really necessary.

Offline benji

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 03:48:37 PM »
if you are looking for somthin powerfull you can check the PIC32 microcontrollers, and if you are looking for boards there is the Explorer 16 board
check the microchip website, its a very powerfull controller.
these PIC32 are RISC MIPS32 architecture, with a powerfull processor pipeline of 5 stages.
good ol' BeNNy

Offline GearMotion

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 03:59:12 PM »

Offline SmAsH

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2009, 04:04:18 PM »
Hey another UF guy. there is no reason you can't use more than 64 pins.  I've soldered 100 pin TQFPs by hand.  I work in MIL in building MAEB we've got a microscope in there just for this kinda stuff.  We also have a hot air rework station.  Can you explain in more detail what you are diong I'm not sure an ARM is really necessary.
+1 smd soldering can look daunting at first, but once you get into it, it isnt too hard...
with the right equipment of coarse (fine tip, thin solder)...

when you say "triangulating camera setup" what exactly do you mean?
i think i have an idea but i am very confused...
Howdy

Offline Razor Concepts

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2009, 05:20:45 PM »
Not sure how good it is but it is nice and cheap:
http://futurlec.com/ET-ARM_Stamp.shtml

And I think the current top of the line ARMs may be the Cortex M3

Offline chelmi

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Re: ARM microprocessor advice
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2009, 09:47:48 AM »
And I think the current top of the line ARMs may be the Cortex M3


In the microcontroller profile, yes, it's probably the most powerful. But there are more powerfull ones in the
"application profile" (see the wikipedia article  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture#ARM_cores)

This leads to a crucial question: do you have any measurement of your needs? Without this, it's impossible to
tell which ARM you need. They are very versatile cores that come in all kind of different "profile" some are just high-end microcontrollers,
others can run a full blown OS and applications. Just an example: the ET-ARM Stamp Module uses the same core as a Game Boy Advanced (~ 60 MIPS at 60MHz)
The Cortex A9 MPCore features 2 to 4 cores, with frequency ranging from 600 MHz to 1GHz and 2.0 MIPS/Hz (~2000MIPS / core).

As you can see, it really depends on your application. My advice: write your core application in C on your desktop computer and profile it.
Get a set of "typical" data, like a few video frames, run it and measure the number of instructions (use gprof or any profiler for that). Of course
this will be approximate, since you will be measuring instruction count on a x86 machine, not an arm. But it will give you a general idea of what you
need. Ideally you would use a ISS (Instruction Set Simulator) of the ARM to measure this, but it is too expensive for hobby guys like us :(

If you code your application properly, you will be able to reuse most of it on your "final" embedded version (isolate core processing functions, it will also help profiling).

Chelmi.

 


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