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1  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: ARM announced a new Cortex-M processor today... the Cortex-M7 on: September 29, 2014, 03:34:25 am
That's interesting info. Both Atmel and TI produce MCUs utilizing the Cortex-m4 core.
The Atmel SAM4* MCUs, have no EEProm provisions. The Cortex-M4 is produced on the 65nm process node.
To contrast, the TI TM4C1259 has 6k of EEProm.

It will be interesting to see how TI addresses EEProm when they employ the Cortex-M7 (assuming they will).
2  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: ARM announced a new Cortex-M processor today... the Cortex-M7 on: September 25, 2014, 01:02:48 pm
Bummer there is no EEprom on the STMicro variant.
Perhaps I'm not very bright, but other than SDMicro storage, I haven't found a good way to store homing constants (think positioning in motion control apps) or calibration data (think analytical sensors) when EEprom isn't present.
I imagine everyone else is just adding an EEprom too?

TI' Cortex-M4 based MCU came with 6K eeprom. I'm hoping that when they license the Cortex-M7 for their next version they will continue the practice.
3  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Does Arduino have a future? on: September 23, 2014, 08:34:27 pm

Honestly.. to design a 'better' Arduino is way beyond my capabilities. Lightyears. (To use an Arduino? Now I've done that plenty and had some fun.) The Arduino team is far brighter than I. I found some design decisions for a few recent products to be puzzling, but I don't think I was overtly critical.

However, I would reward the Arduino team with my hard earned dollars through purchase of a 'better' Arduino if they designed one. In fact, I've rewarded no less than 3 different manufactures of DUE alternatives who built a better mouse trap. Good stuff.

Thank you for your rant. Perhaps, now that you've expressed your righteous indignation of all of us ingrates,  the entire Arduino team can comfortably rest on it's laurels. I'm hoping they don't. I'm looking forward to more excellent products from them... Is it wrong to hope for them to go the extra mile on the next big release?

4  Development / Other Hardware Development / Arduino and Atmel announce Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101... secure wifi connectivity on: September 23, 2014, 08:17:45 pm

"The cost-effective, secure Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 is an easy-to-use extension that can seamlessly be connected to any Arduino board enabling high-performance Wi-Fi connectivity. This new shield gives the design community more opportunities to securely connect IoT applications, ranging from consumer goods to wearables, robotics, high-tech devices and more. The Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 is powered by Atmel’s wireless network controller, part of the Atmel SmartConnect family. It also includes the ATECC108 device, from the Crypto Authentication family, which allows users to easily incorporate hardware authentication capability in their design.

The Arduino Wi-Fi Shield 101 can be connected to any modern Arduino R3 board, enabling connectivity to the Internet using any traditional Wi-Fi access points. It is based on the WINC1500 802.11b/g/n network controller which features an integrated TCP/IP stack, TLS security and SoftAP for seamless provisioning."

Looking at Atmel's site.. the ATWINC1500 ... "Atmel® SmartConnect-WINC1500 is an IEEE 802.11 b/g/n IOT network controller SoC. It is the ideal add-On to existing MCU solutions bringing WiFi and Network capabilities through UART or SPI-to-WiFi interface."

Looking at Atmel's site again... the ATECC108... "Access to the device is through a standard I²C Interface at speeds up to 1Mb/sec. It is compatible with standard Serial EEPROM I²C Interface specifications. The device also supports a Single-Wire Interface that can reduce the number of GPIOs required on the system processor or reduce the number of pins on connectors."

It appears to work like the other shields... but apparently with the crypto piece.. may increase pin count? Or do the ATWINC1500/ATECC108 work in conjunction and hide the extra physical implementation stuff from us? (just a set of additional libraries and function calls in software or something?)

Anyone heard about this guy?

5  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Does Arduino have a future? on: September 23, 2014, 06:59:04 pm
I'm curious to see ultimately what direction Arduino is going product wise. They didn't take the DUE far enough, not utilizing the native connectivity of the Cortex-M3 (sic.. Ethernet), the SD interface and others. But I guess they'd rather sell shields.

Do they feel users require a full applications processor (Sitari A8) with a proper OS (Linux) ala the TRE to enable the internet of things?

Or rather are they planning something (QUATTRO, QUA, AWD, 4WD or 4TO) with a just powerful enough microcontroller (Cortex-M4 or newly announced Cortex-M7) with a decent RTOS option to enable the same IoT?

Anyone heard any good rumors?

6  Development / Other Hardware Development / ARM announced a new Cortex-M processor today... the Cortex-M7 on: September 23, 2014, 06:06:23 pm
Like the Cortex-M3 & M4, it is a 32-bit ARMv7-M core processor. I is said to use a six-stage superscalar pipeline.

The ARM literature says that it will have highly flexible system and memory interfaces. Looking forward to seeing more details on that... (though of course it will lack a MMU).

It launches manufactured on a 40nm process and runs up to 400Mhz.  However it will move to a 28nm process in the near future, where performance is expected to double (so one can assume a near doubling of clock speed as well).

Atmel is already said to have a license. Will be interesting to see if the Arduino team selects this processor for a new Arduino variant. Arduino is using the Cortex-M0+ (armv6-m) for the new Arduino ZERO and has used the Cortex-M3 (armv7-m) for the Arduino DUE. But they've yet to employ the Cortex-M4 (armv7-m). Their latest board, the Arduino TRE contains a Texas Instruments Sitara processor which uses Cortex-A8 (armv7-a) series core. So who knows what direction they are moving in?

Texas Instruments licenses a number of the Cortex-M processors, but I haven't heard of a license for this new processor. I just picked up a nice development board that uses the Cortex-M4 from TI.

ARM has updated the website and specifications are now available:
7  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: PCIeDuino: feedback on Arduino clone design on a mini-PCIe card on: September 01, 2014, 12:31:20 pm
MIght be a fun application for the upcoming Arduino ZERO.
8  Topics / Education and Teaching / Re: Can anyone learn to code? on: August 15, 2014, 03:02:44 pm
Almost everyone can learn, but not everyone can excell.

I've been in Mexico 8 1/2 years, and I can tell you that my wife has had a very hard time learning Spanish.

I on the otherhand, hand built an electic guitar and cannot play it at all.

I am convinced that some brains are just wired to accomplish different things.

I code, but I don't code as well as I used to.

I did the survey.
9  Community / Local Groups / Re: Arduino users in Sonora, Mexico? Tucson, Arizona? on: July 24, 2014, 06:22:25 pm
Time and Unforeseen occurrence befall all of us. My wife and I have found it necessary to move back to the United States to care for our aging parents. It's been a great 8 1/2 year gig here in Mexico! So, in October, we will be relocating to Green Valley, Arizona.... Midway between Tucson Arizona USA, and Nogales Sonora Mexico.
Green Valley has a really neat Recreational Department that runs a wood shop, metal shop, a lapidary, etc....  So, who knows.... maybe in lieu of getting high school age kids in Mexico turned on to Arduino..... I'll be turning retired old dudes in Arizona on to Arduino!
10  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: aquarium project on: July 24, 2014, 10:55:57 am
Check on the 'Displays' Forum. You will find lots of information about the Mirroring problem of those 7" displays (800X480res)..

The Atlas stuff is good.
11  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Does Arduino have a future? on: July 23, 2014, 07:53:19 pm
Kowalski's work with Cosa is a really interesting development for a C++ OO Framework. It's a bare metal approach that will give us some task scheduling that might allow us to do some things that we expect an RTOS to accomplish. He's not included any of the ARM core MCUs. If he expanded it to Cortex-M3.. for DUE.. .Then we'd want him to expand it to Cortex-M0 for ZERO.... then there would be others of us who'd like to see it expanded to Cortex-M4 for TI Tiva C series.

Then there's the IDE. Not very powerful... but hides allot of the ugliness. The Wiring based IDE forked and used by Arduino (for Arduino AVR and Cortex M0 and M3) and Texas Instruments (Energia for TI Tiva C Series) . So although there is fun stuff happening with Visual Studio and Xcode Addins, the Arduino team hiding all of the ugliness with the tool chains and so forth makes a compelling case for just putting up with the weak IDE. It's still very easy to use.

There's the hardware itself.  I wish that they could have made use of the native Ethernet and SDIO/MMC capabilities of the ATSAM3X8E and installed a physical RJ45 and microSD slot on the DUE. Instead, DUE ended up being a faster MEGA with lots of library issues to work out. They will give us all of that with the TRE, but all appearances are at increased complexity and costs. Perhaps the Arduino ZERO should have come first....   Maybe we will get a Quattro based on the Cortex-M4 and give us the missing pieces from DUE and Tiva C Series (looking at you SDIO interface... really wanted that included in the TI Launchpad!).

I like the idea of having built in microSD support, Ethernet and getting eeprom back.... but I don't want to have to school myself on Linux to get it.

Whether or not Arduino survives.. I'm not sure... none of us are privy to their financial performance. But they certainly have benefited the Maker crowd and Academia by getting the cost of basic prototyping platforms down to levels we can all afford to use! I think they've gotten the attention of bigger folks (Texas Instruments). Increased competition drives innovation and costs.

Maybe the Italians have a little work to convince us that ZERO, UNO, DUE and TRE are a real complimentary family of products....  instead of radical departures at each turn.  We've got CortexM3 with DUE.... then TRE is announced and grabs TI's Sitari (aka BeagelBone) architecture and drags along AVR with it... then we move on to ZERO and we are back in the Atmel fold with the CortexM0....  I've given Arduino lots of cash by purchasing official boards/shields and I've supported 3rd party development through clones/shields/others. But ultimately, for me, it's about a working, well supported product. We know UNO and MEGA are great.... everything else they are developing/doing feels like such a departure that we don't hesitate to look at other architectures, other vendors products. As a user community, we have no idea where Arduino is going.... 

But maybe that's not that important.  Perhaps the Arduino folks aren't either? Looks like TI and Atmel are the big suppliers for Academia and the Maker set now (is it my imagination that PIC is losing out to these guys?). TI even promotes the BeagleBone boards on it's site and makes no bone (pun intended) about the Tiva C series taking advantage of the Arduino and Wiring Frameworks, despite both of them being competitors to their own development boards. Maybe we will see a convergence of technologies, architectures and methodologies... Consider we've got AVR (Atmel 168, 328) Cortex-M3 (Atmel AM3X), Cortex-M0 (Atmel SAMD21), Cortex-M4 (Ti TM4C), Cortex A8 (Ti Sitari) architectures all running on a form of the Wiring Framework with forks of the same IDE developed in Processing.  Maybe Arduino IDE 2.0 will really extend the reach? The only questions might be do you want a board that uses Shields, Capes or BoosterPacks? Our skills may just easily transfer across platforms/vendors/products.

Wow, this got long fast.

12  Community / Bar Sport / Re: Your latest purchase on: July 22, 2014, 01:14:38 pm
I just received my Tiva C-Series TM4C1294XL evaluation board from Texas Instruments. It's the Connected Launchpad version.
See how it goes.

13  Development / Suggestions for the Arduino Project / Re: Does Arduino have a future? on: July 22, 2014, 12:58:43 pm
I've just received a Tiva C-Series TM4C1294XL evaluation board from Texas Instruments.. $20 usd.. (I wish the evaluation board included the microSD interface for a few more dollars, but oh well...)
I will see if it is better suited for some of the more challenging personal projects I'm working on where I had originally intended to use DUE.

However, for some really simple projects with commercial application that I'm developing.. 8 bit Arduino UNO gave me the skills and confidence to move to Tiny84a for the release project. Even Tiny84a is more powerful than I need, but I'm sure I would not have stumbled upon this little guy, if it weren't for diving into Arduino and the DUE 18 months ago.
14  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: my aquarium project on: June 30, 2014, 06:16:18 pm
look at his stuff and tutorials.

it will get you started.
15  Development / Other Hardware Development / Re: Multi ATtiny programmer on: June 15, 2014, 05:01:12 pm
I use a simpler solution; a 40 pin ZIF socket, upper end for AttinyX5 and lower end for AttinyX4. See
NB. The blog shows the early design with only AttinyX5. Since then I have added support for AttinyX4.


My goodness your work is impressive! I have a project that will use an ATTiny84A SSUR format. Never the less, I'm still grateful for the suggestions you gave above.

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