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Saw this simplecortex in some mailing, anyone experience with it?

Specs look quite good
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(source brc)

- http://www.brc-electronics.nl/ -

What I like is that this simplecortex was started as a graduation project - imho it looks a succesfull one !

(ADC = 12 bit)

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« Last Edit: June 07, 2012, 12:01:21 pm by robtillaart » Logged

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Seems ridiculous to compare this to the 328-based arduino.  It's only ~$5 cheaper than the 2560-based ones, or the Ethernet one.
And the specs don't seem stacked up like they advertise when compared to the Mega.

Arduino's also got the community that goes with it, and at least from the glances I took at the simplecortex, more documentation.
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Hello,

Rik here, I am one of the developers that made the Simplecortex.
We compared it to the normal Arduino as the Simplecortex uses that layout and not the Arduino mega layout.
The Arduino mega 2560 has a bit more IO and PWM ports than the Simplecortex (54 IO and 15 PWM vs 40 IO and 6 PWM).
Also the Arduino mega 2560 has more Analog inputs and 4KB EEPROM.
The Simplecortex has 1 Serial port more then the Arduino mega (4 vs 3) and 2 I2C ports more (3 vs 1) as far as I can see.
Also, the Simplecortex has an real analog output (so 0 to 3.3V out instead of a PWM signal), something the Arduino mega doesn't have.
In terms of speed it's a different story, Flash memory is double as much (512K vs 256K) but RAM memory is 8 times as much (64K vs 8K) and the clock speed is also a lot faster (120Mhz vs 16Mhz)
Don't forget that a 32 bits CPU is faster when calculating numbers larger then 256 then a 8 bits CPU.

To summarize, the Arduino mega 2560 has more IO and analog pins but the Simplecortex is faster and has some more peripheral pins like I2C and RS232.
If I look at the prices, a normal Arduino is ~30 dollars and the mega 2560 is ~60 dollars at Sparkfun.
The Arduino with Ethernet onboard was a bit harder to find but it seems to be around 45 euro's (50ish dollars)
So the difference between an Arduino with onboard Ethernet and the Simplecortex isn't that big.

Of course the Simplecortex has a small community as it is new, same goes for the documentation, when the Arduino was just out the amount of documentation was not as big as it is now.
We are still busy with adding more libraries and tutorials but that takes time and hopefully the community will also grow with some time.
This was a school project so everything was done in about 5 months time.

The Simplecortex is also aimed towards people that used an 8 bit microcontroller like the Arduino and want something a bit faster.
The Eclipse IDE used for the Simplecortex also has support for real debugging with breakpoints and can auto-complete while you type.
Especially the debugging is something handy that the Arduino can't do, at our school that was the thing most students liked the most about our board.
But if someone would ask me what board is the best for a beginner that never touched a microcontroller before I would advice them to get an Arduino as it's great for beginners, easy to use and has loads and loads of documentation in a lot of languages.
But for people that used Arduino's or Picmicro's and want something faster with a extensive IDE the Simplecortex might be something for them.


 

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You should compare it with an Arduino + ethernet Shield. So from the hardware point this package is very competetive. The size of the community however is probably what add significantly to Arduino's success.
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@riktw
Will there be support for some Arduino-ish compatibility mode to make porting apps easier?
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I like this, I've been thinking about playing with a large LPC for a while now and this seems to have a nice combination of features.

I notice that the comparison table now shows the Mega, I guess another valid comparison will be the Due when it comes out.

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Rob
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Yeah, my colleague actually changed that in a hurry after seeing this topic smiley
@robtillaart:
Nope, that's not something we are planning to do.
It would take a lot of time that we would prefer to use to develop new tutorials and libraries.
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Can you post the schematic in PDF format? I will chew my own arm off before installing Eagle smiley

Also is there a description of how the USB debugger works?

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If you download the zip file not only the Eagle files but also images of the schematic smiley
The USB debugger is a SWD/JTAG debugger, it's a ColinkEx from CooCox to be precise:
http://www.coocox.org/Colinkex.htm
The usual stuff is possible, placing breakpoints, looking in variables, pausing code and other debugging stuff smiley
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