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Topic: Arduino to ARM... Where does one start? (Read 3762 times) previous topic - next topic


So I've been using arduino for 6 months now and have built a few projects... The introduction arduino gave me helped me work comfortably with pic as well... Now I'm toying with trying out ARM... But unlike working with arduino(and CVavr) or pic(ccs)... ARM seems a bit too complex to understand(oops i dont have any technical education as such.... i just did it and learnt!) so where would be a good place to start? Any good tutorials on how to get a blinker running on an arm board?  My searches for a simple tutorial aren't tuning up anything...thanks for any help.. :)


A lot of Arm broad run a full version of linux or are programmed in C++ with Winarm instead of Winavr.
I guess the next stage so to find out how the ARM and AVR chips differ with how to program the I/O etc.

I have a Buffalo Linkstation Pro which uses a Arm chip, So because it uses Linux it`s so easy to program.


This is a good starting board for ARM: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=774

Check out the links to documents on that page, including a tutorial on how to program it, software samples, etc.


Any thoughts on this one...

it seems cool...


First, note that "ARM" encompasses a HUGE number of different chips, ranging from 28-pin $2 chips about equal to the mega168 (8k/2k/20MHz) (only w 32bit registers/operations) to chips running about 1GHz with external ram/memory (and capable of running linux.)  Part of the confusion is figuring out the right development environment for whichever sweet spot you are interested in.

Some of the more "interesting" ARM development boards I've seen:

"Beagle Board" Http://www.beagleboard.org ($149!)  A high-end (Cortex A8) linux capable board.  Open Source (!!)

Luminary Micro Cortex-M3 Eval Boards: http://www.luminarymicro.com/products/evaluation_kits.html/  Luminary was one of the first vendors to address the potential of ARM in low-end microcontroller apps.

ST Electronics STM32 "Primer" boards http://www.stm32circle.com/hom/index.php  Cute (and pretty cheap) hand-held units featuring their STM32 Cortex M3 microcontrollers.  There's an associated contest, too.

There are a bunch of boards from sparkfun/Olimex/etc for the NXP LPC21xx ARM7 microcontrollers.  Not generally as "aimed" as the above.

There are numerous consumer appliances that include a core ARM/Linux system that can be modded to be re-purposed ...  Most famous are the wireless routers (see DDWRT, OPENWRT, and the Fonera info here on the Arduino Forums.)  But also things like the Matel "Juicebox" media player (now hard to find, but...)


As has been stated there are many. I like the LPC series check links from:-

with a forum at:-

But it's another step up with much less hand holding than you get here.


Today I inherited a board with no manuals / no cables.. just a board from a friend... it says www.fudantech.com. It has a central shield like thing on a development board... the shield has a lot of ics with one AT91RM9200. Now i have no clues as to how to use this and where to start. I plugged in the power supply and an led glows that much i know. How do i check this? Can someone here help? I will post a picture of this board later...


Mike, your link to http://www.lpc2100.com/ has been domainsquatted!  Or is the link wrong?  I was expecting a site like AVRfreaks, but for the Philips LPC2100 ARM chips.


i thought mike mean www.lpc2000.com and there was a lot of stuff there... now this is what i have...

This is the shield like thing i mentioned.. and there is a development board beneath it...


Or is the link wrong?

No the link is right there are lots of links to LPC stuff there. The other link was the forum but it is more of a professional one then AVR freaks.

Alternatavly try searching on Farnell for "development Kits". It is a step up in both complexity and price.


Jul 09, 2009, 06:37 pm Last Edit: Jul 09, 2009, 06:38 pm by RevAaron Reason: 1
I'm a little late to the party... but I think that the Cortino would make a great step from the Arduino into the world of ARM MCUs and CPUs. The software isn't quite at the level of the Arduino's in terms of ease of start up/entry, but it's a big improvement over the ARM scene in general.

I've been looking at various Linux-based ARM boards over at Technologics, like the TS-7400. But the board you got (at91rm9200-card-engine) has quite a few more IO pins to play with, which definitely appeals.

Where did you buy it? Anyone know of any distributors in/to the US?


My suggestion to you would be to stop what you are doing and find a good book on computer organisation or computer architecture. Go through that and then some of the concepts will be much clearer to you.

Once you have done that you will find that when moving over to a new system you might find the datasheet all you need to get up to speed with the new processor, because all the concepts of computer architecture are universal whether it be an Atmel, PIC, or an ARM. You will notice that micros like Atmel and PIC use the most basic approaches, whereas ARM uses some of the better developements and features to allow it to be used in more demanding applications.


The Cortino looks good... I had bought a beagle board lot enthusiastically but its taking a lot of time getting to understand things... perhaps i should seriously consider studying computer architecture...on the other side the pull to just do things is too strong...


It isn't an ARM... but Atmel's AVR32 might be a good MCU to try. Seems to me that it'd be a good step in between the Arduino and more complicated boards.  With a little extra work, it might be the best of both worlds- plenty of power while still being pretty easy to just *do things*.

I've been thinking of buying an NGW100 for this reason. Basically, I'd love a board with the conveniences of Linux *and* of the Arduino.

Another option is the PIC32- about as easy to get into as PIC or AVR, but with lots of flash and a fast clock speed (80 MHz).


I have started a project called Xduino at www.Xduino.com this is to extend the current horizon of Arduino. Currently it only supports ARM Cortex-M3 of STM32F10x 72MHz mcu. One can easily program Arduino-like on this mcu. Note that it's only at initial stage release so not all functions are available. For this you'll need compiler for ARM, I am currently using Keil RV-MDK.

Perhaps in the future I can do similar thing for PIC once I get a hold of one.

If you get to try this out please let me know..


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