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Author Topic: Will we ever see higher spec chips in the Arduino  (Read 4089 times)
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Maybe y'all should just port Processing to Rasberry Pi/beagleboard/beaglebone/pogoplug/etc instead.
I'd somewhat prefer Arduino to own the niche of doing things that people have forgotten than computers can do.
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It is possible that some of the folks that want more power/memory/etc really need to look to something in a MICROPROCESSOR and a more complex system.

Personally, for a system needing a bit mire power I would actually look into using a Z80/Z180 processor. I have a background in Z80 so they would be a nice fit.

When you start needing more power your precise needs are going to be very different from the next person because of the specifics that you need. Maybe you need a bunch of analog I/O, then next guy has no need for analog but wants a bunch of didtal I/O.

The Arduino is so useful because it brings out all the power of the 328 in a simple layout. There are very few trade-offs (dedicated reset and serial pins) and we have access to the chip with very inexpensive tools thanks to the Arduino team and Atmel.
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Maybe y'all should just port Processing to Rasberry Pi/beagleboard/beaglebone/pogoplug/etc instead.
I'd somewhat prefer Arduino to own the niche of doing things that people have forgotten than computers can do.


I'm in this line. I have a bad feeling that the whole Due concept could pull the arduino platform into a direction away from what made it so successful in the first place. If they can support two rather independent IDE platforms then maybe they can pull it off, but if it's somehow shoehorned into a larger single IDE I think we could be in for a rough ride ahead. I can easily ignore the Due when released if I choose to just by not buying one, but I can't ignore the existing 8 bit IDE if its drastically changed to support the Due.

Lefty
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...but if it's somehow shoehorned into a larger single IDE I think we could be in for a rough ride ahead. I can easily ignore the Due when released if I choose to just by not buying one, but I can't ignore the existing 8 bit IDE if its drastically changed to support the Due.

If we ignore its many bugs, the MPIDE used my ChipKit is a pretty good example of repurposing the Arduino IDE to work with a 32 bit boards and remain compatible with 8 bit Arduino boards.

Even on Arduino, there's lots of projects, shields and libraries that do fairly complex stuff, usually assisted by off-chip hardware.  How is that so much different from the IDE supporting a more powerful chip which can do some of those things in its own software?

Even now, the Ethernet library is being extended with better support for protocols like DHCP and probably soon a library for HTTP.... on 8 bit Arduino.

I just don't understand these doom-and-gloom predictions.  Maybe you could elaborate in more detail?
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I just don't understand these doom-and-gloom predictions.  Maybe you could elaborate in more detail?

Not a predictions, we have not had enough information provided to do that. Just a case of a feeling that the Due project could have unintended consequences of the existing adruino platform. This is not my first rodeo and one shouldn't criticize the soup before tasting it, but in a vacuum of information one can be concerned.

Lefty
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more power I would actually look into using a Z80/Z180 processor.
I used to love Z80s, dream about the Z180s and built a large board with a 64180, banked memory and the lot. I often think of making a retro board but I wouldn't do it to get more power (unless you mean the 20Amps the board would draw smiley

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but I can't ignore the existing 8 bit IDE if its drastically changed to support the Due.
Yes you can Lefty, just use one of the better options that currently exist. I downloaded AV Studio 6 the other day and that's fantastic (at first glance anyway, but of course no preloaded Arduino libs etc) but even a good editor and a make file is better that the IDE.

I can't imagine the current IDE can survive ARMageddon unless they fork the dev tools and keep 8-bits separate to 32-bits, that would be a mistake I think.

I guess we just have to wait to find out, hopefully it will be in this life smiley

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Yes you can Lefty, just use one of the better options that currently exist.

Actually for me the arduino IDE is the best method for me to program my projects. As 'best' is hopelessly a subjective opinion that depends on ones objectives, experience, and preferences. As I'm an experienced hardware type that has learned just enough programming skills to get along, the arduino IDE is something I feel comfortable with and don't wish to learn or adapt to a more 'powerful' IDE. Choices are nice as long as I get to choose using the criterias most important to me.

Lefty
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Yes I shouldn't knock the IDE too much, it's simple and clean and appropriate for it's target audience I think. While environments like those I mentioned are "better" that doesn't mean they are right for the typical Arduino user, TBH if they used Notepad++ and a makefile Arduino would not be the turn key app is currently is and I suspect it would not have gone very far smiley

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The Arduino environment is a small, fairly clean and uncomplicated tool for prototyping with some of the Atmel chips. It doesn't require a whole lot of setup, (I remeber trying to use the old Microsoft tools under CPM on a Z80, there were a number of other tools that were developed that made it a lot easier and less frustrating...) and does one thing rather well. I don't think it would take a whole lot of modification to make it work with other processor families, some modification/changes to the boards file such as the identification of the compiler to use for the chip being programmed. On the other hand, if it were to make the Arduino IDE harder to use thenit would probably be a real negative. The only other microcontroller I have worked with was Basic Stamp and the Arduino Environment was a whole lot more usable, and a lot less limiting, in my opinion.

Perhaps the Due should have a DueDuino enviromnment that would be similar, but dedicated to the Due. A clean, dedicated environment in parallel with Arduinio.
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All things considered, it's not clear to me what applications NEED a "higher spec chip"

I've become somewhat depressingly aware that there are a lot more Arduino-like clones that are "possible" and "interesting", but not really "necessary" or even "good for the Arduino community as a whole.  Xmega; MSP430; PIC24; Coldfire; 8051(in several versions); half-a-dozen different ARMs (CM3, CM4, CM0, CM0+.  Not counting the ones that already exist); Renesas...

I can't think of a compelling reason for most of them.  The most common limitation that current Arduino users seem to run into is RAM.  Which could be most compatibly addresses by adding some external RAM to a MEGA.  Which is sort of boring.
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I just asked this question here

http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?topic=99072.new;topicseen

As you can see there's been little response and so far not one single concrete idea. Maybe the thread in is the wrong section, or is it just that nobody needs such a beast?

So if we assume that the new Due should NOT run Unix, HDMI etc etc because there are plenty of boards that do this very well that means it should probably be a "Mega on steroids", but the question remains, "What will it do?".

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Rob

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"Which could be most compatibly addresses by adding some external RAM to a MEGA. " and likely solved in many cases by just moving up to a '1284, and picking up some more IO pins in the process.


* 1284_thruhole1.JPG (328.18 KB, 1200x655 - viewed 17 times.)
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As you can see there's been little response and so far not one single concrete idea.

Well let me tell you why I like the Arduino. It might not be the fastest thing in the world, but remember the original IBM PC ran at 4.77 MHz. So at 16 MHz it's not too shabby,

You don't have to download DLLs onto it. You don't get viruses. You don't have an operating system so complex no-one can comprehend what it does. It boots in about a second, or less. It shuts down by yanking out the power cord. It's powerful enough to talk to SD cards for massive data storage. You can interface LEDs, motors, rotary encoders, LCDs, a huge amount of things. It's cheap. The Arduino IDE in particular makes it very easy to program. Properly configured, it can use a tiny amount of power when inactive.

You compile with a "real" language (C++). You can, if you wish, use fancy features like templates, the STL, classes, dynamic memory and so on. You can extend it with extra RAM, EEPROM, and port-expanders. You can use I2C, SPI, serial, 1-wire, and so on. You can connect USB and Ethernet. With a few extra chips you can have radio communications, or RS485.
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Nick, I think you have expressed well one of the real advantages to both the success and popularity of the Arduino platform and that is the total lack of having to deal with a operating system when working down at the sketch level. Just me and the chip, and with a little help from the datasheet. I don't have to learn or remember stuff that doesn't have anything to do with what I'm working on.

So while of course the Arduino IDE is very dependent on a PC OS to operate in, once I'm working down at the sketch and hardware level of the arduino, there is a much simpler, approachable, and controllable universe at my control.
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Yes I think that's why most of us like this sort of platform. I know when I have a problem with say a VB.NET program there are so many levels of complexity that I don't even know where to start some times. And even if you do narrow it down to a framework or system call what are you going to do about it? Raise a support ticket with M$ and wait 6 months?

That's not to say you don't have problems with embedded stuff but as Lefty put it so well it's "Just me and the chip, and with a little help from the datasheet."

Of course all that can still be true of an ARMduino, as long as the feature creep is kept in check (something I find very hard to do smiley)

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