We’re considering using the Portenta for prototyping the next version of a product. It seems very exciting, and the hype around it is quite exciting frankly - love the idea of the Arduino ecosystem moving into professional applications and surrounding the STM32H747 with its ease-of-development for certain things.
But, with promises like the Carrier Board by “end of Feb” still on the info pages, with no update, just a few very, very perfunctory blog posts on how to do a two-CPU blink, and literally zero info about the 80-pin connector use beyond some pin-outs, no information on much else (like deeper discussions of the RPC mechanism between cores as exposed in Arduino patterns/libraries - plenty of generic docs, etc).
There are, of course, the STM32H747 data sheets and methods, but the whole value proposition of “Arduino Pro” seems to be working with the ease, ecosystem, libraries, and standard experience of the platform, but it seems as if sometime between Feb and one update in July the entire attention to Arduino Pro/Protenta H7 as a product seemed to evaporate, as if the team walked out the door and never came back (or even bothered logging in from home to give us an update on what the status is).
I understand the COVID issues relating to why there’d be an understandable delay, but is Portenta stillborn now? What’s its status, honestly? Does anyone else feel that this forum is kind of a ghost town, kind of like the entire Portenta product launch?
I am wondering if it is just wise to go with the traditional dev stack, process, tools and use one of the STM32H747 dev boards that is well documented and supported, what’s the feeling and use of folks of Portenta as it stands?
Yes I looked at it as the basis for our product. The specs and promises looked perfect but the documentation and library support is very weak. ST discovery boards have better documentation and software support.
Best plan for Arduino might be to release the details so this cards can be programmed with ST cube software with the HAL support. It won’t be an Arduino but it still useful product because you can’t use the ST discovery cards in products.
Beginning to think that myself.
There are, of course, the STM32H747 data sheets and methods, but the whole value proposition of "Arduino Pro" seems to be working with the ease, ecosystem, libraries, and standard experience of the platform, but it seems as if sometime between Feb and one update in July the entire attention to Arduino Pro/Protenta H7 as a product seemed to evaporate, as if the team walked out the door and never came back (or even bothered logging in from home to give us an update on what the status is).
I'm willing to give the development team the benefit of the doubt for now, as there are unforeseen teething issues with any new venture. You make a very good point, which I'll paraphrase to 'if I have to refer to a datasheet religiously, why use Arduino at all?'
But if I play devil's advocate, as has been stressed elsewhere, maybe for the Portenta the shift in business model means it isn't so much about easily programmable microcontrollers anymore as it is about the different industrial-spec'd components and interfaces for rapid prototyping i.e. you're already meant to know the detailed microcontroller stuff.
If so, this really hasn't been communicated strongly enough and this venture would have been better as a spin-out company rather than something under the Arduino flag (even if it is ostensibly a different 'Arduino Pro' product). But then again, working on market recognition for a new company then comes into play. Decisions, decisions!
I will keep going with it for now, although I do hope that if any new information comes out soon it's the communication between cores as I am having problems with this and I'm aching to get this working. I also fully understand that it does require effort on all our parts to be active learners at all stages of the process.
This was a big chunk to byte off on (pun intended) . Dual core microcontrollers are not simple. I love that Arduino strives for simplification. It has been my personal mantra for 40 years that technology should be easy which is why I am a Massimo Banzi fanboy. I was very excited about this too because I coincidentally chose the same processor for my next gen#ezLCD and still hope to do an #arLCDversion of it. That said I don't have resources for the Arduino port right now but if anyone has an interest in being beta tester for any of our ST related products contact randy at earthlcd (com). Our EarthSOM-STM32H7 is an upcoming product that has the same chip as Portenta. We also use STM32F429 in the ezlcd-456-5-6-vga-lua-programmable-smart-touchscreen-lcd-beta?
ezLCD-4056 with a version of the same firmware. Anyway I would volunteer to share any STM32H757 issues we've solved in our implementation with the Arduino team but we are focused on single core operation at this time.
I would have thought that with the ARM partnership perhaps this board (and others based on Mbed OS) would get a different treatment.
Give it time I suppose. I'm not actually sure what their partnership with ARM even entails, I thought they would lean heavily into the whole Mbed ecosystem with their "Pro" offerings and get support from ARM.
I have tried - hard - to like the Portenta board, but OP has a valid point.
If I decide to use a platform professionally, then I absolutely need professional behaviour on the suppliers side. My experience so far has been the exact opposite.
Tired of waiting for the carrier, i decided to make my own. I contacted support to ask for the exact distance between the 80-pin connectors. The answer I got was:
“We have limited ability to advise and support non Arduino products, therefore, since this product is not manufactured by us, we kindly recommend you to contact its manufacturer directly so they can give you the information you need.”.
Really? Really?! That is “not even trying” support level.
The total lack of information on the carrier board release does not instil confidence. Supply chain management is hard enough and a PITA as it is, and this raises so many red flags it’s not even funny any more. I would never put this in a commercial product of ours and be at the mercy of Arduino to discontinue this board on a whim. Which, apparently, is what happened to the carrier board i guess, without any notice to anyone. That is not the kind of communication professional users are looking for.
Further issues that make me shy away from this is the lack of decent documentation and its half-baked mbed implementation. There’s more, but I don’t want to turn this into a rant more than it already is.
The reason i originally considered Portenta as the platform of choice was the small form factor with MBED support, combined with a beefy MCU. That is a winning combination, it’s really beyond me how you can screw this up so badly. It should practically sell itself given half an effort. Fabio: Hire a product manager for crying out loud.