[sdiy] Microchip DSP kit $60 > AVR32

Eric Brombaugh ebrombaugh at earthlink.net
Mon Mar 24 04:59:33 CET 2008

On Mar 23, 2008, at 8:28 PM, Tom Farrand wrote:

>  I'd love to do ARM projects but the GPL tools
> seem difficult to use and I don't think they optimize code at all.

I'd be interested to find out where you learned this. I've been using  
GCC on x86 an Sparc architectures for the last 15 years or so and the  
optimization is excellent. I've used it on ARM for a few years and  
it's always seemed adequate. As you pointed out though, the biggest  
disadvantage is that it setting up a toolchain from scratch can be a  
hugh PITA. On the other hand, there are a few free pre-built GCC  
toolchains like YAGARTO (www.yagarto.de) that have done most of the  
work for you.

> DSP projects are very compelling but WAY beyond my tiny little brain!
> All that stuff is magic as far as I can tell.  And of course there is
> the cost of Matlab if you want to do things reasonably.  Guess I am
> just stuck with various "old" stuff.

It can be daunting, but in the long run it's just math. Start small  
with simple stuff like NCOs and lookup tables. Do some googling and  
you can find resources for folks with all levels of experience - from  
tutorials on the fundamentals to detailed examinations of arcane  

If the cost of Matlab is holding you back, try out the freeware  
alternative Octave (www.octave.org) - you can download WinXX and Mac  
OS X binary packages that give you most of the functionality of  
Matlab, including linear algegra, graphics & plotting, signal  
processing and filter design.


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