[sdiy] Using Cortex Mx Arms in Synth DIY

Paul Maddox yo at VacoLoco.net
Sat Dec 24 08:59:09 CET 2011


>    The Cortex Mx processors are:
>    1. Very Inexpensive
>    2. Very6 FAST!
>    3. Free Developement  Tools?
>    4. Easy to use?

5. Have slow IO.

last I looked you couldn't access the IO on some of the devices as fast as the chip could run, for example the philips LPC series, I can't recall where I saw it but the IO would only run around 12Mhz, I real shame if you want to use some 20Mhz SPI.
I've been looking at the XMEGA range, which is a step up but I wonder if I'm just delaying the inevitable.

>    The main problem is the development tools.

yep, always has been sadly....
But what about GCC?

>    For debugging and programming, JTAG interfaces can range from basically free to quite expensive.  I have a J-Link that came with an Arm dev kit.  I*f you buy the JLink by itself, it can be quite pricey.  There is an open source JTAG interface that uses an FTDI chip.  These are fairly reasonable, but I don't know how difficult it is to get one to work.

good question

> Anybody Elese have any thoughts?

I'm considering swapping to something a bit more beefy for some of my projects, I love the AVR dearly, but 20Mhz with 2K of RAM is starting to get limiting.
I'm considering getting something like the raspberry pi for developing ;

http://www.raspberrypi.org/ (currently down for some reason)

which gives me a linux based OS, running from an SD card and enough GPIO to cover things like a UART for MIDI and SPI for writing to an FPGA/DAC/ADC/Memory.

This also avoids the need for costly ARM dev kits, I can use GCC to write for linux.

I'd like to use more ARM stuff, but the compilers are very pricey.



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