[sdiy] STM and TruStudio

rsdio at audiobanshee.com rsdio at audiobanshee.com
Tue Feb 13 02:45:04 CET 2018

I realize that ST Micro seems to be the most popular choice for audio, as if it’s the only option. However, there are other Cortex-M4 chips with free SDE dev systems. There are quite a few options, so long as you don’t hate Eclipse (and some people do, not surprisingly).

Personally, I use the TM4C from Texas Instruments. TI bought the Stellaris company around 2013 and rebranded their LM4C chip set with the name Tiva. Wikipedia mentions the Cortex-M3, but I’m using a Cortex-M4F with native floating point and a lot more processing power than the M3.

You can buy a Tiva C Series Connected LaunchPad for $20 with USB hosting, ethernet, and enough power to host multichannel ADC and DAC. I’m doing 8 MIDI input/output pairs plus multiple CV outputs. After I built my own custom board, I just soldered on a header for jumpers to allow the LaunchPad to act as a JTAG interface between my Mac and my board. I even have a serial debugging terminal link from my custom board through the LaunchPad so that output from my firmware appears in a Terminal window on my Mac (using the ’screen’ command). The single USB cable from the LaunchPad provides both the JTAG Device and the Serial Device without any custom drivers to install.

The reason I like Texas Instruments is their support, documentation, and peripherals. Since I generally use their power chips, converters, and op-amps, it just seems more convenient to use their processors. I got started on the TMS320 DSP and was hooked by the excitement I noticed in the TI engineers who helped with my music controller design.

The only catch is that I haven’t tried their Audio BoosterPack Plug-in Module with the TM4C LaunchPad. Sort of like Arduino shields, Texas Instruments LaunchPad series has a common connector pinout so that many standard modules will plug in to different processor boards. Whether you have a DSP, and MSP430 (16-bit CPU), or ARM, the same modules will plug in to the main board. There’s tons of example code, so I assume there is some audio stuff written for ARM.

Brian Willoughby
Sound Consulting

On Feb 12, 2018, at 5:00 PM, sleepy_dog at gmx.de wrote:
> Ha! Interesting move.
> https://atollic.com/truestudio/
> Indeed, ST logo everywhere.
> i wonder whether they'll be fiddling with it so it will be harder to use other implementors' Cortex M chips. Why would they provide a well polished tool chain to enable you to use the competition's products...
> That would make a lot of people rather unhappy.
> - Steve
> Am 13.02.2018 um 00:02 schrieb Neil Johnson:
>> Not sure if this is widely known, but late last year STM finally
>> bought out Atollic, and now the previously paid-for Pro version of
>> their Eclipse-based software development system is now FREE for the
>> STM32 platform.
>> This is actually quite awesome news if you have any interest in
>> programming embedded micros.

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