[sdiy] OT: uC Development Environments

Ben Stuyts ben at stuyts.nl
Thu Mar 5 00:03:37 CET 2020

Hi Jay,

I have been using Rowley CrossWorks for many years in quite a few commercial projects. Both their ARM and the AVR compiler, although the latter is not really supported anymore. They have a free trial and a reasonable license for personal use ($150).  See https://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm <https://www.rowley.co.uk/arm/index.htm>. It has both the gcc and clang compilers underneath, and it is easy to switch. I mostly use clang now. They have lots of cpu and board support packages, see https://www.rowleydownload.co.uk/arm/packages/index.htm?https://www.rowleydownload.co.uk/arm/packages/BSPs.htm <https://www.rowleydownload.co.uk/arm/packages/index.htm?https://www.rowleydownload.co.uk/arm/packages/BSPs.htm>. The build configuration setup is easier than VisualStudio’s, but that is probably a matter of personal taste. Their support is excellent too. It is also cross-platform and I use it on Mac OS X and Windows. Linux available too.

I would stay away from vendor supplied IDE’s and libraries. The libraries usually have lots of hidden bugs or limitations. Also vendor lock-in. Better to get to know the stuff you’re using by rolling or adapting your own. I’ve switched from NXP to ST for example, and that would be more difficult when you were bound to the vendor’s tools.

Minor disclaimer: I believe I was Rowley’s first customer in 1988. :-) Modula-2 compiler on a Sun 3/80 for the 68070 and the 68332. I still use it to support some old projects.


> On 4 Mar 2020, at 23:10, Jay Schwichtenberg <jschwich53 at comcast.net> wrote:
> Everyone,
> I'd like to get some ideas, thoughts and opinions on setting up a micro-processor development environment on my PC (Windows).
> I was a HW/SW embedded/bare metal engineer until I retired. I did contract work and have worked with processors from the 8080, Z80, 6800 ... to todays MicroChips, ARMs and Intel Pentiums chips. Being a contractor I would usually work onsite to have access to programmers, test equipment and prototypes. The customer would have the development environment already established (Eclipse, gcc tool chain, MPLAB, IAR, Keil) so I just used what was there.
> Well now I getting ready to setup my PC to do some development at home which will mainly be targeting SDIY. Doing stuff at home gives me a lot more choices of processors to work with. Going to be doing NXP ARM (chips and Teensys), STMicro ARM (chips, Nucleo, Discovery) , MicroChip things, Raspberry PI and probably some Arduino too.
> The obvious choice would be to download and use MCUXpresso, STM32CubeIDE, MPLAB and Arduino development environments. That would be a lot but doable. One thing that a number of people seem to be using now days is VisualDBG ($) which integrates into MS Visual Studio which seems to be all inclusive.
> VisualDBG seems to be OK but it doesn't seem to have the ability to do setup code and provide peripheral drivers like the other environments. Also don't have a clue of how well VisualDBG would support manufacture's libraries, board support code and demo code.
> So what are other people doing, thoughts, ideas?
> Thanks much.
> Jay S.
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