Jobs with AVR's

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I currently work in a software development house coding Java, but I am looking for a change. Im a mechanical engineer by training, but I used avr's throughout my degree to measure sensors, and generally log data and spit it out to the pc to be analysed in Matlab.
My question is quite straight forward really. Does anyone know or can anyone give me some ideas as to how I could change my career path and be using AVR's as my day job. I much prefer building things to just writing UI's and think that with my skills as a mechanical engineer, and my knowledge of AVR's I could have a niche.
I am aiming to work in and around London.

Any thoughts?

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I wouldn't limit yourself to AVRs. Get a few other micros, especially PICs and ARMs because, like it or not, these are the most widely used MCUs then just look for "embedded software engineering" jobs. There are (or rather used to be!) loads but you have to be ready to adapt to whatever micro the employer happens to prefer or happens to be using in current designs. But a UART is a UART is a UART and an SPI is an SPI is an SPI and so on. Learn them on one micro and then switching to using them on another is just a case of "wonder what they call the TXEN or the UDRE bit on this one?"

BTW, having seen the questions you've posted here I would suggest you maybe need to build a bit more experience before attempting to do this professionally. I don't mean this as an insult but an employer is going to expect a wide range of knowledge and experience. Have you, for example, ever configured an LCD panel controller or used a DMA engine? These are the kind of things they might expect you to know about and ask questions about in interview. Not everything is just a few buttons and LEDs on an AVR.

Similarly there's a chance that a modern employer may be looking for C++ as well as C. You have an advantage knowing Java but maybe explore C++ on some micros too. Be ready to answer "what is a virtual class?" and then "what is a pure virtual class?"

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clawson wrote:
Be ready to answer "what is a virtual class?" and then "what is a pure virtual class?"

If you're looking for a job using 8-bit MCUs and the employer thinks those are relevant questions, just get up and leave.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Who said anything about 8bit MCUs? The MCU I'm currently programming for is this:

http://www.ti.com/product/tms320...

Quote:
Features

High-Performance DaVinciâ„¢ Video Digital Media Processors
Up to 1-GHz ARM® Cortex™-A8 RISC Core
Up to 750-MHz C674xâ„¢ VLIW DSP
Up to 6000/4500 C674xâ„¢ MIPS/MFLOPS
Fully Software-Compatible with C67x+â„¢, C64x+â„¢
ARM® Cortex™-A8 Core
ARMv7 Architecture
In-Order, Dual-Issue, Superscalar Processor Core
NEONâ„¢ Multimedia Architecture
Supports Integer and Floating Point
Jazelle® RCT Execution Environment
ARM® Cortex™-A8 Memory Architecture
32K-Byte Instruction and Data Caches
512K-Byte L2 Cache
64K-Byte RAM, 48K-Byte Boot ROM
TMS320C674xâ„¢ Floating-Point VLIW DSP
64 General-Purpose Registers (32-Bit)
Six ALU (32-/40-Bit) Functional Units
Supports 32-Bit Integer, SP (IEEE Single Precision/32-Bit) and DP (IEEE Double Precision/64-Bit) Floating Point
Supports up to Four SP Adds Per Clock and Four DP Adds Every Two Clocks
Supports up to Two Floating-Point (SP or DP) Approximate Reciprocal or Square Root Operations Per Cycle
Two Multiply Functional Units
Mixed-Precision IEEE Floating-Point Multiply Supported up to:
2 SP x SP → SP Per Clock
2 SP x SP → DP Every Two Clocks
2 SP x DP → DP Every Three Clocks
2 DP x DP → DP Every Four Clocks
Fixed-Point Multiply Supports Two 32 x 32 Multiplies, Four 16 x 16-bit Multiplies including Complex Multiplies, or Eight 8 x 8-Bit Multiplies per Clock Cycle
C674xâ„¢ Two-Level Memory Architecture
32K-Byte L1P RAM/Cache With EDC
32K-Byte L1D RAM/Cache
256K-Byte L2 Unified Mapped RAM/Caches With ECC
DSP/EDMA Memory Management Unit (DEMMU)
Maps C674x DSP and EDMA TC Memory Accesses to System Addresses
128K-Bytes On-Chip Memory Controller (OCMC) RAM
Imaging Subsystem (ISS)
Camera Sensor Connection
Parallel Connection for Raw (up to 16-Bit) and BT.656/BT.1120 (8-/16-bit)
Image Sensor Interface (ISIF) for Handling Image/Video Data From the Camera Sensor
Resizer
Resizing Image/Video From 1/16x to 8x
Generating Two Different Resizing Outputs Concurrently
Programmable High-Definition Video Image Coprocessing (HDVICP v2) Engine
Encode, Decode, Transcode Operations
H.264, MPEG2, VC1, MPEG4, SP/ASP, JPEG/MJPEG
Media Controller
Controls the HDVPSS, HDVICP2, and ISS
SGX530 3D Graphics Engine
Delivers up to 25 MPoly/sec
Universal Scalable Shader Engine
Direct3D Mobile, OpenGLES 1.1 and 2.0, OpenVG 1.0, OpenMax API Support
Advanced Geometry DMA Driven Operation
Programmable HQ Image Anti-Aliasing
Endianness
ARM/DSP Instructions/Data – Little Endian
HD Video Processing Subsystem (HDVPSS)
Two 165 MHz HD Video Capture Inputs
One 16/24-bit Input, Splittable into Dual 8-bit SD Capture Ports
One 8/16/24-bit Input
One 8-bit Only Input
Two 165 MHz HD Video Display Outputs
One 16/24/30-bit and one 16/24-bit Output
Composite or S-Video Analog Output
MacroVision® Support Available
Digital HDMI 1.3 transmitter With Integrated PHY
Advanced Video Processing Features Such as Scan/Format/Rate Conversion
Three Graphics Layers and Compositors
Dual 32-bit DDR2/DDR3 SDRAM Interfaces
Supports up to DDR2-800 and DDR3-800
Up to Eight x 8 Devices Total 2 GB Total Address Space
Dynamic Memory Manager (DMM)
Programmable Multi-Zone Memory Mapping and Interleaving
Enables Efficient 2D Block Accesses
Supports Tiled Objects in 0°, 90°, 180°, or 270° Orientation and Mirroring
Optimizes Interlaced Accesses
General Purpose Memory Controller (GPMC)
8-/16-bit Multiplexed Address/Data Bus
512M-Byte Total Address Space Divided Among up to 8 Chip Selects
Glueless Interface to NOR Flash, NAND Flash (BCH/Hamming Error Code Detection), SRAM and Pseudo-SRAM
Error Locator Module (ELM) Outside of GPMC to Provide Upto 16-Bit/512-Bytes Hardware ECC for NAND
Flexible Asynchronous Protocol Control for Interface to FPGA, CPLD, ASICs, and so Forth
Enhanced Direct-Memory-Access (EDMA) Controller
Four Transfer Controllers
64/8 Independent DMA/QDMA Channels
Dual Port Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mb/s) With Optional Switch
IEEE 802.3 Compliant (3.3V I/O Only)
MII/RMII/GMII/RGMII Media Independent I/Fs
Management Data I/O (MDIO) Module
Reset Isolation
IEEE-1588 Time-Stamping and Industrial Ethernet Protocols
Dual USB 2.0 Ports With Integrated PHYs
USB2.0 High-/Full-Speed Clients
USB2.0 High-/Full-/Low-Speed Hosts, or OTG
Supports End Points 0-15
One PCI Express 2.0 Port With Integrated PHY
Single Port With 1 Lane at 5.0 GT/s
Configurable as Root Complex or Endpoint
Eight 32-bit General-Purpose Timers (Timer1–8)
One System Watchdog Timer (WDT 0)
Six Configurable UART/IrDA/CIR Modules
UART0 With Modem Control Signals
Supports up to 3.6864 Mbps UART0/1/2
Supports up to 12 Mbps UART3/4/5
SIR, MIR, FIR (4.0 MBAUD), and CIR
Four Serial Peripheral Interfaces (SPIs) [up to 48-MHz]
Each With Four Chip-Selects
Three MMC/SD/SDIO Serial Interfaces [up to 48-MHz]
Three Supporting up to 1-/4-/8-Bit Modes
Dual Controller Area Network (DCAN) Modules
CAN Version 2 Part A, B
Four Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C Busâ„¢) Ports
Six Multi-Channel Audio Serial Ports (McASP)
Dual Ten Serializer Transmit/Receive Ports
Quad Four Serializer Transmit/Receive Ports
DIT-Capable For S/PDIF (All Ports)
Multi-Channel Buffered Serial Port (McBSP)
Transmit/Receive Clocks up to 48 MHz
Two Clock Zones and Two Serial Data Pins
Supports TDM, I2S, and Similar Formats
Serial ATA (SATA) 3.0 Gbps Controller With Integrated PHY
Direct Interface to One Hard Disk Drive
Hardware-Assisted Native Command Queuing (NCQ) from up to 32 Entries
Supports Port Multiplier and Command-Based Switching
Real-Time Clock (RTC)
One-Time or Periodic Interrupt Generation
Up to 128 General-Purpose I/O (GPIO) Pins
One Spin Lock Module with up to 128 Hardware Semaphores
One Mailbox Module with 12 Mailboxes
On-Chip ARM ROM Bootloader (RBL)
Power, Reset, and Clock Management
Multiple Independent Core Power Domains
Multiple Independent Core Voltage Domains
Support for Three Operating Points (OPP166/120/100) per Voltage Domain
Clock Enable/Disable Control for Subsystems and Peripherals
32KB Embedded Trace Bufferâ„¢ (ETBâ„¢) and 5-pin Trace Interface for Debug
IEEE-1149.1 (JTAG) Compatible
684-Pin Pb-Free BGA Package (CYE Suffix), 0.8-mm Ball Pitch With Via Channelâ„¢ Technology to Reduce PCB Cost
45-nm CMOS Technology
1.8-/3.3-V Dual Voltage Buffers for General I/O

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clawson wrote:
Who said anything about 8bit MCUs? The MCU I'm currently programming for is this:

http://www.ti.com/product/tms320...


Well, the OP did:
a.mlw.walker wrote:
can anyone give me some ideas as to how I could change my career path and be using AVR's as my day job.

I have to tell you, though, that in working professionally with object-oriented programming for well over two decades, I have never been asked anything like that.

I am pretty darn good at what I do, and I would still struggle with answering those questions even if we were considering a platform that could afford polymorphism.

I know what a virtual base class is, although I have never used one. I know what virtual methods are, what they are good for and at what cost they come. However, I don't know what a virtual class is and quite frankly I don't care.

I know what a pure virtual function is, too. So should I guess my way to the answer of what a pure virtual class is ?

So what ? Do you want me to do the job, or do you want me sit around wasting time on talking about irrelevant bullcrap ?

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:

So what ? Do you want me to do the job, or do you want me sit around wasting time on talking about irrelevant bullcrap ?

My same feeling when asked those questions ;-)

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

So what ? Do you want me to do the job, or do you want me sit around wasting time on talking about irrelevant bullcrap ?

My same feeling when asked those questions ;-)

So you've actually been asked what a virtual class is and what a pure virtual class is when somebody was trying to decide whether or not to hire you ?

I feel your pain. But why didn't you just get up and leave ? ;o)

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:

But why didn't you just get up and leave ?

Because it's a brilliant company to work for.

All I'm saying to OP is that the wider your knowledge of both software and hardware the more likely you are to get a job by demonstrating that breadth of knowledge. Knowing a little bit of C on one micro maybe is not sufficient experience/knowledge to pass most interviews. (or even get your CV considered in the first place and called to interview). If your CV can say you confidently program in Asm, C and at least one high level language (C++, Java, C#, etc) and that you know 5 or 10 different micro architectures they are going to be more impressed by your CV than the guy who says "just learning C and already I know how the IO and UART on an AVR8 works". It's possible that if such a candidate can demonstrate that they are really quick on the uptake they might be taken on in a kind of "apprentice" role but not all employers are going to want to spend time/money training new employees. They'd expect the candidate to be able to pick up and run with pretty much anything they were faced with. Or at least have the skill to read a datasheet and absorb/understand pretty much anything it says in a few days.

A lot of software engineering is also maintenance. So being able to pick up any code (however badly structured/documented) by someone else and quickly see what it's doing and how to modify it is also a key skill.

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Well I too think it will be hard to find a company that uses 8-bit AVRs exclusively!

I know of just one company that actually uses AVRs in some projects, but then if the job calls for it they also use 8051 (not that I know why...), ARM, AVR32 or whatever they deem fit!

But using another micro controller is not really THAT hard! I've been using 8051 (From Atmel with flash), several different AVR 8-bit, Cypress PSoC, TI Stellaris (ARM), TI MSP430... And that's all just for studies or hobby use! :D

I fully expect to be thrown in the deep end with some random micro controller when I get a job some day.

- Brian

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Quote:

But using another micro controller is not really THAT hard!

Indeed. So if you get a PIC board and maybe an LPC Xpresso and can get the UART working and some LEDs flashing you can probably list "AVR, PIC, Cortex" on the CV rather than just "AVR". In fact get an STM32 and a MSP430 board and probably something 8051 based and do a few projects on each and you could start to build quite an attractive looking list.

The skill isn't so much learning their UART/SPI/IO/etc. but learning their style of datasheet documentation and where to quickly find any answers for that particular kind of micro.

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Actually Cliff's original point is perfectly valid. As a company interviewing candidates for software positions, these types of questions (and plenty more obscure ones) are quite common.
For the sort of money available to high-end engineers, the employer is likely to grill a candidate quite hard, not just to test his knowledge, but also to see how he/she handles pressure.
(My favorite answer to these 'probing' questions is 'Can't tell you off the top of my head, but, give me ten minutes and I'll find out! Fifteen, if you want a demonstration.)
Getting up and leaving is only guaranteed to lose you the position you've bothered attending the interview for.

--greg
Still learning, don't shout at me, educate me.
Starting the fire is easy; the hardest part is learning how to keep the flame!

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Bang! Sitting at my desk all day, suddenly remembered I'd posted on here earlier, came back for a quick look, and a whole conversation has been kicked off! Awesome!

So the first thing that strikes me is very few professional establishments use 8bit AVR's??? Sounds like AVR is almost making them charitably.

Yeah I get the point in terms of knowing different micro brands etc, so if that was my plan then I would go and buy a load of different ones so i could stick them on my CV.
However I really meant that is there a role for the overlap potentially between mechanical engineering and electronic engineering? On my degree there was no formal education into digital electronics and controlling micros, and I'd assume that there is no formal mechanical engineering on an electronics degree. But these two industries have to work hand in hand everyday, so who is the communicator between the two? Who writes the control algorithms for autonomous planes? An aerodynamicist, i'd assume, but I doubt he has any knowledge of timers and interrupts and how to take a sensor reading...

Incidently I had an interview in London for a job. I shook the interviewers hand and we sat down and he said "81^4?", I asked for a pen and paper or a calculator and he said "No, in your head." We sat there for half an hour before he said the interview was over...

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gregsmithcts wrote:
Actually Cliff's original point is perfectly valid. As a company interviewing candidates for software positions, these types of questions (and plenty more obscure ones) are quite common.

I have been a professional software developer for more than 25 years. I have worked for a lot of companies. I have NEVER been asked anything even remotely similar to "what is a virtual class ?" or "what is a pure virtual class ?". Those are ridiculous questions, and if I was ever asked anything like that I would tell them we were wasting time and leave.

gregsmithcts wrote:
For the sort of money available to high-end engineers, the employer is likely to grill a candidate quite hard, not just to test his knowledge, but also to see how he/she handles pressure.

I have had many well-paid contracts. I have never been "grilled" in a prelimiary meeting. What on earth would be the point of that ?

gregsmithcts wrote:
Getting up and leaving is only guaranteed to lose you the position you've bothered attending the interview for.

It was already lost when the poor sod started throwing in completely irrelevant questions. That's his loss, not mine.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:
I have been a professional software developer for more than 25 years. I have worked for a lot of companies.

I too have been (am still am) a professional software engineer for over 35 years. I have worked for very few companies. Horses for courses.
If I bothered to attend an interview, then I clearly want to work for 'them'. If I walked out it would be my loss not his.
Everybody has an opinion, yours simply differs from mine.

--greg
Still learning, don't shout at me, educate me.
Starting the fire is easy; the hardest part is learning how to keep the flame!

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Greg,

You've worked for very few, I've worked for many.

Like you, I haven't walked out of a preliminary meeting yet. I would have, though, if I was asked lame questions in them. Maybe you just had bad luck with your choice of people to meet ?

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:
I shook the interviewers hand and we sat down and he said "81^4?",

Well, my calculator says 43046721.

I would be very impressed with a candidate that could do this in her head.

I would be even more impressed if her skill extended to engineering.

An employer is going to be looking for several attributes from you. You will be looking at the job and whether it might suit you. Both from a technical point of view and whether a pleasant atmosphere.

David.

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a.mlw.walker wrote:
My question is quite straight forward really. Does anyone know or can anyone give me some ideas as to how I could change my career path and be using AVR's as my day job. I much prefer building things to just writing UI's and think that with my skills as a mechanical engineer, and my knowledge of AVR's I could have a niche.
I am aiming to work in and around London.

Any thoughts?


Micros and ME are a definite fit, and they tell me London is a middlin' sized town, so I'd think you could pull this off.

As mentioned, brush up on a few different families in addition to AVR. Some will say 8-bit PIC, but I hate them too much to recommend them. 16-bit PIC is different, they're nice parts. TMS430, 8051, ARM (Cortex M3). Get in some dev boards and free compilers and make all the boards do something interesting. Pick some typical sensors and encoders and motors, stuff you've already run across as an ME, and make each family work with them and communicate with a PC. That will give you a decent foundation.

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"Software Engineer" is a creation by management to try to apply progress metrics to a process that's hard to quantify. I think the programmers view it as a Three Sigma Sierra Hotel programmer. 30 years ago the metric was: stick your head in the door to the programmer offices and ask "How's it goin?" and they all said "Great! Two more edits!", and this process was repeated for 6 months until delivery deadline passed.
So then they started asking for "Lines Of Code", and everyone's productivity quadrupled, but the deadline still slipped.

Imagecraft compiler user

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Bob, I was told "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it"

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That's what my date said last night. Badoomp! Thanks! I'll be here all week! Drive home carefully!

Imagecraft compiler user

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You need a few KPIs for sure.

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jayjay1974 wrote:
You need a few KPIs for sure.

Yes, agreed. But the whole question in IT Management these days is, "What do we measure?"
If it were down to me, it would be the number of 'fixes' required to production code to raise it to an operationally acceptable level. Yes, sadly a great deal of code goes to production with far more than it's fair share of bugs. (Not from me of course... I'm practicaly perfect ;) )

--greg
Still learning, don't shout at me, educate me.
Starting the fire is easy; the hardest part is learning how to keep the flame!

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bobgardner wrote:
So then they started asking for "Lines Of Code", and everyone's productivity quadrupled, but the deadline still slipped.

I always thought that "Lines of code" was a really bad metric. The main problem is that those darn market guys want to "measure" productivity instead of using their alleged brains.

I made serious improvements to a software package by reducing a ~150,000 line piece of code to ~30,000 lines in less than two weeks. By doing that, I made it readable, understandable and managable - and most of the bugs were gone and the program was about three times as fast as it was to begin with.

To a market guy, that looks like a huge loss.

I wrote a 10,000+ line C++ wrapper library for the Photon GUI on QNX in about two weeks.

To a market guy, that looks like 5 years of work. So he'll pretend he didn't see it.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:
I shook the interviewers hand and we sat down and he said "81^4?",

That's a very odd question. Typical perhaps of one's 5th interview in a series of interviews at the NSA when one is meetng someone who is a bit eccentric, but perhaps a genius in their field.

There are of course people who can do that math in their head, almost instantly. They are a good fit for jobs requiring a PhD in math, and a focus on encryption and decryption, for example.

If these individuals don't find their way into such niche professions they are often somewhat outcasts in life, not quite fitting in, generally a loner, few friends, etc.

But you didn't ask for a profile on the individual who could answer the asked question.

That would be very different than asking a seemingly similar question, "What is 2^16?". That ought to be easily answered by an embedded programmer, and demonstrate their familiarity with 16 bit numbers, etc.

Like many topics, interviewing has been discussed before, but I can't find the particular Thread I'm thinking of. One of the take-home messages was that one should have a folder with photos and descriptions of a number of prior projects, much like a model has a portfolio of their phtos. NDA's aside, you can still have a page with an overview of such projects.

The knowledgeable interviewer will get to questions such as "Tell me your part in this project?", "What was your biggest hurdle in completing this project?", "XYZ can be challenging, what was your approach?", etc. Pretty easy in a matter of minutes to get a good idea of one's knowledge and experience base. Then comes the transistion to questions about your ability to work on a Team, thoughts about your prior boss, how you get Team members back on track when they need re-direction; all carefully structured.

I've not interviewed many people in years, but actually find myself currently interviewing three doc's and three medics for a speciall purpose Team. Very little of the interviews is about their techinical skills, as I've already researched their backgrounds and competencies prior to actually meeting them. The focus is much more on interpersonal skills, ability to work as a Team, function under pressure, dynamically modify action plans, (i.e. think on your feet, quickly...), etc.

I tend to think that when one is interviewing for most positions one should already have in their mind the majority of the questions that will be thrown your way, and a general idea of what one's response will be.

Last comment. If an interviewer actually started off with a question like "What is 81^4, in your head?", I would know right way that it wasn't going to be a "traditional" interview. I would also have attempted to re-direct him, immediately, with a response like: "Gee, I'm actually pretty good at math, but I don't usually do non-binary, multi-digit exponentials in my head. I prefer an RPN HP calculator, or a generic calculator as a second choice. I know the answer will be a little under 100M, (100^4), which I can do easily in my head.", rather than actually start down the path doing the calculation.

JC

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a.mlw.walker wrote:
Incidently I had an interview in London for a job. I shook the interviewers hand and we sat down and he said "81^4?", I asked for a pen and paper or a calculator and he said "No, in your head." We sat there for half an hour before he said the interview was over...

This looks to be a recruiter (head hunter) not someone serious who really needed a man and wanted to hire him immediately.
These is people who just fill databases with potential candidates hoping that one day after 6 months, 1 year, even two, they will get a contract and hire a few of the candidates they interviewed in the last 24 months.

Not uncommon, a few weeks after such an interview, to receive spam calls from people that unexpectedly know you and propose you all kind of affairs.

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jayjay1974 wrote:
You need a few KPIs for sure.

Agreed.
TLA's are always good.

Four legs good, two legs bad, three legs stable.

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Folks,

Note that I followed Joahn's suggestion and moved the off topic about interview questions (the 25 I linked to) to a separate thread in Off Topic:

https://www.avrfreaks.net/index.p...

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clawson wrote:
In fact get an STM32 and a MSP430 board and probably something 8051 based and do a few projects on each and you could start to build quite an attractive looking list.
I was thinking of getting an ARM board for precisely the same reason as the OP.
Any suggestions as to what board to get.

Also, from my reading of STM32 documentation,
I get the impression that a boot loader is the only way to
program an STM32 and that they came with a built-in boot loader.
Is that correct?
Is the built-in boot loader non-eraseable?

"Demons after money.
Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin?
No one has any standards anymore." -- Giles

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Yes, just like the bootloader in the NXP LPC series, it's in ROM.

The huge addressing space makes another 8KB block a non-issue, I guess.

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But you don't have to use the bootloader. You can program and debug with JTAG or SWD. For example all the STM32 discovery boards come with a on board SWD (ST-link) interface that can be used to program/debug the on board mcu or an external one.

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skeeve wrote:
I was thinking of getting an ARM board for precisely the same reason as the OP.
Any suggestions as to what board to get.

The Galago seems like a cheap starting point.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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NXP, ST, Texas all make demo boards at giveaway prices.

Most come with an onboard SWD/JTAG debugger.

You won't go too far wrong with starting with any of these boards. They are all more complicated than an Xmega, and hence you have a lot to learn.

The IDEs, Compilers, Debuggers and associated tools are mature and well supported. You are not at the mercy of a single manufacturer. i.e. third party tools can be used with other ARM chips.

Of course the 'giveaway' debuggers are designed to lock you into their manufacturer's chips.

This is not the end of the world. Most peripherals / tasks are similar on NXP, ST, Texas, ...

David.

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Quote:

The Galago seems like a cheap starting point.

FWIW it looks like half tomorrow-ware and half vapourware.

The board itself will be delivered in November.

And then there is the statement

Quote:

App boards

Extensibility is built-in.

App boards get you to your goal faster. Simply connect Galago to a suitable app board to cut time off your development schedule or accelerate your weekend project.

Because Outbreak's app boards are Open Hardware, they can be extended, adapted and remixed to suit any project, commercial, educational or artistic.


yet there are no app boards in sight anywhere I looked. It seems to me that the above statement should really have been "we want to be just as good as Arduino when it comes to add-on boards, but we are not. We might have a specs, but there are no boards as of now." Using wordings like "Outbreak's app boards are [...]" (my emphasis) is just straight dishonest, IMO.

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$70,000+ from 1,300 people says you're wrong about that, Johan.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:

$70,000+ from 1,300 people says you're wrong about that, Johan.

Where am I wrong?

Do you have a board in your hand? No - not until November. Tomorrow-ware.

Do you have a link to at least one of the alleged "app boards" where there is some proof of actual existence? Any description of a standard? Any hint ass to what boards might be available somewhere? No? Vapourware.

Besides, your argument really does not hold water. If the number of people donating and the amount of money donated determined existence then millions of people have deceased rich relatives in Nigeria.

I do not doubt the boards will be in existence.

I am skeptical to the promises about "app boards". If they are anywhere near materialization, then where is the mention of this? Where is some talk about some board standards or similar? Where is anything about them apart from the vague promise I quoted above?

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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You don't understand how kickstarter works, that's obvious. You also have poor impulse control if you can't manage to keep your shirt on for a few weeks.

As far as I'm concerned, for $20 one of those boards would be an excellent starting point for ARM development. Who needs those addons anyway ? That's the sort of thing the Arduino crowd believes in.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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I believe I understand Kickstarter.

Again: Am I wrong in saying that the boards are not available today?

And re

Quote:
Who needs those addons anyway ? That's the sort of thing the Arduino crowd believes in.

It seems that the Galago folks does to. Or at least want to argue for their product(s) by claiming that there will be "app boards". I see talk but no walk re this.

Quote:
for $20 one of those boards would be an excellent starting point for ARM development.

I agree completely.

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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The funding was completed three days ago, and it's Sunday. What the heck do you expect ?

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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I expect e.g. some kind of description of what these "app boards" will look like.

Should we dissect the Galago page further? Should we compare what it promises in present tense, but really has not materialized yet.

Of-course it looks good. I agree. And it just might be that all the promises are fulfilled by November. But you and I both know that plans not always materialize in the time-frame and/or the substance that was promised at the start.

With one month to go they have not yet completed the development environment, and says about manufacturing the first batch "this is where we need your help".

Remember the "pi"?

Re the "app boards" I believe I've been looking both high and low, but apart from being told how great they are and that they are open source, I have not seen any substantial information about them. Where are they?

IMO a bit of skepticism is due.

As of January 15, 2018, Site fix-up work has begun! Now do your part and report any bugs or deficiencies here

No guarantees, but if we don't report problems they won't get much of  a chance to be fixed! Details/discussions at link given just above.

 

"Some questions have no answers."[C Baird] "There comes a point where the spoon-feeding has to stop and the independent thinking has to start." [C Lawson] "There are always ways to disagree, without being disagreeable."[E Weddington] "Words represent concepts. Use the wrong words, communicate the wrong concept." [J Morin] "Persistence only goes so far if you set yourself up for failure." [Kartman]

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I am usually a sceptic, but at $20 I'd rather be an optimist. It doesn't matter one bit if it is delayed or doesn't show up at all, and it will be great when it shows up on time.

Sid

Life... is a state of mind

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Quote:

I was thinking of getting an ARM board for precisely the same reason as the OP.
Any suggestions as to what board to get.


I personally like the NXP LPCXpresso with the integrated debugger. True you are tied to the CodeRed (Eclipse with knobs on) IDE to interface with their debugger but up to a 128KB app it is free and while it's possible to generate "big" ARM apps it still takes quite a while to churn out 128K. I have the 1343 thought the 17xx ones looking even more interesting with not only USB but Ethernet too.

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JohanEkdahl wrote:
Any hint ass to what boards might be available somewhere?
Now I know why Johan keeps getting CAPTCHAd! ;)

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

I was thinking of getting an ARM board for precisely the same reason as the OP.
Any suggestions as to what board to get.


I personally like the NXP LPCXpresso with the integrated debugger. True you are tied to the CodeRed (Eclipse with knobs on) IDE to interface with their debugger but up to a 128KB app it is free and while it's possible to generate "big" ARM apps it still takes quite a while to churn out 128K. I have the 1343 thought the 17xx ones looking even more interesting with not only USB but Ethernet too.
Thanks.
'Tis worth noting that their CodeRed runs both on Linux and on Windows.

Regarding the kickstart boards.
The website seems to have a contradiction.
Reaching and doubling the funding goal would seem
to eliminate the need to ask for board-making money.
If not, someone would seem to have cost-estimation issues.

"Demons after money.
Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin?
No one has any standards anymore." -- Giles

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clawson wrote:
Quote:

I was thinking of getting an ARM board for precisely the same reason as the OP.
Any suggestions as to what board to get.


I personally like the NXP LPCXpresso with the integrated debugger. True you are tied to the CodeRed (Eclipse with knobs on) IDE to interface with their debugger but up to a 128KB app it is free and while it's possible to generate "big" ARM apps it still takes quite a while to churn out 128K. I have the 1343 thought the 17xx ones looking even more interesting with not only USB but Ethernet too.
I know it's been a while, but I've been distracted.

I'm having difficulty knowing what hardware I need to have something that runs and does something measurable.
It seems that an LPCXpresso base board is something I want.
What do I need to go with it?
The documentation I've found mentions a socket for an LPCXpresso and mbed module.
I suspect I need one of those, but I'm not sure. Do I need both?
I expect I will need cables, but that doesn't worry me too much.
What does worry me is that I might order everything I think I need and discover that not only do I need more stuff,
I need to solder it together.

Apart from the annoyance of not understanding what one is getting, I have other reasons for not wanting to solder:
I don't have the equipment
I wasn't very good at it when I did have the equipment and pins were 0.1 inch apart.
If it doesn't work the first time, soldering is one more thing that I won't know isn't wrong.

"Demons after money.
Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin?
No one has any standards anymore." -- Giles

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I would have thought that http://knowledgebase.nxp.com/for... would be a good place to start. :-)

John Samperi

Ampertronics Pty. Ltd.

www.ampertronics.com.au

* Electronic Design * Custom Products * Contract Assembly

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I'd recommend looking at the ST boards, which are dirt cheap and don't lock you into any development system (at least, I can program them right out of the box with Rowley Crossworks, which is my test). Literally all you need is a USB cable - board is powered and programmed through that cable.

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

There are a few others from ST as well.

If you get an ARM JTAG device such as the Segger J-Link, then your horizons open up and you can work with boards such as these:

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

Many others like these, including lots from China on ebay.

EDIT: with a JTAG programmer there are also boards like this, which make getting up and running with something useable pretty easy:

http://microcontrollershop.com/p...

It's ARM7, not Cortex, but for my uses that's never been a problem. I used one a few months ago to make an arc-voltage / arc-current simulator so we could develop some software without needing a live arc. When we finally fired up the software with a live arc, it worked the first time. I love it when that happens!

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I have an 'Presso board/CodeRed and that's all you need to get started from A to Z. Also , need a mini-usb cable to connect it to a PC's usb. CodeRed has all the tools you need to get started right away and nothing to solder/assemble. I picked it for the price and it gave me 128KB of programming space :)

1) Studio 4.18 build 716 (SP3)
2) WinAvr 20100110
3) PN, all on Doze XP... For Now
A) Avr Dragon ver. 1
B) Avr MKII ISP, 2009 model
C) MKII JTAGICE ver. 1

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Michael,

I've got STM32 Discovery boards, Freescale FRDM-KL25Z, Atmel SAM4S Xplained as well as a couple of LPC Expresso (M0 and M3) boards. To be honest they're all pretty similar. They all have some form of ARm (SWD/JTAG) debugger built in and they all come with some behemoth IDE that you use to develop on Windows. I guess the SAM4S is nice in that it retains the familiarity of AS6. As almost all these companies (though sadly not Atmel just yet) have Cortex ranging from M0 to M4 with lots of choices of peripherals (right up to Ethernet/CAN/USB host) which one you actually go with is dependent on the chip features you are looking for.

If you do fo the NXP route with LPC Xpresso and the CodeRed IDE (version of Eclipse) then it's worth a trawl around the Embedded Artists website. Before Cortex really took off they were the ones doing "Mbed" which is an ARM where you can actually use online dev tools. It's almost a bit like Arduino but actually pre-dated it (I think). They then (presumably based on that) got the contract from NXP to develop the Xpresso board design so they have (a) inherited a lot from Mbed and (b) tried to keep compatibility. So you can get the $20+ Expresso boards and if you want then go along to Embedded Artists and also get the €89 http://www.embeddedartists.com/p... board to plug the Xpresso into to gain access to lots of peripherals. But if you are usually happy simply wiring across from pins on an eval board to your own stuff on breadboard or stripboard then there's no real need to get that back board as well. In fact they also have this for €12 http://www.embeddedartists.com/p... may be more useful in fact.

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Perhaps I should have been more precise or emphatic about my starting point:
My current hardware consists of an analog multi-meter and the Linux box (CentOS) on which I am typing.
My skill set does not include soldering.
I'm willing to learn, but not before progress on other fronts.
I want something with more than a pushbutton and a single LED.
Whether I can get blinky to work should not depend on my soldering skills.

clawson wrote:
If you do fo the NXP route with LPC Xpresso and the CodeRed IDE (version of Eclipse) then it's worth a trawl around the Embedded Artists website. Before Cortex really took off they were the ones doing "Mbed" which is an ARM where you can actually use online dev tools. It's almost a bit like Arduino but actually pre-dated it (I think). They then (presumably based on that) got the contract from NXP to develop the Xpresso board design so they have (a) inherited a lot from Mbed and (b) tried to keep compatibility. So you can get the $20+ Expresso boards and if you want then go along to Embedded Artists and also get the €89 http://www.embeddedartists.com/p... board to plug the Xpresso into to gain access to lots of peripherals.

The EA-XPR-021 baseboard is looking like the way for me to go.
Documentation mentions a socket for LPCXpresso and mbed module.
Does the baseboard (=motherboard?) need another board, e.g. LPCXpresso, to run?
Are the LPCXpresso and mbed module alternatives or separate decisions?
Quote:

But if you are usually happy simply wiring across from pins on an eval board to your own stuff on breadboard or stripboard then there's no real need to get that back board as well. In fact they also have this for €12 http://www.embeddedartists.com/p... may be more useful in fact.
Nyet.
No soldering.
No breadboarding yet.
If I get real ambitious, I might get an AVR board and try to set up a communication loop. Not yet.

When I place my order, I want to get a set of stuff that works with minimal assembly required.
I don't want to think that I've ordered apple pie and discover that I've only ordered apples and a recipe for crust.

"Demons after money.
Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin?
No one has any standards anymore." -- Giles

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Quote:

mentions a socket for LPCXpresso and mbed module.

I think that's a translation error on their part - I'm sure they meant "OR". I guess what they were thinking was the base board could be used for Xpresso AND the base board can be used for mbed if you happen to have one of those too. There is no requirement to get use xpresso+mbed+base. Just xpresso+base or mbed+base are each complete solutions (indeed I don't think there's any possibility for using xpresso+mbed+base all at the same time!)
Quote:

No soldering.
No breadboarding yet.

You and I are very similar - I turn on a soldering iron about twice a year and then only when I get real desperate and cannot see how to connect two things otherwise (often just to add some "header pins" so I can connect flying wires in fact). So I wouldn't discount the use of a breadboard though clearly we're limited to DIP packaging.

Even if you do get Xpresso note that it comes looking like this:

So that's just rows of holes at the extremities. YOu need to get rows of these:

I get mine here (the 40's then just cut them down to size):

http://www.futurlec.com/ConnHead...

then solder them to the Xpresso board to give it the pins that allow it to plug into the base board.(*)

In fact in the last year this was the reason I got my soldering iron out to add such pins to an LPC Xpresso 812 board (I also put pins on a couple of 16x2 LCDs while I was at it).

(*) I did note on the EA site this: http://www.embeddedartists.com/p... that shows they also supply "rows of pins". Perhaps you can ask for LPcXpresso boards with pins already soldered (or just get an engineer near by to do it for you)?

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clawson wrote:
You and I are very similar - I turn on a soldering iron about twice a year and then only when I get real desperate and cannot see how to connect two things otherwise (often just to add some "header pins" so I can connect flying wires in fact). So I wouldn't discount the use of a breadboard though clearly we're limited to DIP packaging.

Even if you do get Xpresso note that it comes looking like this:

So that's just rows of holes at the extremities. YOu need to get rows of these:

I get mine here (the 40's then just cut them down to size):

http://www.futurlec.com/ConnHead...

then solder them to the Xpresso board to give it the pins that allow it to plug into the base board.(*)

For me, soldering is a really big deal.
Most of my friends have soldered even less than I have.
The one who could would likely get in trouble for using company facilities.
Is there any way to connect those things that does not involve liquid metal?
I noticed that the image for mbed included pins,
but I can't really tell if that means the board comes with pins attached.

"Demons after money.
Whatever happened to the still beating heart of a virgin?
No one has any standards anymore." -- Giles

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