UC3 vs Cortex M0+ or M3

Go To Last Post
6 posts / 0 new
Author
Message
#1
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Hi All...

I need to design and implement a hardware card that provides a wifi and/or blue tooth web server to an existing product. The existing product is based on an Atmel 1284p and works nicely. But its right at the edge of its capability, so I am thinking the next project should use a more capable processor. Communication between the two would be either SPI or TWI/I2C.

For the wifi I am leaning toward H&D or GainSpan. I'm not sure about the blue tooth yet.

I am trying to decide between the UC3 family and the Cortex M0+ or perhaps M3 family.

If I understand correctly, I could use AVR Studio 6 to program either. Having AVR Studio available makes me really want to use Atmel, because from looking around it seems like other ARM dev tools are costly and complex. I have some experience with AVR Studio 5 from the 8 bit project.

If possible, I would want to add 2M Bytes or maybe 4 Mbytes to the flash, or at least use SPI flash to store the web content. Processor speed is probably not a big issue but its not a power sensitive project so the more the merrier. Ditto for SRAM.

It seems I can get either with UARTs, I2C, SPI and so on. But I don't understand if I can expand the flash memory. Also, what else should I consider? I would appreciate your insight. I really know nothing about ARM and just a little about UC3.

Thanks very much...

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Web server - IIRC there's one in Atmel Software Framework (ASF).
GainSpan - though only 11Mbps max it has good power consumption. There's also Redpine Signals, Wi-Fi for Atmel; might be able to be interfaced to a UC3A3 Xplained.
UC3 competes more with Cortex-M3 or Atmel's SAM3 and SAM4.
It'll be Atmel Studio 6 for UC3 or SAM.
ARM dev tools - not necessarily expensive though Atmel Studio 6 has an advantage.
Flash - Atmel DataFlash drivers in ASF otherwise UC3A3 (and some other UC3) have flash hardware interfaces and drivers in ASF. Consider FRAM or MRAM as an alternative; more expensive but greater durability and an SRAM interface.
Flash expansion - can execute UC3 code via the EBI though easier to get a larger flash on the UC3.

Quote:
Also, what else should I consider?
Power - a battery or cell makes it more portable and more likely to have clean power.
RTOS / OS / Framework - An RTOS in ASF. A uCLinux (IIRC) on some Cortex-M3. QP (a state machine framework, lwIP stack, design tool, run-time tools, etc.) exists for ARM (ARM7, Cortex-M3) but not UC3.
Bounds - compute (timing), memory (sizing), I/O, electrical power, volume, cost, schedule, quality (functionality, software testing, system testing).
Proof-of-concept and/or initial prototype - boards like the Xplained series, UC3 EVK series, or the SAM EK series aid this.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

If you need extended flash, I saw that Atmel released a 2MB flash SAM device: http://www.atmel.com/Microsite/s...
It is a Cortex-M4 but it is pin to pin compatible to the SAM3, so you can start with one of those (using the dev kit) and then upgrade to a bigger flash device if you need.

Robert - le roi de l'AVR

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

Thanks very much guys, that's lots to think about. I had noticed the new 2MB flash M4 on Atmel's web site, but it didn't occur to me that its pin compatible with the SAM3. That's pretty cool. I am kind of leaning to the UC3 family though.

gchapman, you mentioned that the ASF has a web server, which is cool, but that there is not a iwIP available for UC3? So how does the http server work without IP?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

skyjumper wrote:
... but that there is not a iwIP available for UC3?
Here's some hits: http://asf.atmel.com/docs/latest/search.html?search=lwip
Quote:
So how does the http server work without IP?
Could not locate the http server.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Total votes: 0

http://asf.atmel.com/docs/latest...

The control panel application includes a HTTP server

Robert - le roi de l'AVR