There seems to be a rather steep learning curve between the worlds of 8-bit and 32-bit microcontrollers. If only there were 8-bit AVRs that ran at hundreds of MHz, had more standard communication and peripheral options (and maybe even hardware floating point emulation).
Does anyone who has already made the jump have any advice, books or starter kits to recommend?
We haven’t worked with them yet, but we’re looking at ARM’s Cortex M3 architecture for our next-generation stuff. They’re supposed to be pretty microcontroller-y.
Do you have a make/model picked out? I’ve had the Stellaris microcontrollers recommended by another friend, they’re Cortex-M3 based.
P.S. I don’t suppose there is any sort of timeline for the Orangutan M3 yet?
We recently went to a TI microcontroller day in Las Vegas. The west-coast regional sales guy for the Stellaris line was there and he was very knowledgeable about them. They seemed quite cool because a lot of the connectivity options could be used in parallel without putting much load on the main processor. Preview versions coming out in the next couple of months will have FRAM for memory, and some connectivity libraries (e.g. USB) burned into ROM.
Cool! That’s exactly the sort of chip I’m looking for. Just sent away for a LM3S8962 evaluation kit!
Cool, let us know how the Stellaris works out for you!
I’m still inclined toward the ST offerings, but maybe I’m just being a sucker (they’ve been pitching their line to us longer). I like the idea of the 36-pin QFN package having so much inside it. They’ve been around longer, so I think they have more combinations of peripherals and memory sizes available.