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[General] Looking for a Development Board

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Member level 2
Jun 2, 2010
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I'm looking for a development board for hobbyist work. This will be for general purpose use; I have no specific project or application in mind, but the broad categories are computer vision and airborne vehicle control and navigation. However, it must be fast (1 GHz clock rate if that's possible). Once the project is developed, I may field it on a smaller footprint and slower processor in the same family.

Past experience:
- Arduino - Loved it, but too slow.
- PIC16 - Fair. Old boards used RS232 for download. Limited capability free tools. ICD 2 LE never worked for me. Expensive full tools.
- Raspberry Pi: Little and poor experience. All set-up and no apps. Processor/board architecture seems to be difficult to use.
- TI Beaglebone Black: No experience. Will it be as difficult as the Pi?

Microcontroller Board Specs

- From either TI, NXP, or Microchip. Priced at under $100, if possible.
- A good set of application boards - motor drivers/controllers, WIFI, radio, etc.
- Method to upload code from a development host, to test application, over and over again, at least as convenient as the Arduino approach.
- 16- or 32-bit processor; multi-core is not required.
- The more digital GPIO pins the better; some analog IO pins are required.
- In-circuit debugger would be nice.

- Free and full functionality IDE, compiler, assembler, linker and debugger. (I program in Assembler, but will use C if needed.)
- Associated board support software.
- A fast, small, deterministic RTOS, also free. Or I may build my own.
- A hardware emulator would be helpful.

- A large, friendly community to help when I get stuck would be great. This is a major factor in my decision.

1GHz and lower than 100$us??? and you don't like the raspberry pi? I think the new raspberry pi 2 with it's quad core ARM SoC should be enough.

+ it's cheap, very cheap! 35$us
+ ARM Cortex-A7 processor (32 bit) quad core at 900Mhz that you can overclock(careful there) has USB and ethernet (and SPi usart, and general io) you can buy 'shields' and expantion boards ala arduino
+ you can make your own ide with existing tools, like ECLIPSE and a GCC cross-compiler which are free...
+ if you don't like to program within an Linux OS you can try a "Bare Metal" approach (that one use IAr but i think you can look on the internet for a GCC solution)
+ it has a JTAG port somewhere (this is for a Pi 1 but more googling could fall for a Pi2)
+ some googling and it seems there are FreeRtos port for the Pi, some legwork and you can get one for the pi 2
+ a lot of communities, no only for OS distributions, but also for hardware and the BareMetal stuff...

what exactly do you want to do? for that speed and a simpler device than a pi, maybe you should look for a ASIC or something similar...

Yes, exactly what I first thought. But after several weeks work and reading, I found a great deal that says its a poor choice for real-time systems. Its a basic architecture problem. Most experienced developers rejected it. Try a comparison review : arduino , rpi, beaglebone black.
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