GTA02 MPU alternatives

Werner Almesberger werner at
Fri Apr 25 13:01:26 CEST 2008

Since Pandora's box has been opened in today's meeting, here's some
more material to have fun with.

The first two are ARM Cortex designs, which address the issue of needing
yet another toolchain. ARMs used to have somewhat messy power supply
requirements and Cortex often simplify them a bit.

I've also added an ARM7 from NXP. Their LPC familiy is very popular.

Then there's also Atmel's AVR to consider. AVR needs a new toolchain, but
the architecture is very well established in the Free Software community,
with lots of projects using it, a GCC port, and all that. Guess what,
this chip even has JTAG !

And then we finally veer off to the deep end, with Cypress' PSoC. Don't
be fooled by the clock rate - the M8C core takes an average 5-6 cycles
per instruction. What makes them exciting is that you can attach digital
and analog blocks to arbitrary pins. The CY8C24 isn't so great (but it's
small), but the CY8C29 is very flexible. No JTAG and the in-circuit
programming protocol has a narrow timeout at one point. Oh, and there's
no free C compiler for it but I've written a great macro assembler ;-)

There's also a bunch of 8051-derived designs with all sorts of goodies.
I think Andy is our expert on these.

Note that the current figures below are basically marketing data, i.e.,
they usually are for an uncommon mode and exclude peripherals that may
also draw significant power.

- ST STM32F103V8H6 (ARM Cortex)

  VFQFPN36, 6x6mm or BGA100, 10x10mm
  2-3.6V, power ~20mA(run), ~4uA(standby)
  USD 6.51/100, USD 5.00/1000

- Luminary Micro LM3S1439-IBZ50 (ARM Cortex)

  Hate the registration nags ? Here's the shortcut:,com_datasheets/Itemid,0/task,downloadlink/fid,563/

  BGA108, 10x10mm
  3-3.6V, power ~50mA(run), ~16uA(hibernate)
  USD 6.50/100, USD 4.34/500

- NXP LPC2364FET100-T (ARM7)

  100-TFBGA, 9x9mm
  3-3.6V, power ~30mA(run), ~150uA(power-down)
  USD 4.99/1000

- Atmel ATMEGA640-16CU (AVR)
  100-CBGA, 9x9mm
  2.7-5.5V at 8MHz, power ~10mA(run), 1uA(sleep)
  USD 7.80/100

  Development tools:

- Cypress CY8C24994-24BVXI (M8C)

  100-VFBGA, 6x6mm
  3-5.25V at 12MHz, power 30mA(run), 3uA(sleep)
  USD 3.69/100

  Development tools:

- Cypress CY8C29666-24LFXI (M8C)

  48-QFN, 7x7mm
  3-5.25V at 12MHz, power 15mA(run), 4uA(sleep)
  USD 4.58/100

  Development tools:

Enjoy ! ;-)

- Werner

More information about the hardware mailing list