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Author Topic: USBug - a 40pin DIP ARM development system  (Read 12310 times)
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Old_but_Alive
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« on: June 12, 2012, 11:04:51 11:04 »

I want to make you aware of a really good little project.

Its a 40pin DIP ARM pcb, which has an LPC1343 or LPC1347 ARM micro

http://dangerousprototypes.com/2012/05/14/usbug-lpc1343-breakout-board/

I asked the author Squonk for 3 bare boards, and he sent me 3 , and only charged me for the postage.

Well I built one up over the weekend, and its really very good.

Just plug it into a PC via USB, and windows enumerates it, and shows it as a new drive containing a file named firmware.bin.
The LPC1343 has a USB bootloader hard coded into its ROM ( note, not the user flash, so no space taken up there).
If the ISP button is pressed, the LPC is reset, and installs the new firmware.bin file into the flash, and executes it.
A normal power-up, or just reset, then the user flash code just runs at startup.

So, one just compiles user code for the LPC1343 to create a hex code file named firmware.bin, drag and drop it onto the LPC disk drive, and away you go !!
the board also has an swd debug connector for debugging etc.

The newer LPC1347 has 64KB flash, twice as much as the 43, but the main point is it has much better USB library support giving much much more USB functionality.



« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 11:07:21 11:07 by Old_but_Alive » Logged
bigtoy
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2012, 06:13:20 06:13 »

Nice little project. I have an mBed board; it can also be updated over USB. I do like those LPC ARM chips; great parts for the money, and people do cool things with them.
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txjammer
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2012, 01:19:06 01:19 »

Yes very nice, THE Mbed project is very extensive and very similar. The only difference is the mbed has 2 mcus, one for the bootloader and one actually getting programed. Is the source provided for the usb bootloader?
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2012, 05:27:24 05:27 »

no bootloader source is required, its in the rom of the device, NOT the flash.

If you mean to allow it to boot from a USB stick, then I dont think so, but there are probably NXP apps notes etc, but I havent got that far yet

The USB is available of course  and has embedded USB ROM-based drivers    

LPC1343 has HID, MSC    


LPC1347 has HID, MSC, CDC, FDU


squonk42 has to created a  web page for the USBug :

http://squonk42.github.com/USBug/
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2012, 05:32:09 05:32 by Old_but_Alive » Logged
txjammer
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2012, 06:12:21 06:12 »

Very nice, considering it took me awhile to find the 16Kb of boot rom on the datasheet. So it has an integrated driver from NXP.
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dipchip
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2012, 04:48:36 16:48 »

I would not be surprised at all to see this device take off like the mbed or arduino.

Not to go off on a tangent, but...

One of the limiting factors of ARM development is that you have to buy a pre-built board from somewhere.
It probably doesn't 'exactly' fit your design and you have to wedge it into your project somehow.
Or, you design a board, send it off for manufacture and/or assembly.

I would be nice if TI/NXP/ST/Atmel or any of the other major players would get a clue and release a hobbyist
version of say... the LPC174X series, that was not the LQFP package (.5mm pitch).  A QFP44 or even a DIP40
would be very useful for the garage brand of EE's. Something that you could build a board for at home and
could be easily soldered/socketed.

Could you imagine an SOIC28 version of the LPC1114 or STM32F10X?  
I think Microchip was very successful at packaging verses features, although maybe not on purpose.

Kudos to Squonk for his design, it comes as close to the above as possible, given the current manufacturer offerings.
I'm sure he was thinking the same thing Wink

--Chip
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 04:57:38 16:57 by dipchip » Logged
Old_but_Alive
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« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2012, 05:10:51 17:10 »

Chip,

I am in nearly daily contact with Squonk42.

His next rev of the pcb will include an I2C 32KB EEPROM, and a microSD card slot underneath the usb socket.

this is still embryonic, so dont hold yer breath.


the exciting thing about the LPC1347 variant is its doubling of flash to 64KB, and its support for much more USB functionality
The 48pin LQPF is smaller than a 28pin soic by the way.

hand building is easy, both squonk42 and I have hand built these things (I am 63, so my eyes ain't a young pair)

Mike
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 05:14:15 17:14 by Old_but_Alive » Logged
dipchip
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« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2012, 04:51:29 16:51 »

Well Mike,
  I'm 57... so don't play that card on me!  [wink]

If you are building pcb's at home and doing .5mm pads... I am ALL EARS.
The best I can do with my current setup is 8mil/8mil.  I have done 5mil, but it's not reliable.
So, my comments were referring to home built pcbs, not board houses', and the ability to do ALL
your own development, something you can't do given that kind of pitch... err.. I can't anyway.
The reference to the SOIC28 is because most 'resourceful' hacks can build boards at home and
get reasonable good results using similar parts. 

I have soldered LQFP's also, and I agree, it's not that bad.  Takes a while though... coffee, bio-break,
more coffee, another... squint... wait for eyes to focus... lol

I've used the 23K256 (microchip spi eeprom) in a couple of my projects and love it.  Wondering if
Squonk is gonna use something similar.

Please tell Squonk that I am anxious to see him produce these on a mass scale.  And... watch out
for 'engineer's disease' Wink

--Chip


« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 05:00:31 17:00 by dipchip » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2012, 09:11:06 21:11 »

First of all, thank you for your interest in my little USBug board!

@txjammer:
My main motivation when I designed this board was the ROM-based "USB Memory Stick" bootloader: it is really working! You solder a blank chip, plug the USB cable and here you are: you just drag and drop your firmware onto the device!

My second motivation was to provide as much information as possible on my experience while trying to design (produce?) such a board at the hobby level. I plan to add a lot of stuff that details the design choices, both global and on a component by component basis.

@dipchip:
I agree with you, making .5mm pad PCBs at home is almost impossible. But with cheap batch PCB services, its isn't worth the effort any more: you can get 10 PCBs of 50mm x 50mm at $10 + $4 intl. shipping...

FYI, NXP DO HAVE both SO20 and DIP28 packages:
http://www.nxp.com/news/press-releases/2011/10/nxp-cortex-m0-microcontrollers-in-high-volume-tssop-and-so-packages-target-8-16-bit-applications.html

Here they are:
But these are only Cortex-M0 LPC111x devices… With the USBug, and thanks to the pin-to-pin compatibility from NXP for most of its devices, you have the choice between 7 chips in a convenient 0.8’’ wide 40 pin DIP package Wink

As for soldering LQFP packages, all that you need is a magic (it really is!) flux pen, and use the "tack & reflow" method described in Dave Jone's video tutorial:
http://www.eevblog.com/2011/07/18/eevblog-186-soldering-tutorial-part-3-surface-mount/

Regarding your suggestion to use an SPI EEPROM, I plan to add an I2C 24AA32AFT-i/OT EEPROM from MicroChip because:
  • unlike SPI, addressing more than one device does not cost you a CS pin (only 2 pull-up resistors)
  • the SOT23-5 package is really small

--Michel
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« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 09:29:40 21:29 »

@dipchip:
I agree with you, making .5mm pad PCBs at home is almost impossible. But with cheap batch PCB services, its isn't worth the effort any more: you can get 10 PCBs of 50mm x 50mm at $10 + $4 intl. shipping...

I agree, I have for the most part given up home etching, it's just not cost effective any longer unless you need the board same day...   The new batch PCB services have really lowered the cost to the point that it cost me nearly the same as it would to purchase the blank copper clad boards and enchant, and no matter how well I do the DIY board the manufactured boards are still superior in the end...  And I have to say that if you are attempting to sell a design to a client a production quality prototype vs a home etched board goes a long way...
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metal
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2012, 12:13:15 00:13 »

FYI, NXP DO HAVE both SO20 and DIP28 packages
This chip is not really attractive, even for a hobbyist.. What hobbyist am I when I shout loud that I used ARM in DIP, only one chip?
What a nice way NXP has done to make more money from M0 chips :- )
M3 and M4 are eating the market nowadays, aren't they?
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 12:19:27 00:19 by metal » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2012, 02:53:33 14:53 »

I forgot to mention that these chips are by far more attractive than the ARM option:

PIC32MX150F128D
PIC32MX130F064B
PIC32MX120F032B
PIC32MX110F016B

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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2012, 03:21:33 15:21 »

@metal,
I hate these religion wars !!

pic vs avr vs propeller vs 430 vs ARM vs MIPS etc etc.

I am a long time user of PIC's but my opinion is Microchip made a bad choice with MIPS, for 32 bits, I chose ARM  for many many reasons, mainly practical.

They should have gone with ARM, and leveraged their excellent peripheral modules to differentiate themselves.

Maybe the Chinese can raise MIPS profile and market share ( especially when they buy MIPS ), but Microchip otherwise have backed a loser.

The point of the USBug, is that NXP have very cleverly put all of the functionality needed for USB inside the chip at design stage, so only calls to USB functionality is needed, and no user code space is eaten up

As squonk says, you can buy a blank chip, solder it in, plug the usb into a pc, and download your code into flash with a couple of clicks.

That's great for hobbyists who don't need debugging and JTAG ( which I have always found not to be easy).

Why would a commercial product need that functionality, once the application code has been blown, it stands alone forever (hopefully) , yes I know, updates enhancements etc.


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« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2012, 05:45:04 17:45 »

Yes, I don't like these futile debates either...

Unexpectedly, technicians are still putting a lot of emotions when they are supposed to make pragmatic decisions when choosing a component...

I used almost all microcontrollers you can think of over the past 20 years, as well as I am currently using the latest EFM32 chips for my day job, and my conclusion is that people tend to stick to whatever they know and claim it is the best.

Come on! I am not affiliated with any manufacturer, so I don't have any gain by promoting one over another. If you prefer the XYZ architecture, then fine for you, as long as you don't try to evangelize me.

My point with the NXP LPC1xxx ARM Cortex-based USBug is that the bootloader + USB classes in ROM are really nice features:
  • no specific JTAG/SWD tool, you just need a standard USB cable to download a new firmware
  • as the USB drivers are located in ROM, you don't have to include these into your code in Flash, thus saving memory for your own application

And yes, ARM Cortex M3 and M4 are eating the market, but that is also the case with the lowest-power M0 and M0+. Maybe there are good reasons for that, or are all these major semiconductor manufacturers too emotional?
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dipchip
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« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2012, 05:06:58 05:06 »

This chip is not really attractive, even for a hobbyist.. What hobbyist am I when I shout loud that I used ARM in DIP, only one chip?
umm... "I'm a hobbyist that likes to shout" ?
Don't hunt in dark waters! Next time I will ban you... Twisting words in quotes will get you much more quickly out of here that you are thinking, in few words, don't try to be a smart ass.
Quote
What a nice way NXP has done to make more money from M0 chips :- )
Congratulations to NXP for staying profitable, able to offer products in a wider range of packages than anyone else,
and still providing a familiar platform to work with.
lucky you
Quote
M3 and M4 are eating the market nowadays, aren't they?
yes... but I don't send a SWAT team to do a paper boy's job.  And... if these are going to be produced on any scale,
cost is a consideration.
we will see

I for one am excited about the USBug, it features will fit my needs just fine, cheap and effectively.
As for other 'hobbyists', they will probably find it easy to program, plugs into a breadboard, and doubles as a learning platform.
What a concept!  Add a supporting software library and this could be another arduino or mbed.
I am simply not excited about it.

Don't modify this post and don't make any more replies related to this post.

--Chip
« Last Edit: July 07, 2012, 12:54:39 12:54 by metal » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2012, 08:58:59 08:58 »

I think we should end these arguments now, lets just concentrate on Squonks' USBug, and help him to move it forward

Mike
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« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 10:29:32 10:29 »

Regarding the supporting library, I am currently using the code base library developed by microBuilder for the LPC1343 and LPC1114.

It is not as elaborate as the Arduino libs, but it is still a very good starting point!

I modified the LPC1343 Code Base to include support for the USBug (actually, only a couple of definitions to match the board), it is available on my Github.

For those interested, I still have a few rev. A boards from the initial batch. I can send these unpopulated boards for the postage price, just PM to me. It is then up to you to buy and mount all the required components: I have a basket ready for DigiKey and Newark/Farnell. Of course, you can count on my support!

--Michel
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« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 10:30:10 22:30 »

As I have been asked by someone here, I can currently only supply the bare board, as I don't have any part kit left from my initial order at Digi-Key.

However, if there are enough persons interested, we may group the part orders to avoid individual shipping costs by the distributor.

As explained above, I put both the DK and Farnell baskets on github, so you may have an idea of how much it will cost you if you order one part kit by yourself, and how much we can save by grouping.

Please send me a PM if you are interested.

--Michel
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« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2012, 02:22:13 02:22 »

Hi Squonk
I would be very much interested in grouped orders
this looks to be a very much interested project thank you
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« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2012, 06:20:49 18:20 »

@metal,
I hate these religion wars !!

pic vs avr vs propeller vs 430 vs ARM vs MIPS etc etc.
Why call it wars Mike? Practically speaking, I did not compare them, based on the criteria given in the thread, I just gave an opinion based on that criteria (peripherals and packages), simply it is valid. IMHO, as a hobbyist, I would go with PIC32, but as a pro, I would go with ARM, simple and plain. If I have more time, I would work with both and personally would go with ARM DIPs if they had better peripherals, why not?

I am a long time user of PIC's but my opinion is Microchip made a bad choice with MIPS, for 32 bits, I chose ARM  for many many reasons, mainly practical.

They should have gone with ARM, and leveraged their excellent peripheral modules to differentiate themselves.
I agree. From the peripheral POV, I see that the DIP packages of ARM are eaten by the DIPs from PIC32, that's all. I am not comparing architectures and saying that PIC32 or ARM is better, open your mind, Mike, We both know that ARM is far better!!!

I wished that ARM DIPs had better peripherals to offer, myself I like ARM.

That's great for hobbyists who don't need debugging and JTAG ( which I have always found not to be easy).
I agree. IMHO, more attractive option is to learn both, why not :- )
PICKit3 Programmer/debugger is not that expensive. I see that as an attractive combination for a Programmer/debugger that supports all Microchip chips.
Finally, the drag and drop of a hex file doesn't really attract me, even for a beginner.

The decision is governed by the fact that one wants to learn ARM, there are many other options to look at before deciding to have this module.

Metal
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 06:32:37 18:32 by metal » Logged

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« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2012, 08:19:33 20:19 »

Personnaly, I don't think people should be affraid of using surface mount devices for hobby projects any longer. With only a minimum of tools:
  • a magnifier glass lamp (or better: a x20:x40 binocular if you can afford it)
  • a fine tip soldering iron
  • fine soldering wire
  • fine tweezers
  • magic flux pen
... it is easy to proceed using the "tack & reflow" method described in Dave Jone's video tutorial. Alternatively, you could use a hot air rework station or a reflow oven and solder paste.

So, the DIP vs. SMT debate is not really relevant, DIP are just easier for prototyping on a breadboard, but soldering down to 0402 chips is definitely within reach for hobbyists.

But whatever architecture you choose, it is really exciting to see how much you can do with a "small" 32-bit 50-72 MIPS CPU or an 8-bit AVR CPU on steroids: check Rossum's Posterous blog for some pretty amazing stuff, like a Wikipedia eReader!

To get an idea about the USBug cost, the total amount for my initial 4 part kits order from Digi-Key was 75.33€, shipped to my place (EEC). But it is kinda lottery with the customs, they may charge you additional 10~20€, depending on agent Smiley

Comparing this price to the other equivalent finished boards, it's not that bad:

Of course, you can find other cheaper/better board, like the RPi, the OLinuXino-Micro or the Chumby Hacker boards (or a few other Chinese boards from eBay, like the FriendlyARM), but if you want to learn small ARM embedded microcontroller CPU programming on bare metal (no Linux here!) with modern tools as well as SMT soldering, the USBug may be a project to consider.

As Metal said, it's about what you want to learn, not only the price tag.

--Michel
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« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2012, 11:29:07 23:29 »

Personnaly, I don't think people should be affraid of using surface mount devices for hobby projects any longer. With only a minimum of tools:
  • a magnifier glass lamp (or better: a x20:x40 binocular if you can afford it)
  • a fine tip soldering iron
  • fine soldering wire
  • fine tweezers
  • magic flux pen
... it is easy to proceed using the "tack & reflow" method described in Dave Jone's video tutorial. Alternatively, you could use a hot air rework station or a reflow oven and solder paste.

I agree with this to a point, as long as you actually learn to solder... There are plenty of hobbiest that still lay boogers and can't solder to save their lives, even dip chips pose a challenge to them...  Trust me I have encountered my fair share of hobbiest that claim to be able to solder and I cringe when I see what they consider soldering, or you come across those that reach for the king sized soldering gun aka wood burner and asked why they are lifting pads on the board...

But, if you can solder yes, most smd packages are fine for the hobbiest, short of some real crazy exotics most common smd chips can be done by the hobbiest as long as they invest some money in the tools and learning the skills...  And with the low cost stencils available the hobbiest can easily screen and reflow at home with nothing more then a toaster oven or hot plate...

« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 11:40:41 23:40 by CocaCola » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2012, 06:33:08 06:33 »

I have an mbed board, and I like it, but not so much its price. So I really like what Squonk is showing us here. I've used other ARM chips before as well, and generally like them all. Now I need to think about how I can use one of these in my next project....
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« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2012, 09:58:53 09:58 »

For comparison's sake, here is a picture with 2 USBug boards, along with some popular other boards:



If you need some ideas about how you can use an ARM board, look at the Rossum's Posterous blog link above  Cool

--Michel
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 10:14:30 10:14 by Squonk » Logged
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