Programmable in Java with no need to look at assembly/byte code level
Free design tools with no inherent limits
Relatively large data and code space
Fair processing speed and I/O pin count
Small size for a development board, and the JStamp+ can be removed and used as a DIP module for a very small footprint easily built into prototypes.
Systronix JStamp+ David Foster Speed – Good: at 74 MHz, up to ~3,000,000 bytes codes per second Space – Great: 512kB RAM, 2 MB Flash Cost – Poor: ~$300 for development board Power Usage – Average: roughly 300 mW at 74 MHz Dev. Tools – Good: Several as free downloads, a few online references I/O – Fair: 22 I/O pins, PWM, SCI, SPI, I2C
Freescale HC12 Aaron Harris The HC12 family of microcontrollers are 16 bit processors with a decent amount of features for a relatively low cost. These processors started as an enhanced 16 bit version of the popular 8 bit HC11. They contain many of the modules you would expect from a microcontroller, such as SCI, SPI and CAN interfaces, an A2D module and a timer module. The HC12 is perfect for a system that is not overly complex yet still requires many different types of communication or control.
Freescale ColdFire Aaron Harris The ColdFire family of microcontrollers are 32 bit processors with extensive features. They are based on Motorola’s 68k architecture. Depending on requirements, there are ColdFire packages with many different modules available. Some of the modules include SCI, SPI and I2C, timer modules, CAN, A2D, USB, PCI and Ethernet. With clock rates that can reach 300 MHz, the ColdFire can be quite powerful for an embedded system. This microcontroller is good for a system that is complex and requires many of the different resources available in the ColdFire family.
16-bit processor with a maximum clock frequency of 25 MHz
Extensive I/O capabilities
Support for floating point numbers and fuzzy control
Extensive support from manufacturer and online forums
Program in C and download to onboard flash using Codewarrior IDE.
Register based processor – A,B,X,Y,SP, PC
Huge selection of development boards available in varying form factors starting at about $100.
External memory interfaces are available to increase program space.
HCS12DP256 on Wytec Eval Board Jason Gorski Large systems that require a lot of external interfacing and little to moderate intelligence with moderate power consumption and low cost. Appropriate for 8-ch 16bit IC,OC,PA. up to 91 I/O, 2 SCI, 3 SPI, I2C, 16-ch 10bit A/D, 8-ch 8bit PWM I/O 256K Flash, 12K Ram, 4K EEPROM (DP256 in single chip mode) Memory Directly Proportional to clock speed, about 2 mA per MHz @ 5V (250 mW at 24 MHz) Power
Programming in a high level language increases development speed.
Execution is streamlined as no JVM is required.
Large amount of internal memory allows for storage of large, complex programs.
Very little low level I/O, however high speed serial I/O is available.
Very few development platforms offered, high cost (although increased capability) and limited support
Systronix JStamp Jason Gorski Small to medium systems that require high intelligence with moderate power consumption and cost. Not a stand-alone solution for larger systems (requires external devices for low level interfacing). Appropriate for 2 SCI, 1 SPI, 1 I2C, 1-wire, PWM, 22 pins of general I/O. I/O 2 MB Flash, 512 KB SRAM Memory Unregulated 5-14 VDC 45-300 mW power consumption Power
Sleep Mode and Internal oscillator for power saving
14 micro Second 10 bit ATD.
One SPI interface
Two SCI interface for RS232
Some PWM and Capture Compare capability
Low Price $3.65~$5.17 on 1000+ Quantity
dsPIC30F3010 Tim Raabe The dsPIC is a great choice for motor controlling. It has dedicated motor control hardware, and is easy to set up to control many types of motors. A big benefit of Microchip devices is the free IDE and C compiler for students. Additionally, the development kit can control 48v motors at 2.2A. Along with motor control features, the dsPIC also has built in DSP functionality. This can allow more complex algorithms on a small, cheap 16bit micro.
LM3S811 Microcontroller Tim Raabe The Luminary Micro seems like a good choice if a low cost 32 bit processor is needed. It actually has dedicated hardware for both multiplication and division, which should add speed over a 16 bit, or 32 bit processor which relies on software algorithms for both multiplication and division. The evaluation board for this device is also very affordable, cheap enough that several could be used for controlling a single robot if needed.