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 Post subject: Arduino
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:18 am 
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We are looking at the C the AtomPro supports. We can easily make this compatible with the Arduino. We are thinking about a hardware version of the AtomPro that works with all the Arduino sheilds and supporting them using either commands or include files. But either way it would work out of the box. So the idea is all the various sheilds could be used with the AtomPro in BASIC or C. The C would be portable from Arduino and back again. Upside is the AtomPro quickly becomes and easy upgrade path for an Arduino user.

Any one have thoughts on this?

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:04 pm 
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Sounds interesting.

Are you planning on providing a set of libraries and the like or are you hoping to go whole hog and somehow implement a new back end for the Arduino environment? i.e. does the user use the Arduino environment and there is a new board type in the Tools menu that is for your new board or does the user stay in studio?

I am not a marketing type, so I have no clue on how many users may wish to upgrade this way. As with most things it probably depends on price... With Arduino as low as maybe $20 and the Arduino Pros from maybe $50, it may be an interesting.

But as I said it sounds like an interesting idea.
Kurt


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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:25 pm 
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It would be Studio but with a simple mode that made it look like the Arduino IDE. We would re-create all the libraries that had direct hardware functions. This way you could use almost any Arduino code out there.

I dont think we are looking at a 1 for 1 migration path. The Renesas processor has the math functions the Arduino is lacking. But making it so BASIC or Arduino sketches can be used. The other thought is to just to add BASIC commands to support some of the sheilds that are available.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:52 pm 
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I must be misunderstanding. C is C. there are standards for that! C shouldn't be bent to look like Arduino.

Now if you mean you would supply libraries to do some Arduino board functions, or ARC-32 functions, then it's all good.

Alan KM6VV

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 12:55 am 
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Hi Alan,
There are many who could answer this much better than I can. There is tons of information up on the web on this. I have looked at them some as I do like AVR processors. Arduino has defined both a hardware standard, such as what IO pins it has, where the pins are, etc. This allows for other boards (shields) to be stacked on to the Arduino board to add capabilities.

But in addition to this, they have defined software standards, using a "Wiring" language which is very similar to C++. You program it writing a sketch. A sketch does not have a main line function, but instead has a setup function and a loop function...

For the most part I think you could develop a set of libraries to mimic most of the built-in stuff. Things like the Serial class, which has methods like Serial.println ... Users can extend this by creating new libraries, which users can download and use. I don't know all of the steps for this, but I did for example communicate with a gup up on the Robot forum(societyofrobots.com) who created a PS2 class for the Arduino.

If Basic Micro goes foreword with this, the question will be is how close can they get the operation of Studio and the supporting libraries to work like a standard Arduino, including all of the user contributed functions you can download.

Likewise if they develop a new board that has the standard IO pins, I wonder how close can they get to the same IO pin layout and usage. That is on the standard Arduino board there are I think 6 Analog pins, and 13 digital pins with three of these digital pins are PWM pins, specific pins also for 2 interrupts, RX and TX, SPI, and LED . Also if they are going to support some of the standard shields, they need to know that many of these shields use specific IO pins for specific things... Could be a challenge. I am not sure how many of these shields also use any of the signals on the ICSP plug, or the Analog reference pin... Also I don't know how many of these shields are based on the Arduino Duemilanove boards which add a few extras like a reset pin and a 3.3V...

And I am not even talking about the Arduino Mega board, that has (16 analog pins, 12 PWM pins, 4 USARTS, with 50+ digital IOS...)

Again don't get me wrong. I think it would be in Basic Micros interest to get a set of C Libraries developed that are as close as possible to the Arduino standards as possible! I think it would help to attract some people who have learned on the Arduino and would like to pick up the processing power of the H8s...

Kurt


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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:38 am 
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KM6VV, for all intents Arduino is bent C. They preprocess the C file to generate teh necessary header file without the user needing to do it. Then the main function is predefined to call teh setup and loop functions Kurt mentioned. Arduino is C/C++ just with the above to make it easier for a newbie to get start.

But don't worry. The Sketch files/projects would be seperate from the C/C++ files/projects in Studio. So for those that want pure C they will still have it. In fact Arduino libraries are written in C/C++, not Sketch(researched on their website for that info).

Once the low level Arduino libraries are written many third party libraries would just work. Only ones that access the Atmel hardware directly would have to be rewritten to use Renesas hardware instead.

I've already created a pinout for a Renesas 3687 that provides all the necessary hardware functions of the standard Arduino shield pinout. The only think missing is the onchange interrupts on analog pins 2 to 5. All the other Arduino pins all have either onchange ints, INT ints, or compare match ints(FTIO) which will allow all those pins to emulate the on change ints on all the Atmel pins. I've also matched up every PWM pins(OCP pins) on Atmel with PWM pins on the 3687. Also the timer outputs and the capture inputs are all matched to equivilent hardware on the 3687. I beleive I haev covered every bit of hardware on the 328 Atmel with an equivilent functioning 3687 except for those 4 on change ints on the analog pins. In place of the analog comparator pins the extra 2 analog pins the 3687 has go there. Of course multiple 3687 pins are going to each arduino pin to get all the necessary functions on each pin. And no there is no way a Mega Arduino could be done with a 3687. I used every single pin on the 3687 to provide all the necessary hardware functions.

I also went through all the shield boards on the arduino playground and all the shield boards Sparkfun carries. The vast majority use SPI or the UART to function. Some use PWM pins and of all the ones with buttons, the buttons are all on the digital pins. So basically even with the 4 missing ints on the 4 analog pins every shield I looked at could be made to work on the 3687.

Here is the pin comparisons from the Arduino to the 3687 AtomPro.
Code:
Arduino Pins            Atompro Pins
reset                     reset   
3v3                     3v3
5v                        5v
GND                     GND
GND                     GND
Vin                     Vin

0                        PB0/AN0                  P30               P55/WKP5      p87 to pin through 10k resistor
1                        PB1/AN1                  P31               P54/WKP4      p86 to pin through 10k resistor
2                        PB2/AN2                  P32                           p85 to pin through 10k resistor
3                        PB3/AN3                  P33                           p37 to pin through 10k resistor
4                        PB4/AN4      P56/SDA      P34                           p36 to pin through 10k resistor
5                        PB5/AN5      P57/SCL      P35                           p24 to pin through 10k resistor

AREF                     NC
GND                     GND
13      PB5(SCK)                        P70/SCK3_2                     P53/WKP3      p23 to pin through 10k resistor
12      PB4(MISO)                     P71/RXD_2      P12            P52/WKP2
11      PB3(MOSI/OC2A)      P61/FTIOD0   P72/TXD_2      P11/PWM       
10      PB2(SS/OC1B)      P63/FTIOC1                  P10/TMOW                  
9      PB1(OC1A)         P64/FTIOC0                                 
8      PB0(CLKO/ICP1)      P62/FTIOA1                  P76/TMOV         
7      PD7(AIN1)                     PB6/AN6                        P51/WKP1
6      PD6(OC0A/AIN0)      P66/FTIOB0   PB7/AN7         P74/TMRIV      
5      PD5(OC0B/T1)      P65/FTIOB1   P60/FTIOA0                     
4      PD4(XCK/T0)                     P20/SCK3         P75/TMCIV      P50/WKP0
3      PD3(OC2B/INT1)      P67/FTIOD1                  P15/IRQ1/TMIB1   
2      PD2(INT0)                                    P14/IRQ0
1      PD1(TXD)                        P22/TXD         P17/IRQ3/TRGV
0      PD0(RXD)                        P21/RXD         P16/IRQ2


Unused AtomPro pins
NONE

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:13 am 
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Hi Nathan,

Sorry, some of us get really protective of C. I've watched a rash of "do overs" (yeah, like reality TV) of hardware and software nomenclature into the Arduino "life style". I realize that Arduino was started over in Italy (I think), so some names might be different.

But really, call a board a "shield"? (for example). and program modules/files "Sketch"? What's with that? I scratched my head for a while on that one.

But I certainly don't want my comments interpreted as being against your fine work, or BM, that is certainly not my intent. It's just frustrating... (I must be getting old).

Thanks for your great work on the C!

Best Regards,

</rant off>

Alan KM6VV

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:28 am 
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Hi Alan,

I fully understand and agree. But Arduinos have become a hot item so I fully understand Basic Micro trying to get in on it.

I look at the bright side. If BM develops a set of libraries to do all of the things that Arduino's do, like servos, serial, I2C, pulses... and the underlying libraries are developed in C++, that probably implies that this code will be available for those who wish to do straight C/C++ :D.

Kurt


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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:49 am 
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Arduino was originally billed as microcontrol for the "Artisitic Crowd", thus "sketch". It started in Italy, so "shield".
It's all the same effete snob-s*** that Apple Computer caters to. "Only special people buy our products!" Oooh!
It's just another microcontroller product, but it came out complete for hardware and software, the board fab files are all free, and it is all (give or take a lawsuit) open source. Supposedly you can only call your product "Arduino" if you sign on to their open-source license, thus ensuring (HAR!) that all things Arduino are universally available to the greater public. And their design uses connectors with pins using 2mm centers, which drives most American manufactures and users nuts, as the most common spacing used here is 0.1" (2.54 mm), thus leading to an industry of adapter makers that help the two specs "get along".
And all this claptrap is filling the web-i-verse, so distributors already selling MCU boards are starting to make boards with Arduino or -(d)ino in the name. I expect some fruit farmer will produce a cherry-red board and call it the "marach-ino". Pfft!

End $0.02.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:15 am 
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Hi Kurt,

Yeah, I understand, and would love to get some really good C libraries for the Atom / ARC chips.

If BM can add a new market, I'm all for it!

Alan KM6VV

KurtEck wrote:
Hi Alan,

I fully understand and agree. But Arduinos have become a hot item so I fully understand Basic Micro trying to get in on it.

I look at the bright side. If BM develops a set of libraries to do all of the things that Arduino's do, like servos, serial, I2C, pulses... and the underlying libraries are developed in C++, that probably implies that this code will be available for those who wish to do straight C/C++ :D.

Kurt

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:23 am 
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Seems you're as under-impressed with all the hype as I am!

I still don't get the choice of the word "shield". Didn't seem to be an Italian word that I could figure out.

It's not even a NEW uP! It's just a lot of re-packaging!

And I really know what you mean by the 2mm stuff. I run in to that all the time at work. A real pain.

But if it sells, by all means, go for it!

Alan KM6VV

kenjj wrote:
Arduino was originally billed as microcontrol for the "Artisitic Crowd", thus "sketch". It started in Italy, so "shield".
It's all the same effete snob-s*** that Apple Computer caters too. "Only special people buy our products!" Oooh!
It's just another microcontroller product, but it came out complete for hardware and software, the board fab files are all free, and it is all (give or take a lawsuit) open source. Supposedly you can only call your product "Arduino" if you sign on to their open-source license, thus ensuring (HAR!) that all things Arduino are universally available to the greater public. And their design uses connectors with pins using 2mm centers, which drives most American manufactures and users nuts, as the most common spacing used here is 0.1" (2.54 mm), thus leading to an industry of adapter makers that help the two specs "get along".
And all this claptrap is filling the web-i-verse, so distributors already selling MCU boards are starting to make boards with Arduino or -(d)ino in the name. I expect some fruit farmer will produce a cherry-red board and call it the "marach-ino". Pfft!

End $0.02.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:04 pm 
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Ya Ken, but you can't argue with the numbers. Arduino is one of the highest searched keywords in the microcontroller market. Google gets 1.4million searches a month. So there is defintely a market there. All we are look for is a means to take advantage of the already available shield boards. We don't expect to take any significant amount of the arduino crowd just because our prices will always be higher(we can't make an H8 based product that costs $20, has a USB to serial chip and is surface mount and stay in business).

And, yes, it is pretty much just a repackaging of GNU C. However they took out probabyl the one thing that most non-programers can't understand, the .h files. Most people just don't get why they need to pre-define a function/command. Basically Arduino handles that behind the scenes. Of course this takes away alot of the functionality of a structured language but Arduino was designed for non-programmers that need to throw something together easily.

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:39 pm 
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Quote:
Arduino was designed for non-programmers that need to throw something together easily.

Like Studio? ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:45 pm 
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I'd have thought they'd just go with a BASIC. That was the whole idea.

Alan KM6VV

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 Post subject: Re: Arduino
PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm 
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I dont get sheild, sketch or any of it. If your not making a living from microcontrollers no point in learning C. Dont shoot me for that statement but the Basic Stamp existed for a reason not the C Stamp.

But either way. I think we may just shy away from it. We do have an AtomPro in the same form factor coming with new commands and a library systems to support the "sheilds". We have seen several neat "sheilds" and with an AtomPro (3687) running it we can give anyone access to them using our BASIC (which is best anyways).

The C that is available for AtomPro now we are going to focus more on. Likely implement the same lib system for it aswell. We may even do something to the .h files.

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