Author Topic: #96- msp340uino  (Read 4046 times)

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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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#96- msp340uino
« on: June 24, 2010, 09:05:08 am »
I seriously doubt that Arduino has any connection to this. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the TI folks involved haven't even heard of it. Although popular amongst hobbyists and 'makers' (whatever they are), I'd say that easily the majority of people I know in the 'traditional' electronics industry have never heard of Arduino, or are only vaguely aware of the name and no idea what it actually is.

Even if they had, I can think if two good reasons not to use the Arduino pinout. 1) AFAIK all MSP430s are 3.3V only, so many shields would either not work or be marginal. 2) The Arduino pinout is broken because it isn't on an 0.1" grid.  

I somewhat doubt Ardiuno is more than a drop in the ocean for Atmel in terms of chip sales, although it may well have led to high volume design-ins.

Gimmicky devboards like this are nothing new - pretty much every manufacturer does it every so often to lure naive engineers into getting into their product in the hope they will design it in.

I have  encountered several cases where I've had to redesign products for customers where highly non-optimal parts have been designed into products because they were too lazy to properly research the market and just bunged in whatever the sales rep gave them as a freebie, or they got from a seminar. Then they get screwed when they later find that availability is poor, nobody else knows the devtools so when their engineer leaves they're up the creek, or the manufacturer's marketing drive fails and the part gets discontinued.
And of course you can never actually get the parts for the pricing quoted by sales reps at seminars etc.

I was surpised to see they are doing a DIP version, but totally agree with the commment re. lack of SO parts. A huge number of apps just don't need to be super-tiny. OK SO hets a bit clunky over 16 pins, but below this the PCB area difference really isn't that much, especially once routing fanout etc.  is included.

Obviously the $4.30 is a promotional price and unlikely to last, so no point developing anything around the board. My guess is it will be discontinued, or re-packaged as a slightly different product at a more normal price.

And on a more general rant, why do manufacturers spend money on fancy packaging for devtools? This applies to most of them these days - Microchip (round ICD case) , Atmel (Dragon..), ST (STM Circle)  etc. with multi-colour printed boxes etc. When do you ever see them on a shop shelf? Why do they need to look pretty.
They should  fire the idiot marketing people and hire another few guys to improve the devtools.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 09:07:23 am by mikeselectricstuff »
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Offline Ferroto

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Re: #96- msp340uino
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2010, 09:56:05 am »
While I had a hard time believing the $4.30 price tag, it does make since now that I think about it. The purpose of a dev kit is NOT to make money directly, rather to make money indirectly by familiarizing customers with their products. I don't see anything gimmicky about it, the PICKit Starter Kit sold it for me with regards to Microchip, and that cost closer to $50 as I recall. On the other hand most of the Atmel dev kits were priced in the $300 range, were very complex, and 3rd party devkits such as the Arduino were unsupported by Atmel.

I do however agree that the PICKIT 3, and the ICD look stupid.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:01:28 am by Ferroto »
 

Offline saturation

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Re: #96- msp340uino
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2010, 10:12:05 am »
In the end getting your attention is best when it appeals to the most primitive drives  ::)

I wonder what the founders of HP would think of their company today?



building stuff like this:



to marketing like this:






....

And on a more general rant, why do manufacturers spend money on fancy packaging for devtools? This applies to most of them these days - Microchip (round ICD case) , Atmel (Dragon..), ST (STM Circle)  etc. with multi-colour printed boxes etc. When do you ever see them on a shop shelf? Why do they need to look pretty.
They should  fire the idiot marketing people
and hire another few guys to improve the devtools.


« Last Edit: June 24, 2010, 10:14:03 am by saturation »
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Offline Zad

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Re: #96- msp340uino
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2010, 02:14:48 pm »
I think what happened at HP is a huge shame. What really happened was that somehow the culture of Compaq took over from the 'engineer's engineer' attitude that HP had. I wasn't thrilled when they split off Agilent, but in hindsight it is a good job they did, otherwise they would by rebadging budget Won-hung-low meters by now.

I can see where TI are coming from with this board (out of the marketing meeting room I think), but I can't really see it achieving much in the pro engineering circles. Sure, it'll get a load of school, highschool and college/uni students thinking benevolently about TI (and I'm really not knocking that, it is a good investment) but, to anyone who knows the market, there are many alternatives out there that do so much more! Incidentally, I watched the unboxing video. I especially loved the bit where the guy said "so you got home and you are pumped because your kit is waiting for you in the porch". Has anyone ever thought "hey WOW my $4:30 kit from TI is here"? I did note that he was wearing the TI kit watch. He must have positively wet himself when that arrived.

I was thinking about getting one of these myself, then I thought - "hang on, will I ever use it?". I tend to use Microchip PICs for 8-bit (cheap, nice easy DIP cases for dev work) or ARM7/9s from various vendors (cheap, hugely powerful for the price and power consumption, reasonably consistent architecture) and I can't justify having to learn yet another architecture and dev suite, when the likelihood is that I just won't use them. Ironically, in another email that dropped in my in-box at the same time, TI were promoting their new AM37x series (based on the ARM A8 at 1GHz) which goes by the name of Sitara. Which sounds like a small Indian musical instrument, but never mind. They want me to buy the evaluation module for that (note - NOT the development kit). How much? A mere $1500. It is a great looking piece of kit, but $1500? Ouch.

I think you were a bit unfair about the packaging Dave, the one in the video doesn't look much bigger than a CD jewel case, plus maybe 3-4cm thick? The smallest packaging I get stuff from Digikey from is 9x9x4 inches anyway, even with maybe half a dozen ICs in. Speaking of which, my current award for wastefulness goes to NXP (Philips). I ordered 3 samples from them. The arrived INDIVIDUALLY in 11x14 inch jiffy bags. Inside that was a cardboard box, and inside that some antistatic foam, and the dispersive bag. Must have cost a fortune!

Mike


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