Author Topic: Small MCU system-on-module options?  (Read 6389 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline jt

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 78
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2016, 05:13:47 pm »
Thanks Kilrah on your background.  Sounds like the system I had previously worked was of similar implementation and application.  Sounds like that technology is a good fit for the application. 

Offline Morgoroth

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 123
  • Country: cl
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2016, 06:12:00 pm »
maybe NXP (freescale) kinetis line microcontrollers is what you want, they run up to 150MHz with 2MB of flash, 256 KB SRAM, and as far I know they will release a line of bluetooth soon, I bet on same line of microcontrollers.
If works, doesn't means it is right.

Offline Kilrah

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 1642
  • Country: ch
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2016, 01:30:24 am »
A bit off topic but I just received the first engineering sample of the product and am really amazed at the performance, display refresh is ultra fast, leading to virtually instant UI response with our software, it will fly through the menu pages with full and instant screen renderings as fast as you can turn the rotary encoder used for navigation.

I know that technically there is nothing particularly fancy in pushing to a 480x272 color screen nowadays but the hardware in the STM seems to be doing a good job... it's interesting to see how much it's faster than the SPI grayscale LCD we had on the previous product, and most importantly feels really good after so many bad experiences with products that have appalling response times between user action and a fully updated UI, even recent ones.
Of course most of it has to do with the software, and ours being lightweight due to originating from a very low spec platform and thus not using any heavy libraries but preferring simple primitives must do a lot.

Offline diyaudio

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 670
  • Country: za
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2016, 08:29:09 pm »
BF53x are used MASSIVELY in Chinese (translation: Rigol, Siglent) scopes and IP cameras (being replaced by HiSilicon chipsets now).
BF561 is not seen to be used anywhere in consumer devices.
BF592 is commonly used in low end audio gears (no native 32 bit MAC), uber cheap. $1.99=200MHz, $3.99=400MHz. Poor (68k) L1, no L2.
BF6xx is something I never kept an eye on, so no comments made.
BF70x is the latest one with native 32 bit MAC and 72 bit accumulator as well as a bunch of high perf digital peripherals. Like other BF devices, their on chip analog peripherals suck.

BF53x, 592, 70x operates up to 400MHz (some exceptions). BF600 operates at 600MHz at much higher price. BF561 is dual core.


Their product support is kinds okay, but community support sucks. No mature user group, there are only ~4 posts in BF7xx section of their official forum per day.
Among the 4 posts, almost all replies are made by ADI employees -- which means virtually no community help can be found.
They are not budget friendly. So far, the latest 6xx and 7xx processors are not, and probably will not be, supported by GCC, so the only choice is $995 CCES.
That also means no ucLinux, so you have to pay another $8000 on uc-OSiii PER PRODUCT IDEA, unless you want to run on bare metal which I chose to do.
It is a bit disgusting that to promote Micrium middleware, they do not provide some example code, such as USB examples, so they force you to use their middleware.


Bottom line: if you have the time and capability to roll everything of your own, then go for it. For the same MIPS, BF+ is really cheap and power efficient compared to its TI rivals.
The support and user base is not nearly on par with what TI offers, so prepare for unforeseen difficulties.
I have experience with 592 and 706. Their perf/buck and perf/watt are fantastic, unfortunately, so do their R&D efforts.

Everything you mentioned here is true. I dont think the Blackfin will have a future the way they going, SHARC yes. I would rather go for a ZYNQ part then a Blackfin.

Offline NANDBlog

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 4199
  • Country: nl
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2016, 08:48:37 pm »
Does anyone know of a compact system on module for a "medium" performance microcontroller?  By medium I mean something along the line of an Cortex-M3 or M4 with <400MHz system clock (like a STM32F3/4 or Renesas S7) and external SRAM on the order of 1MB or so.  NAND flash optional, bonus points for on-board Bluetooth LE capability.  That seems to be particularly uncommon.  Most chips these days that have an external memory interface seem to implement DDRn as the bus interface, going straight to the 64MB+ domain (running linux!)
It is not gonna run Linux, as Cortex M lack MMU.
Embedded artist has NXP modules, Olimex also.
But I think any module which does not have BGA on it, is pointless, as you can just implement it on your main PCB.

Offline Koen

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 422
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2016, 09:04:45 pm »
something along the line of an Cortex-M3 or M4 with <400MHz system clock (like a STM32F3/4 or Renesas S7) and external SRAM on the order of 1MB or so.
STM32H7 will be 400MHz with 1MB internal SRAM.

Offline thm_w

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 906
  • Country: ca
Re: Small MCU system-on-module options?
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2016, 10:18:13 am » some onboard 1gb NAND, but no additional SRAM. 16M SRAM and 4gbit NAND, but the price is crazy ($80) and hard to source.

The problem is once you get into these high end micros, they are $15-20 which is already the cost of an orange pi. And the design of the board is really not that complicated, as you can see.
But I see the value of having a small 8-layer module with BGA CPU/RAM/NAND/etc all there and tested.

Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo