Poll: Flea with an ARM?
No ARMs !
Want ARM if ....
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A flea with an ARM
02-12-2013, 04:12 PM
Post: #1
A flea with an ARM
I know Val thought for a while of doing an ARM processor based device. I wonder if that would still be called a Flea.
Earlier I would have said it maybe-probably shouldn't be called a flea but now he's collating his excret.. er output Angel at fleasystems.com, on top of all the other websites where people discuss his fleas, Flea*** is now an established nomenclature for Val's products.

The same network effects & momentum (on a much bigger scale) seem to be increasing the dominance of ARM family processors in the tiny computer market so I expect if I'm involved in a software project it's likely to be either ARM based or a port from same.
And Val may get the itch again to make a system with an ARM if the consequences of his ARchitecture choice comes back to byte him! Big Grin

I hope Val keeps us up to date on the likelyhood of a Flea with an ARM, perhaps also with an FPGA or Xmos or (unlikely) a GA processor. [/font]
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02-13-2013, 12:21 AM
Post: #2
RE: A flea with an ARM
(02-12-2013 04:12 PM)Oh!thePain! Wrote:  I know Val thought for a while of doing an ARM processor based device. I wonder if that would still be called a Flea.
Earlier I would have said it maybe-probably shouldn't be called a flea but now he's collating his excret.. er output Angel at fleasystems.com, on top of all the other websites where people discuss his fleas, Flea*** is now an established nomenclature for Val's products.

The same network effects & momentum (on a much bigger scale) seem to be increasing the dominance of ARM family processors in the tiny computer market so I expect if I'm involved in a software project it's likely to be either ARM based or a port from same.
And Val may get the itch again to make a system with an ARM if the consequences of his ARchitecture choice comes back to byte him! Big Grin

I hope Val keeps us up to date on the likelyhood of a Flea with an ARM, perhaps also with an FPGA or Xmos or (unlikely) a GA processor. [/font]
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@Oh!thePain!

Thanks for your suggestion and welcome to the forum! Smile

Sure, nothing inherently wrong with 'going ARM' for Fleatiny (or Flea86 for that matter). However, I am more inclined to consider other silicon options first (some of which you've stated above) as they appear technically more interesting/rewarding to learn and master. On the other hand, it would be silly of me to ignore them altogether.

To be clear, fleatiny/Flea86 are little more than hobby projects i.e. figments of my imagination turned to reality on the workbench. Occasionally however, a few odd examples do escape from my workbench out into the wild.. Big Grin

Regards,
Valentin Angelovski
PS: You should have also included in your poll the other silicon options hinted at in your original post imho Smile
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02-13-2013, 05:00 AM
Post: #3
Big Grin RE: A flea with an ARM
Quote:Thanks for your suggestion and welcome to the forum! Smile

Sure, nothing inherently wrong with 'going ARM' for Fleatiny (or Flea86 for that matter).

Doh! I hadn't intended to post this in a Fleatiny specific forum. Feel free to move it!

Quote:However, I am more inclined to consider other silicon options first (some of which you've stated above) as they appear technically more interesting/rewarding to learn and master. On the other hand, it would be silly of me to ignore them altogether.

I can identify with your preference for doing or learning something different from the mobs. Because you design platforms, you want to be different by using a different platform. If I do anything, it will be much less ambitious like helping port some software. Because I prefer less crowded paths too I'm inclined to use some less common software or peripherals. But these are more likely available on a more common platform. And if I help make anything I want it on a common platform where it will have more impact. But your boards are so cheap I might buy one anyway. Probably an FPGA which I gather isn't finished? Ready by Sunday arvo?

(By the way check the spelling on your list of Forums. FPGA Project DevelopEment?)

Quote:PS: You should have also included in your poll the other silicon options hinted at in your original post imho Smile

I intended to have several options but couldn't manage to do it. I've learn't a bit of how to use MyBb today & yesterday but I'll have forgotten it by next time. I'll have to wimp-out & use the help. Oh!theShame! ;-)

:idea:Why don't you do the poll & include some really obscure processors like the Z79 used by Kitchen-Tech computers or one only found in Biddleonian Goat-Taxi meters?
[If the goat was named after Roy Rogers' horse that chip would presumably use transport trigger architecture. There's my total knowledge of REALLY unconventional processors]
Big Grin
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02-13-2013, 10:08 AM (This post was last modified: 02-13-2013 10:09 AM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #4
RE: A flea with an ARM
(02-13-2013 05:00 AM)Oh!thePain! Wrote:  I can identify with your preference for doing or learning something different from the mobs. Because you design platforms, you want to be different by using a different platform. If I do anything, it will be much less ambitious like helping port some software. Because I prefer less crowded paths too I'm inclined to use some less common software or peripherals. But these are more likely available on a more common platform. And if I help make anything I want it on a common platform where it will have more impact. But your boards are so cheap I might buy one anyway.

Granted, SDCC (i.e. what I use for the current fleatiny v1.x) isn't quite the same as GCC but does get the job done. Smile Feel free to browse the fleatiny software examples on our site and post any specific questions around them in the fleatiny support forum.

(02-13-2013 05:00 AM)Oh!thePain! Wrote:  Probably an FPGA which I gather isn't finished? Ready by Sunday arvo?

FleaFPGA progress has stalled due to the need to finish off the website first.. Big Grin

(02-13-2013 05:00 AM)Oh!thePain! Wrote:  (By the way check the spelling on your list of Forums. FPGA Project DevelopEment?)

Good catch! Fixed. Smile

(02-13-2013 05:00 AM)Oh!thePain! Wrote:  I intended to have several options but couldn't manage to do it. I've learn't a bit of how to use MyBb today & yesterday but I'll have forgotten it by next time. I'll have to wimp-out & use the help. Oh!theShame! ;-)

Well given the topic of this thread is ARM-specific I think we'll leave the poll as-is. I would like to see a wider poll appear in an separate 'Future Flea v2.x main processor options' thread or similar.

Regards,
Valentin Angelovski
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02-14-2013, 12:02 PM
Post: #5
RE: A flea with an ARM
Arm would be nice (very low energy requirements, tiny size, increasing availability of software), but I don't know much ARM code myself. Older microprocessors, while not as fast and efficient can be more fun to program for. My all-time favorite processor is the Motorola 6809 and I've been itching to to do something in that direction. However I've recently bought a miniscule Digispark (a measly $8) which is smaller than the average postage stamp. It uses the Arduino chip, which seems to be gaining a lot of traction lately. It looks like I'll have to finally learn about programming the Arduino.

Maybe an Arduino-based flea?

I'm intrigued by your FPGA-based machine. Hope you put more on your site about it soon.

All the best with your cool projects, whatever processor you use.

- Miriam
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02-14-2013, 05:03 PM
Post: #6
RE: A flea with an ARM
The problem I'm having a lot with ARM eval board development is using them with free tools and libraries. When you actually get a working unencumbered toolchain that actually works on your computer ("u ned 32bit x86 Ubuntu m8.."), you're then at the mercy of proprietary libraries that among other limitations, explicitly refuse you the option taking the code to another manufacturer's board.
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02-14-2013, 07:47 PM
Post: #7
RE: A flea with an ARM
I wonder when the business world will wake up and realise how "proprietary" bogs down projects while free and open source software (FOSS) gives them wings.
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02-14-2013, 11:39 PM
Post: #8
RE: A flea with an ARM
@miriam

Thanks for your comments and welcome to the forum! Smile

(02-14-2013 12:02 PM)miriam Wrote:  Arm would be nice (very low energy requirements, tiny size, increasing availability of software), but I don't know much ARM code myself.

I've glanced at the ARM ISA at various levels though it has it's quirks/issues, some of which cjbaird covered in his very first post above..

(02-14-2013 12:02 PM)miriam Wrote:  Older microprocessors, while not as fast and efficient can be more fun to program for. My all-time favorite processor is the Motorola 6809 and I've been itching to to do something in that direction. However I've recently bought a miniscule Digispark (a measly $8) which is smaller than the average postage stamp. It uses the Arduino chip, which seems to be gaining a lot of traction lately. It looks like I'll have to finally learn about programming the Arduino.

Digispark is very neat little device that brings arduino to a new form factor. I've also heard alot of good things about low-level programming on the classic motorola cpu archs. Cut my asm teeth mostly on Intel gear so I wouldn't know first-hand Smile

Also, $8 might be a good entry-level price for an STC-8051 equipped fleatiny with on-board 32K RAM expansion (but then I would not be hand-building any of those! Wink

(02-14-2013 12:02 PM)miriam Wrote:  Maybe an Arduino-based flea?

heh, a 'Flea-duino'? Big Grin

It would be a fairly straight-forward matter to re-work the PCB for a newer mid/high-end AVR and make room for a micro-USB port on the PCB. Porting the fleatiny kernel (8051 assembly code -> AVR) would be an entirely different matter (and probably the subject of a new thread..).

(02-14-2013 12:02 PM)miriam Wrote:  I'm intrigued by your FPGA-based machine. Hope you put more on your site about it soon.

I will post up some preliminary specs on that project within the next few days in the FPGA section of the forum - watch that space! Smile

(02-14-2013 12:02 PM)miriam Wrote:  All the best with your cool projects, whatever processor you use.

- Miriam

Thanks and likewise on your endeavors! Smile

Regards Valentin
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02-15-2013, 12:01 AM (This post was last modified: 02-15-2013 02:02 PM by Fleasystems.)
Post: #9
RE: A flea with an ARM
@cjbaird

Welcome to the forum old friend! Smile

(02-14-2013 05:03 PM)cjbaird Wrote:  The problem I'm having a lot with ARM eval board development is using them with free tools and libraries. When you actually get a working unencumbered toolchain that actually works on your computer ("u ned 32bit x86 Ubuntu m8.."), you're then at the mercy of proprietary libraries that among other limitations, explicitly refuse you the option taking the code to another manufacturer's board.

Indeed. Nothing inherently wrong with protecting silicon IP of course, but there are other, less-intrusive methods to do this imho.

Going away from ARM for a bit - when I laid down the design for Flea86 around three years ago, I also had the option to use a non-ARM 32-bit core (openRISC). Whilst I opted for the more challenging route (yet another 8051 based design), I believe that a unique opportunity to apply openRISC to the problem was overlooked..

Regards Valentin
Edited 2:56pm 15/2/2013: Clarifiy/cleanup
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02-16-2013, 04:09 AM (This post was last modified: 02-16-2013 04:23 AM by Oh!thePain!.)
Post: #10
Rainbow RE: A flea with an ARM
(02-15-2013 12:01 AM)Fleasystems Wrote:  @cjbaird

Welcome to the forum old friend! Smile

(02-14-2013 05:03 PM)cjbaird Wrote:  The problem I'm having a lot with ARM eval board development is using them with free tools and libraries. When you actually get a working unencumbered toolchain that actually works on your computer ("u ned 32bit x86 Ubuntu m8.."), you're then at the mercy of proprietary libraries that among other limitations, explicitly refuse you the option taking the code to another manufacturer's board.

Indeed. Nothing inherently wrong with protecting silicon IP of course, but there are other, less-intrusive methods to do this imho.

Going away from ARM for a bit - when I laid down the design for Flea86 around three years ago, I also had the option to use a non-ARM 32-bit core (openRISC). Whilst I opted for the more challenging route (yet another 8051 based design), I believe that a unique opportunity to apply openRISC to the problem was overlooked..

Regards Valentin

If there are usable, available, suitable FOSS chips available (Sweet32 or SweetFA?) they are best for the product & society and also address a neglected market segment. OTOH, if you are no longer doing what interests you most, it's less of a hobby. It becomes primarily a crusade or a business.

If we have a crusade;- since Intel is not a human is it still against forum rules to call for it's destruction? How about potato blight on all it's chips? Tongue

(02-14-2013 07:47 PM)miriam Wrote:  I wonder when the business world will wake up and realise how "proprietary" bogs down projects while free and open source software (FOSS) gives them wings.

A flea with an ARM and wings? That would be something!
Something very strrrrrrrrange! Dodgy

Replace the ARM with a logic-probe/oscis & you'd have a small mosquito! Rolleyes

Hey I enjoy my jokes, if you don't that's your problem! Tongue
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