Beginning Embedded Development - Embedded

This is a discussion on Beginning Embedded Development - Embedded ; Hi, I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I google it all i get is a load of comerical links that ...

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Thread: Beginning Embedded Development

  1. Beginning Embedded Development

    Hi,

    I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    direction.

    The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    1x ethernet
    1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    as much ram as feasible
    ----------

    Questions:
    1. What _excatly_ do I need to get started? (I really have NO idea
    what i will need)
    2. Where can I get it reasonably cheap? (I dont want to commit myself
    too early)
    3. What online resources are there to help me learn.

    I have some knowledge of c/c++ & assembly but not much I want to learn
    as I work on the project. I realise that from my apparent limited
    knowledge I am going in at the (very) deep end but that is how I like
    to learn.

    Any help getting me started will be appreciated, thanks in advance.


    Regards,


    Ryan

  2. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    > I want to develop something similar to the NSLU2 ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2
    > ), but with more USB ports, and a few other tweaks. I dont mind
    > spending ~100 ($200)ish but would be very reluctant to spend more
    > until I have decided its something I really enjoy.


    Perhaps a PC motherboard ....

    -Michael

  3. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Ammiravo la mia cresta allo specchio quando Pvt Ryan @hotmail.com> ha detto :

    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible
    >


    Look here
    http://www.gumstix.com/

    --
    Nuno on zx-6r '04 & CR 250 '98 working in progress...
    E abbiam montato l'autovelox e fatto multe senza piet
    A chi passava sopra i 50 fossero pure i 50 di et
    *** www.gladio.org ***


  4. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On 20 Mar, 19:46, Michael Schnell
    wrote:
    > > I want to develop something similar to the NSLU2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2
    > > ), but with more USB ports, and a few other tweaks. I dont mind
    > > spending ~100 ($200)ish but would be very reluctant to spend more
    > > until I have decided its something I really enjoy.

    >
    > Perhaps a PC motherboard ....
    >
    > -Michael


    Its the low power usage that attracts me or I would just use a PC..

  5. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Pvt Ryan schreef:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    > embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    > google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    > so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    > direction.
    >
    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible


    http://www.ethernut.de/en/hardware/index.html
    The Ethernut could be for you!

    Regards,
    Edwin

  6. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Pvt Ryan wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    > embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    > google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    > so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    > direction.
    >
    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible
    > ----------
    >
    > Questions:
    > 1. What _excatly_ do I need to get started? (I really have NO idea
    > what i will need)
    > 2. Where can I get it reasonably cheap? (I dont want to commit myself
    > too early)
    > 3. What online resources are there to help me learn.
    >
    > I have some knowledge of c/c++ & assembly but not much I want to learn
    > as I work on the project. I realise that from my apparent limited
    > knowledge I am going in at the (very) deep end but that is how I like
    > to learn.
    >
    > Any help getting me started will be appreciated, thanks in advance.
    >
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    >
    > Ryan


    You could look at this :-

    http://www.avrfreaks.net/wiki/index....ware_reference

    I have a couple here that I am going to use for something or other :-).

    You can get them for £50 or so at the moment.

    Andy



  7. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On Mar 20, 10:56 am, Pvt Ryan wrote:

    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible
    > ----------
    >
    > Questions:
    > 1. What _excatly_ do I need to get started? (I really have NO idea
    > what i will need)
    > 2. Where can I get it reasonably cheap? (I dont want to commit myself
    > too early)
    > 3. What online resources are there to help me learn.


    I am currently using a Glomation GESBC in a project, and am fairly
    pleased with how it is working out. I wrote a review:

    http://bec-systems.com/web/content/view/90/9/

    Cost is around $100 for qty 1.

    Cliff

    =================
    http://bec-systems.com

  8. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On 20 maalis, 16:56, Pvt Ryan wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    > embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    > google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    > so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    > direction.
    >
    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible
    > ----------


    TS-7200

    http://www.embeddedarm.com/

    j

  9. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On 21 Mar, 18:19, Janne wrote:
    > On 20 maalis, 16:56, Pvt Ryan wrote:
    >
    > > Hi,

    >
    > > I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    > > embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    > > google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    > > so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    > > direction.

    >
    > > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > > 1x ethernet
    > > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > > as much ram as feasible
    > > ----------

    >
    > TS-7200
    >
    > http://www.embeddedarm.com/
    >
    > j


    Thanks for all the replies.. I haven't had a chance yet to fully read
    all the links but I will do so later this evening or tomorrow.
    All tips/advice are welcome, so keep em coming..

    Regards,

    Ryan McLean

  10. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Hi all

    I'm working with ryan on the project he mentioned, so I thought I'd
    make an appearance in the group and add my two pennies worth

    We're looking for a SBC that runs a linux kernel ideally, that we can
    customise and to make a small, low-power and (eventually) reasonably
    inexpensive box that can perform a number of functions.

    We've lots of programming, networking, database, smtp experience (the
    list goes on...) but simply no experience of embedded platforms. Of
    course, we *could* use a PC motherboard, but we're both the "in at the
    deep end type" and are quite excited about programming a completely
    for a completely different platform, instead of just tickling the
    surface by using PC parts.

    So I'd second Ryan's questions....

    In terms of development, what do we need to invest in? If someone can
    tell us what software and hardware we'd be needing to get, in order to
    program for, and compile on, these SBCs then we'd be very grateful.

    The Kwikbyte boards (as Ryan mentioned) are the starting point for us
    - but there simply isn't enough info about them on their website. I
    plan to call them next week, but I'd certainly rather know a bit more
    about what I was talking about before i do

    So...a typical development setup consists of ___________________
    (anyone?)

    Thanks

    Ben




    On 21 Mar, 19:05, Pvt Ryan wrote:
    > On 21 Mar, 18:19, Janne wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > On 20 maalis, 16:56, Pvt Ryan wrote:

    >
    > > > Hi,

    >
    > > > I will admit it straight off I am a n00b, I have no experience in
    > > > embedded development what so ever. However I want to learn, if I
    > > > google it all i get is a load of comerical links that are irrelevent,
    > > > so I am asking here in the hope someone will point me in the right
    > > > direction.

    >
    > > > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > > > 1x ethernet
    > > > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > > > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > > > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > > > as much ram as feasible
    > > > ----------

    >
    > > TS-7200

    >
    > >http://www.embeddedarm.com/

    >
    > > j

    >
    > Thanks for all the replies.. I haven't had a chance yet to fully read
    > all the links but I will do so later this evening or tomorrow.
    > All tips/advice are welcome, so keep em coming..
    >
    > Regards,
    >
    > Ryan McLean- Hide quoted text -
    >
    > - Show quoted text -



  11. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    ^^apologies for the typos, i was cooking at the same time

  12. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    ben.norris@gmail.com wrote:
    > I'm working with ryan on the project he mentioned, so I thought I'd
    > make an appearance in the group and add my two pennies worth
    >
    > We're looking for a SBC that runs a linux kernel ideally, that we can
    > customise and to make a small, low-power and (eventually) reasonably
    > inexpensive box that can perform a number of functions.
    >
    > We've lots of programming, networking, database, smtp experience (the
    > list goes on...) but simply no experience of embedded platforms. Of
    > course, we *could* use a PC motherboard, but we're both the "in at the
    > deep end type" and are quite excited about programming a completely
    > for a completely different platform, instead of just tickling the
    > surface by using PC parts.
    >
    > So I'd second Ryan's questions....
    >
    > In terms of development, what do we need to invest in? If someone can
    > tell us what software and hardware we'd be needing to get, in order to
    > program for, and compile on, these SBCs then we'd be very grateful.
    >
    > The Kwikbyte boards (as Ryan mentioned) are the starting point for us
    > - but there simply isn't enough info about them on their website. I
    > plan to call them next week, but I'd certainly rather know a bit more
    > about what I was talking about before i do
    >
    > So...a typical development setup consists of ___________________


    A lot of people have said a lot of good stuff.

    We're working with Mini-ITX boards (which are basically condensed PC
    motherboards) with ethernet, USB and the other expected PC
    peripherals. Current prices including DRAM and flash drive can be
    around $250, power draw in the 10 watt area. We install Debian Linux,
    and for now have been running compiles on the target, to avoid
    library confusion. At some point we'll have to consider a
    stripped-down release to install on the product, but that should only
    involve taking things away, not radically changing our methods.

    We've also tried Technologics TS-7xxx ARM-based boards, successfully.
    With these we started with a toolchain under Cygwin, but latter
    moved to a native toolchain on the target board. All toolchains were
    free from the Technologics FTP site.

    For native compiles, we get the target system to mount the source tree
    via NFS from a Linux desktop system.

    Apart from that, the other outside tools we've depended on:
    - a CVS server on the LAN for source code control
    - the PuTTY package to handle SSH connections to the
    target/development system from our desktops.


    Product press releases from the LinuxDevices.com RSS feed are a good read.

    Mel.

  13. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Mel wrote:
    > ben.norris@gmail.com wrote:
    >> I'm working with ryan on the project he mentioned, so I thought I'd
    >> make an appearance in the group and add my two pennies worth
    >>
    >> We're looking for a SBC that runs a linux kernel ideally, that we can
    >> customise and to make a small, low-power and (eventually) reasonably
    >> inexpensive box that can perform a number of functions.


    You and ryan are application level programmer who like to use the term
    embedded to mean something other then what it use to mean.

    All the functions you are asking for are only on PC level boards.

    Some truly embedded system boards will contain some of these thing, but
    at a price.

    So, if you are looking at getting a project/product done, then just get
    it done.

    If you are looking to play around, start somewhere and figure out whats
    missing and move up from there.

    These is _no_ perfect embedded board for application programmers.

    You guys ask for a PC but don't want to pay for a PC.

    Well, technology is not there yet.


    donald


    >>
    >> We've lots of programming, networking, database, smtp experience (the
    >> list goes on...) but simply no experience of embedded platforms. Of
    >> course, we *could* use a PC motherboard, but we're both the "in at the
    >> deep end type" and are quite excited about programming a completely
    >> for a completely different platform, instead of just tickling the
    >> surface by using PC parts.
    >>
    >> So I'd second Ryan's questions....
    >>
    >> In terms of development, what do we need to invest in? If someone can
    >> tell us what software and hardware we'd be needing to get, in order to
    >> program for, and compile on, these SBCs then we'd be very grateful.
    >>
    >> The Kwikbyte boards (as Ryan mentioned) are the starting point for us
    >> - but there simply isn't enough info about them on their website. I
    >> plan to call them next week, but I'd certainly rather know a bit more
    >> about what I was talking about before i do
    >>
    >> So...a typical development setup consists of ___________________

    >
    > A lot of people have said a lot of good stuff.
    >
    > We're working with Mini-ITX boards (which are basically condensed PC
    > motherboards) with ethernet, USB and the other expected PC peripherals.
    > Current prices including DRAM and flash drive can be around $250, power
    > draw in the 10 watt area. We install Debian Linux, and for now have
    > been running compiles on the target, to avoid library confusion. At
    > some point we'll have to consider a stripped-down release to install on
    > the product, but that should only involve taking things away, not
    > radically changing our methods.
    >
    > We've also tried Technologics TS-7xxx ARM-based boards, successfully.
    > With these we started with a toolchain under Cygwin, but latter moved
    > to a native toolchain on the target board. All toolchains were free
    > from the Technologics FTP site.
    >
    > For native compiles, we get the target system to mount the source tree
    > via NFS from a Linux desktop system.
    >
    > Apart from that, the other outside tools we've depended on:
    > - a CVS server on the LAN for source code control
    > - the PuTTY package to handle SSH connections to the target/development
    > system from our desktops.
    >
    >
    > Product press releases from the LinuxDevices.com RSS feed are a good read.
    >
    > Mel.


  14. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On 22 maalis, 20:14, ben.nor...@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    > In terms of development, what do we need to invest in? If someone can
    > tell us what software and hardware we'd be needing to get, in order to
    > program for, and compile on, these SBCs then we'd be very grateful.
    >


    Take a look at OpenEmbedded linux distro. I think it has everything
    you need. It has support for a lot of small SBC:s and you can easily
    build your own customized distro which fits (kernel + rootfs) into the
    flash (no cf/sd-card needed). You can start with full-featured SBC and
    later on scale your application down if you need to (i think oe has
    support for really low end machines with 8Mb flash). Or you can do
    development on a regular desktop linux if your application relies on
    the standard linux stuff.

  15. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On Mar 23, 12:09 am, donald wrote:
    > Mel wrote:
    > > ben.nor...@gmail.com wrote:
    > >> I'm working with ryan on the project he mentioned, so I thought I'd
    > >> make an appearance in the group and add my two pennies worth

    >
    > >> We're looking for a SBC that runs a linux kernel ideally, that we can
    > >> customise and to make a small, low-power and (eventually) reasonably
    > >> inexpensive box that can perform a number of functions.

    >
    > You and ryan are application level programmer who like to use the term
    > embedded to mean something other then what it use to mean.
    >
    > All the functions you are asking for are only on PC level boards.
    >
    > Some truly embedded system boards will contain some of these thing, but
    > at a price.
    >
    > So, if you are looking at getting a project/product done, then just get
    > it done.
    >
    > If you are looking to play around, start somewhere and figure out whats
    > missing and move up from there.
    >
    > These is _no_ perfect embedded board for application programmers.
    >
    > You guys ask for a PC but don't want to pay for a PC.
    >
    > Well, technology is not there yet.
    >
    > donald
    >
    >


    I think Ben gave the wrong impression there, as I have more than
    enough PCs in my house as it is, so gettting one to dev on wouldn't be
    a problem. When Ben stated "number of functions" he meant that we want
    the SBC to be as generic as possible not that we wanted to use the SBC
    as a general PC.

    What we are looking is a SBC with as many Features as possible in the
    sense of USB, ethernet ports etc at minimum cost (we are only starting
    out so dont want to commit too much cash to it in case we decide its
    not for us 100-150 is not unreasonable imo but much more than that
    and its a no go.) so that we can do multiple projects on it without
    having to go out and buy a new SBC each time.

    The specs we agreed it should have as min:
    200Mhz CPU
    32Mb RAM (we would prefer 64 but that is price dependant)
    256Mb On board flash (we could get away with smaller but I'd rather
    start big and scale down, although a board that uses SD cards instead
    is also acceptable).
    2x USB host ports (minimum, 4 at most)
    1x Ethernet port (Again *if* we could find one with 2 that would be
    better as one of the projects we had in mind was a network based one)
    case (if possible to protect the board (from my tea addiction ) )

    I realise I may not even get all that with our budget, everything
    except the 2 USB ports and the ethernet port can be adjusted to keep
    the price down.

    The main reason for a desire to learn embedded programing comes from
    the very low power overhead of an embedded system.

    Thanks to all that have taken the time to reply.

    We are still looking at boards but hopefully we can decide which one
    to use soon..

  16. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Thanks to everyone for their replies so far.

    I'd like to reiterate Ryan's point...we're both awash with PCs...and
    are looking for a new challenge. This isn't an exercise in trying to
    develop something on the cheap - it's simply a case of not throwing
    away several hundred quid each on something that's not going to do
    what we want - we're trying to do our research first to make sure we
    get the right gear first time.

    Thanks again for your replies

    Ben



  17. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    > The specs we agreed it should have as min:
    > 200Mhz CPU
    > 32Mb RAM (we would prefer 64 but that is price dependant)
    > 256Mb On board flash (we could get away with smaller but I'd rather
    > start big and scale down, although a board that uses SD cards instead
    > is also acceptable).
    > 2x USB host ports (minimum, 4 at most)
    > 1x Ethernet port (Again *if* we could find one with 2 that would be
    > better as one of the projects we had in mind was a network based one)
    > case (if possible to protect the board (from my tea addiction ) )


    Take a look at http://www.debian.org/ports/arm/, especially
    http://www.cyrius.com/debian/iop/ and http://www.cyrius.com/debian/nslu2/.

    If you want to create something similar to the NSLU2, you could begin with
    one. To add other USB ports, you could simply take a (relatively cheap) USB
    hub, strip any casing and include it into the box; something like in:
    http://beta.ivancover.com/wiki/index...ernal_Upgrades. This is
    for the EEE PC, though.

    I don't think you will get your do-it-yourself-solution any cheaper than
    this. Because - what others said - you won't get a board with the components
    you'd like for anything like 100$ ; and even with a budget of 200$ you'd be
    severely limited.

    You can, of course, do with the NSLU2 whatever you would do with your custom
    board. And, as it's ARM architecture, it's a real embedded device. Not to
    forget - it is supported by a known Linux distribution, which means, that,
    if you don't have the time or the will to develop any further, you can still
    get a working and usable system.

    Best regards,
    Sebastian



  18. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    Hi,

    >> not for us £100-£150 is not unreasonable imo but much more than that


    > this. Because - what others said - you won't get a board with the
    > components you'd like for anything like 100$ ; and even with a budget of
    > 200$ you'd be severely limited.


    As a wee bit of confusion seems to be creeping in, £100-£150 is equivalent
    to $200-£300 today (Thursday).

    Sorry, no suggestions on hardware as we use our own here.

    HTH,
    John McCallum,
    Edinburgh


  19. Re: Beginning Embedded Development

    On Mar 20, 10:56 am, Pvt Ryan wrote:
    > The required specs of the device I want to endup with:
    > 1x ethernet
    > 1x(or preferably more) USB port (A-type receptacle)
    > 1x Low end cpu 100Hhz-200Mhz
    > ~64Mb of flash (more is better)
    > as much ram as feasible


    Hey Ryan and Ben,

    I'm currently working on a project based on an Atmel AT91SAM9260 ARM9
    processor and am very happy with it so far. There is a great deal of
    active development going on with this processor family, and it's
    fairly well supported in Linux. There is also a very active community
    of developers on this platform at www.at91.com and on the ARM-Linux
    mailing list. I'm using the development board supplied by Atmel,
    which is quite expensive, but Olimex has recently released a board
    which fits most of your requirements: http://olimex.com/dev/sam9-L9260.html
    .. The board includes a working Linux binary for initial
    experimentation (though you'll inevitably want to get your own custom
    kernel working) and at EURO 140, is well within your price range. It only
    has a single USB host port, but you can get a cheap USB hub to expand
    it if need be.

    > Questions:
    > 1. What _excatly_ do I need to get started? (I really have NO idea
    > what i will need)


    Knowledge. I recommend you purchase a few books on embedded Linux
    development. I can personally recommend Linux Device Drivers, which
    you can read online for free at http://lwn.net/Kernel/LDD3/ (though I
    prefer a hard copy) and Linux Kernel Development by Robert Love (this
    is not specific to embedded Linux, so your prior Linux experience may
    be enough). I'm also currently reading Linux Appliance Design by Bob
    Smith et al and have found it incredibly useful so far. It gives an
    excellent description of a typical embedded Linux system with lots of
    tips that you just can't find online (believe me, I've looked).

    > 3. What online resources are there to help me learn.


    The Linux documentation project ( http://tldp.org ), various mailing
    lists, linuxjournal.com, kerneltrap.org, kernelnewbies.org,
    linuxdevices.com, Usenet (which you're obviously aware of already),
    and I'm sure there are tons more.

    Good luck and have fun!
    Alex


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