ARM7 Development

Created by: Lester Caine, Last modification: 22 Mar 2014 (11:44 UTC)

The DPU550 source code for the the ARM7 processor is been made open source at sourceforge, and there is a supporting group on Google groups - opendro. No doubt at some point I may have to give in and actually join but Yahoo and SF provide enough agro without taking on something else as well! The original build instructions were developed on Windows XP using elements that are difficult to access today. Currently we are looking at updating those details.

In the meantime I've been looking at the options for developing code for the ARM processor and in particular the at91sam7s256. What I was pleased to find very quickly was a nice development board at only £56 with everything one needs to play with the code. Olimex provide a nice set of material to support the board, along with using my favourite IDE - Eclipse - for development. While the documentation is specifically targeted to Windows, it would seem that many of the additional tools are actually ported from Linux, and so I am currently looking into that area. I've been running Linux on the development systems for coming on two years so I don't want to be pushed back onto a windows box just for this.

After closer inspection, I've found a number of useful items available of the shelf. While Farnell are the European distributor for Olimex, there are a few local guys who offer even better prices, and one off price for the at91sam7s256 on a header ready to plug in is under £20. Short term this offers a number of advantages since it could be plugged into a single sided board to link to the existing PIC socket and still leaves access to all the spare pins. Using the YADRO scale connections and isolated RS232 gives me a few more options.

Looking for an option to provide a display, we have found a nice small full colour module at a reasonable price. This has a serial interface and should work as a suitable display for a number of applications. There is user group supporting the device, and it is uses the same ARM7 proceesor as the rest of the opendro code, so has the potential to be configured acactly how it is needed ot work.