Review of Microchip DM240012 USB Starter Kit

Table of contents

RoadTest: Microchip DM240012 USB Starter Kit

Author: DavenPaget

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: I shall compare it to my other platform's ARM development kit , my STM32F4-Discovery .

What were the biggest problems encountered?: So far , i had this annoying LED1 stay on and , instead of LED2 switching on and then off after the application ends .

Detailed Review:

Opening up the box , the items inside are packed well , as in very well .

I had to literally tear through the whole E14 box .

But anyway , when i got to the starter kit's box itself .

Well presented .

Opening the box up , i find the goodies .


Programming it , with the demo code .

Debugging it .

Target failed ! HUH ?!

I have no idea what this means : I have done PIC but only on the discrete level ( i.e no starter kit ) never have i done a starter kit and am quite lost already .


Anyway , i find this kit very good , except that it is a little bit on the expensive side ... My only purchased kit is a STM32F4-Disco so i am beginning comparison with that item now .

ST did not give me any cables at all , Microchip did and they were high quality ones not those filmsy AWG36 ones i saw from Samsung's products .

Regarding speed i won't be able to judge since the STM32F407VGT6 operates at 168MHz and has like 210DMIPS or 1.25DMIPS/MHz and is of course , 32bits .

And The PIC24E ? 60MIPS @ 60MHz ... so that's quite slow . But it's only 16bit , so who cares ?

The strength of ARM is their speed/power .

But , Sometimes you just have to have code attached to each and every receive of a symbol/character from an external device and at those times having the ability to process a boat load of interrupts with very low overhead cost and deterministic latency has always been a fantastic strength of the PIC architecture.  After all, consider the origin of the PIC architecture in the first place.

A comparable chip to the STM32F4 is the PIC32MX after all , 120+ DMIPS @ 80MHz which is not bad ... 1.5DMIPS/MHz but ... It's a pic and that has no comparison since it's PIC vs ARM

The thing about PIC is that it is suited for small scale projects , regarding the PIC16F series .

Easy , quick immediate operation when in dire need . ( I must say i haven't touched AVR before . )

Both PIC and AVR is easy to program in any case .


Thoughts on the debugging and programming platform :

MPLAB 8 was good but MPLAB X was no good , it was slow and hopeless .

MPLAB is much better so please , microchip , keep the old MPLAB .


Thoughts on the I/O's

There's only 3 USB's , Female USB , Female MicroUSB and Female MiniUSB

But still , this is a starter kit and not a development kit like the arduino's and pickit2 demo kit , STM32F4-Disco


Microchip wins the award from me for simplicity and raw I/O speed at low prices . ( so far i've seen )