RoadTest: Microchip DM240012 USB Starter Kit
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 .
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 )
There are two different modes:
- Don't use the Debug option, when you have no intention to debug. Build the MPLAB project in Release mode, or
- Connect your Starter Kit to the PC and select the Debugger as Starter Kit on Board before building the project in Debug mode when do you intend to make some debugging.
Every demo should heave a readme, which tell you the details of jumper settings etc.
I must say this thing is rather hopeless when it comes to performance/buck .
It is rather expensive at 100$ compared to the 24$ when i bought the STM32F4-Disco