Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Tiva C Series TM4C1294 Connected LaunchPad

Author: refaqtor

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Independent Products

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?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?:

Detailed Review:

This Texas Instruments Launchpad has proven as easy to get going on, especially considering the myriad of features including internet connection configuration.  Conveniently, all the jumpers were set correctly by default to power up with the included USB cable.  The "out of box" demo proceeded without a hitch according to the information sheet included in the box.  I particularly appreciate the color-coded header pin function map also seen here: Energia Reference - Stellaris LaunchPad.  While the web site suggested in the informational sheet brings you directly to the technical datasheets and documentation, I found this workshop site very informative : Creating IoT Solutions with the TM4C1294XL Connected LaunchPad Workshop - Texas Instruments Wiki .  This site : Tiva C Series Connected LaunchPad (EK-TM4C1294XL) also had more information on other resources in their ecosystem.  Of particular note is that Energia is supporting an increasing number of TI Launchpads, including this one : Energia Reference - Introduction.  Arduino users will find Energia comforting and familiar.

 

Exosite Demo Site

Following the demonstration sheet in the box got me set up quickly and logging data to the website, as you see here-- very easy.  Exosite limits the number of devices you can connect for free, but it is quite easily configurable may well be worth it for your application.

 

 

TivaWare - C Code Composer Resources

From the TI links noted above (and in the box) you can download Code Composer, TI's very nice free development environment based on Eclipse.  You will also download TivaWare-C resource package, as you can see in the Resource Explorer of Code Composer, where you'll find the "qs_iot" pre-loaded demo example code.

 

 

Texas Instruments Code Composer

Code Composer is a capable IDE that makes it easy to find example resources and documentation.  Connectivity to devices has always been painless, and a dynamite debugger makes it easy to step through code and really see how things work.

 

 

Tiva - C PinMux

Note: the part on this Tiva-C Launchpad is TM4C129x  and the particular part is TM4C129NCPDT.  The part number is on the chip itself, but I find that difficult to read if the paint label gets rubbed off.

There are many more peripherals in a Tiva than can be simultaneously enabled or accessed through the external pins.  The permutations are myriad, as is the potential for conflicts.  TI makes a tool to help you successfully configure the peripherals by giving you a useful graphical user interface that provides alerts to conflicts.  It will also generate the appropriate code based on your selections to past into your own code.  Tiva™ C Series MCUs PinMux Utility - TM4C_PINMUX - TI Software Folder

 

 

Tiva PinMux Produced Initialization Code

Here is an example of the code generated by the Tiva PinMux utility - simple, but voluminous.  I enjoy knowing that, at least, all the initialization and port configuration is handled properly.

 

 

 

Energia (Arduino clone) interface for the Tiva-C launchpad

Finally, for those who just want to bang something out quickly there is really convenient access through Energia.

 

In conclusion, if you need to get something connected to the internet quickly, there is plenty of easy potential in the Tiva-C Launchpad, at a good price.

Anonymous
  • Forgot to mention, nice review

     

    I look forward to seeing you demonstrate some of its unique features

  • Yes you absolutely can, I have been for a little while now but it is limited as to how much of the hardware you can leverage with it as the hardware abstraction is permitting all the basic "Arduino" and "Energia" functionality but not everything the Tiva C can do (Automatic ADC over all the channels for instance, OR DMA, Quadrature rotation encoding etc), these are all features of the chip. Also the chip has a ROM with all the libraries but so far not integrated with Energia. Fully available with CCS.

     

    There are some limitations on the libraries too, for instance I have been unable to so far get the Sharp96 LCD (Used on the other road test) to work with it, the libraries are not compatible. But this is an ongoing struggle with the Launchpads, between the MCU types the hardware is different, I'm referring to MSP430G vs M4C1234 vs MSP430F etc

     

    it is kind of like the batman episode where he is trying to figure out which perfumes and hygiene products are safe to use in combination, the launchpads and Boosters are like that, not all combinations will work, even though there physically pin compatible

     

    That said, it is a wonderful device and running at 120Mhz it can do some awesome stuff real fast

     

    Because the Libraries are in ROM, the code limitation of CCS is way less important for most code examples, also there is an excellent set of Workshops available for free to learn how to use the chip and Code composer at the same time

     

    Oh, and Code composer Studio will now import an Energia sketch and allow you to run it with full hardware debugging, looking at registers and everything, now that is cool and something Energia cant do so it was nice of TI to add that capability

  • I hadn't realised that you could use Energia for these.

    You've changed my thoughts about using them now that I don;t have to spend a lot of time upskilling to other software.

     

    Thanks

    Mark