Ultra-Low Power Arm Cortex-M4 Darwin MCU EVM - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Ultra-Low Power Arm Cortex-M4 Darwin MCU EVM

Author: gam3t3ch

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

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:

To start things off I first want to thank Element14 and Maxim Integrated for the opportunity to take part in this roadtest.


So starting off I thought I would basically read an learnd this one as I went along.  Let me tell you for roadtest this was actually a really bad idea.  Just a reminder to anyone taking part in any roadtests if you think it would be a cool product to check out and play with and write your experiences on make sure you note that in your application for the roadtest that is you intention.  I will start off by saying I am a Maxim Integrated fan boy I love their stuff and have plans and projects lined up for other products as well.  It has been interesting watching them grow over the past year even its pretty amazing and what a great bunch over there glad they have been apart of so many roadtests so far.


With that being said.  Since Did such an amazing and detailed review on it there is no way I could compare to the in depth review that was done there. Make sure to check it out here ---> Ultra-Low Power Arm Cortex-M4 Darwin MCU EVM - Review


While I will say this when I first started getting things installed and updated to get everything going I was surprised at how frustrated and well how my vocabulary downgraded to trucker.  Things really started to go wrong for me while getting to know the board and its features.


Finally! I got it setup and to the point where I could run the hello world on it....  what a relief but I still felt very unaccomplished with this and while I Was having my own troubles with the board reading along seeing that others where having issues as well was making me feel not so happy about the board it really took a toll on me I wont lie.  I read everything I could attempted to use multiple methods of connections and software for the board trying to make something on my own.  But it really wasn't going my way either I was having IDE issues or the great joys of all of a sudden having your computer doing some random weird things on the operating system.  (not related) so was making my process very frustrating from start to finish on this.


Now I am not going to post all the information on my roadtest here as you can check out the listed review for more in depth write up about and you will probably learn a ton more about the board.


So now after reading and trying to find out what I could installing IDE on everything I could to see if there was something wrong with my main computer while dealing with it but seems everything that I attempted didn't want to work. I was getting more errors then Windows ME.

OK so where do we go from here.  Well back to the internet I went spending countless hours reading over any PDF I could that might help me through the process better nothing was doing the trick.  I re-watched the webinar a few times.


At this point I am very grateful for being able to take part in this roadtest it sure opened my eyes and really pushed my limits when it came to working with the board at first I thought I was going to have a lot more of a fun time with this board.  I have don't get me wrong but I really felt like I was back in school again learning things for the first time.  This was more then OK with me as I really love to learn and want to expand in to many area's that I wouldn't regularly dive into.


Where to now?  Well now that I have gotten a bit more into it I have a ton more playing around with the board and with the examples as well.  Hopefully I can come up with a project at some point here for this but at this point I have been using it as a learning tool.  Definitely pushing my limits of knowledge and learning.


The great thing about roadtests is that sometimes you can get something to just play with that you wouldn't regularly play with and expand your knowledge.  I have been amazed at how much I have learned in such a short time with this board and with how much I thought I knew when it came to my coding.  I certainly will be playing with this board more and more in the future as it is very small very versatile and a great multi-purpose tool for so many different reasons.  Maxim products I have tested and used have always been great when it comes to ease of use and setup so was very grateful this was the case again.  Their support is always top shelf wish other companies would take notes from them on that.


In closing there is still a lot for me to learn and a lot for me to test when it comes to this board.  I look forward to working with this more in my free time as its sitting on my desk beside me ready for more attention. But with the learning curve its brought me lots of obstacles that will be overcome with more research and testing.

In the future I will post some updates on here regarding the board as I really feel like I have gotten the hang of it but have not gotten it to where I am using it to its fullest potential.


Video and photos to come soon as well.

  • We'll see what happens in the future, but the whole idea of having a number of RoadTesters is to have a multitude of opinions. This doesn't seem so much as a review as to heavily refer to someone else's RoadTest as justification for not including further detail in a review that reads more like a rant. I don't think this is quite a valid reason for not including your own content (e.g. photos, videos) even if someone else has already beat you to the post - otherwise one person would write a RoadTest and everyone else would write "I agree - see this person's RoadTest".


    Likewise, more details about the specific errors encountered, whether you got any support for them, what you were actually trying to do at the point of the error, what solutions you attempted to get around the error etc would actually make for a useful RoadTest report for both prospective purchasers who might encounter similar errors and for the company who might be able to improve their offerings. Aside from that, you could still perhaps report on the device, the package, how it compares to other competitors, etc.


    I understand that the RoadTest may have been more difficult than anticipated to complete - very often, we underestimate the difficulty of the project at the outset, but in that case I think we would appreciate if you would take a little time to produce something in stages with greater detail, photographs, screenshots, etc.


    - Gough

  • Oh I have a lot more info coming videos and photos to follow as well. which will give more in site into the issues I was having as well.

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