Friday, March 30, 2012

Road Testing an ARM LPC2101: Part 1a

In the previous article, I soldered an LPC2101 onto a Schmartboard for testing. The low cost ARM7 MCU was sent by Newark to me for road testing. Part 2 was intended to discuss programming the device, but programming turned out to be substantially more involved than I expected.

LPC2101/2/3 Breakout

Meanwhile, the chip fried during experimentation, halting my progress. I subsequently designed a breakout board for the LPC 210x family of MCUs and assembled the first set of parts onto one of the boards to try it out.


Downloading a hex file to blink an LED was successful!


I've also successfully programmed the UART and sent "Hello World" over serial. Cool!

Features:
  • Compact 36-DIP package for breadboard prototyping
  • Uses standard FTDI 6-pin header for bootloader programming and serial debug
  • Program switch makes it easy to flash new programs via bootloader
  • 800mA 3.3V onboard regulator to power MCU and attached circuits
  • Onboard 1.8V regulator reduces power complexity for the experimenter
  • Three supply options: FTDI, VIN pin, or external 3.3V supply
  • Reset switch
  • Debug jumper
  • Pin 0.14 is exposed for automatic program mode with RTS
Eagle Files

The board's Open Source Hardware so here are the Eagle files, Gerbers, etc.:
http://code.google.com/p/bt-arm-breakout

Coming Soon

This new development platform and the switch to an LPC2103 made it easier to get sample programs working.

The ARM7 is a bit tricky to get started with because one must include startup code in assembly with the chip to set up the stack and other configurations.

One must also set up a memory map within the IDE. More details to follow in Part 2, coming soon.

Eventually, I will undertake a similar road test for a Texas Instruments ARM processor, also sent by Newark for road testing. Stay tuned!

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