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wilywyrm

A Launchpad Mega?

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Hi all,

 

First post, hope no one minds a little introduction before I get to the meat of things.

I got started with microcontrollers last year with my very first Arduino. Whoo!

It was for a school project featuring a couple of those classic LED cubes, and while I was ordering supplies from Mouser, I happened upon a Launchpad. For barely over 4 dollars, I couldn't help but get one out of impulse. I knew for sure it would be a completely different beast from the Arduino, architecture and code-wise, but it was only after I actually got it that I saw the chips available only had up to 2KB of memory (Thought it was a typo up until then). Now, a lot of the projects out there are amazing and I wouldn't have come up with them, but since an ATMega328 has 16 times as much memory, the MSP430 looked pretty wimpy even if it's hit 8KB so far.

 

But in any case, there don't seem to be any plans in the short term for going beyond PDIP-20 and 16KB, much less 256KB. I think it'd be an awesome community project to engineer a Launchpad Mega so we could parallel the Arduino Mega and give an option for people who need the extra room. After all, TI isn't going to hand us another development board for $4.30 ;) .

We would also definitely have enough pins to toy with the idea of multiple Launchstacks that NJC threw out there.

 

Anyway, long story short, the Launchpad is geared towards the same kinds of people that play with Arduinos. I don't think the MSP430... ecosystem, I guess you could say, would be complete without a ginormous version for people who need a little more muscle in their MSP430 (about 32 times the muscle, actually...).

 

Just wanted to get the idea out there if no one was thinking of it.

So, what do you guys think?

 

(Now, this is jumping quite ahead, but I really like the F6638. Most certainly NOT a value line device, loads of peripherals and comes with USB and a bootloader straight off the wafer. I figure it'll be out of preview status by the time a design is ready.)

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Hello wilywyrm, welcome to the forums. The fact the LP has caught on is because it is cheap and simple enough in architecture for beginners.

But in any case, there don't seem to be any plans in the short term for going beyond PDIP-20 and 16KB, much less 256KB. I think it'd be an awesome community project to engineer a Launchpad Mega so we could parallel the Arduino Mega and give an option for people who need the extra room. After all, TI isn't going to hand us another development board for $4.30 .

Your suggestion is interesting, but am finding reasons as to why would you pair them in parallel. It means more work in terms of communication between the two, memory sharing etc... Also if more horsepower is needed, the Arduino would be good standalone.

 

(Now, this is jumping quite ahead, but I really like the F6638. Most certainly NOT a value line device, loads of peripherals and comes with USB and a bootloader straight off the wafer. I figure it'll be out of preview status by the time a design is ready.)

Chip's awesome, but lacks a cheap dev kit like the Valueline series. I think a member, zeke, has a kit.

 

Please don't take my answers negatively, I'm only adding to the discussion. In any case, enjoy yourself here.

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I have an MSP-EXP430F5438 kit. I think it's worth US$149.

 

If I were going to develop a LaunchPad Mega Board I would choose an F5529 or F5438a for the main processor.

 

The F5529 has an integrated USB port in it. It's a new part and, as far as I know, hasn't got a lot of traction in the marketplace yet.

 

Since I have some samples of both devices, I have the desire to create a Launchpad Mega board for myself. I am open to the idea of offering it for sale but I haven't done the math yet to see if it's a good idea.

 

Who would want one?

What's a reasonable price for one?

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Your suggestion is interesting, but am finding reasons as to why would you pair them in parallel. It means more work in terms of communication between the two, memory sharing etc...

Is that how it it came out like? Sorry, I meant to say "parallel" as in an alternative to the Mega, paralleling it in feature set and amount of memory, not physically as in a dual-microcontroller system, although that would indeed be an interesting exercise in its implementation.

 

Chip's awesome, but lacks a cheap dev kit like the Valueline series.

In a way, then, I suppose this would be developing one. Last I checked, TI's master plan was to get the ball rolling to a point where people would want to do this. Someday when I stop using these things to blink lights, I might actually break the 16KB mark.

 

Please don't take my answers negatively, I'm only adding to the discussion.

Oh, not at all. If half the posts on the internet were as constructive, we'd have a lot more done.

 

I have an MSP-EXP430F5438 kit. I think it's worth US$149.

Just taking a glance at the picture, I'd have to agree with you on that. We probably wouldn't be able to load as many peripheral devices onto it and keep the price un-scary for beginners.

 

If I were going to develop a LaunchPad Mega Board I would choose an F5529 or F5438a for the main processor.

The F5529 has an integrated USB port in it. It's a new part and, as far as I know, hasn't got a lot of traction in the marketplace yet.

Since I have some samples of both devices, I have the desire to create a Launchpad Mega board for myself. I am open to the idea of offering it for sale but I haven't done the math yet to see if it's a good idea.

Who would want one?
What's a reasonable price for one?

You would know better than me for the processor, I just have a problem not picking the most loaded and bleeding-edge part. Might be a little obsessive problem on my side. :)

Although, as far as development goes, I think you can sample F6638 prototypes even though they're in preview right now. Not sure if they'll fit in the development board you've got, though. EDIT: Nope, definitely not, even if they're the same package. I/O ports are switched around.

I'd get one for about $50-60 ish, but don't take me as a good reference. I'm a bit of a cheapskate student and I'd be just as likely to etch my own board as to buy one.

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