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Is MSP[432] right platform for my ideas?


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Hi folks,

I wish to create (and market) series of open source projects that will include both mechanical and electronic / microcontroller components. While electronics periphery and mechanics will change from product to product, software will gradually evolve with each project. For example my first project is a modern rotary head/platform controller that can be used for manual machining, 3D Scanning and any other application that requires 1-2 axis motion. With limited G-Code support and few external connections.

My vision are modern, state of the art devices that might have such features as build in graphic displays (possibly touch), network connectivity, web configuration and control interfaces. Power consumption will not be a issue since all projects I plan have utility power.

My Assembly and C days are about 20 years away, in this millennia I have mostly done UNIX sysadmin and web development stuff. So I enter microcontroller world as a newbie but not completely naked.

I am on the crossroads now as to which hardware / microcontroller to chose.

A combination of SBC with slave MCU?
Would probably give best flexibility, performance and speed up development but somehow it feels like overkill and is relatively expensive hardware wise, especially if I wish to market the devices.

Atmel?
Has a great community and huge amount of code and projects but quite centered around high level arduino IDE and many projects are licensed under GPL while I prefer MIT / BSD.

TI / MSP?
Seems to me like a smaller community but more low level oriented, I read several chapters from 'MSP430 Microcontroller Basics' and so far liked it.

Brand new MSP432P401R Launchpad seems like excellent base to build upon with enough power(?) and connections to fit all my ideas.

What do you think? If you where to enter the microcontroller world today with projects I outlined above, would you chose MSP or something else?

Thanks

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To be honest, most modern microcontrollers will fit the bill. You might as well choose what you like using. Personally I think this is a great supportive community and there are plenty of code examples shipped with the IDE so that give the TI stuff the edge. Dev boards are cheap enough that it might be worth trying a few to see how you get on.

 

What's SBC?

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To be honest, most modern microcontrollers will fit the bill. You might as well choose what you like using. Personally I think this is a great supportive community and there are plenty of code examples shipped with the IDE so that give the TI stuff the edge. Dev boards are cheap enough that it might be worth trying a few to see how you get on.

 

What's SBC?

 

So, that's one for MSP :) I played a bit with MSP430F5529 launchpad and like using it.

 

SBC = Single Board Computer such as BeagleBone or RasPi. There are also chimera's such as Arduino Y

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If you plan on building your own board, you might check to see if you can actually buy the msp432 chips:

 

https://octopart.com/search?q=msp432p401r

 

I plan to use Launchpads as base with custom made shields. It will take me substantial time to get into the matter and I do not expect to have anything before fall of this year. I assume the situation with msp432 will be resolved by then, or am I being naive?

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I plan to use Launchpads as base with custom made shields. It will take me substantial time to get into the matter and I do not expect to have anything before fall of this year. I assume the situation with msp432 will be resolved by then, or am I being naive?

Oh there should be plenty of msp432's available by fall... it just takes TI a while to spin up their production and distribution.

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The decision you really need to make is: do I care about low power and/or low cost?

 

If the answer is "yes" then MSP432 is a good platform for now and for the future.  The community support and the TI support are very well integrated.  Honestly, I think the arduino community is not nearly as well organized.

 

If the answer is "no" then you should use things like RasPi, or perhaps even wait for Cortex M7 devices to start coming.  M7 aims to be a single-chip MCU replacement for ARM9 SBCs, and it will likely run compact Linux distros.

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