[chbot] Digilent ChipKit Uno32

Volker Kuhlmann list0570 at paradise.net.nz
Mon Aug 13 10:02:58 BST 2012

On Mon 13 Aug 2012 15:35:45 NZST +1200, Michael Field wrote:

> I've just had a play with a Digilent ChipKit Uno32
> (http://www.digilentinc.com/Products/Detail.cfm?Prod=CHIPKIT-UNO32).
> In a word "Very nice".

I had a closer look at those about a year ago.


* The hardware is under opensource type license and full schematics are
available. (Note 4-layer PCB.)

* The software is actively Arduino-compatible and has good support. They
did by and large a pretty decent job on porting that.

* It is possible for a lot of programs to make them work on both Arduino
and this PIC32MX with little effort.


* They saved a few cents by not putting on an EEPROM.

* Flash durability is not so high.

* A lot of the Arduino "libraries" were still not ported, like Ethernet.
Others like SPI were not compatible with existing Arduino software
"because our SPI interface is just so much better". Well doh, making it
work the same first and then adding an improved interface in parallel
would have been better instead of ego massaging.

* It's from Microchip. The licensing is dubious, with plenty of the
Arduino/gcc material they supply being peppered with "you may run this
only on Microchip hardware". Well I'm not interested in vendor lock-ins
and non-portability.

Be aware that code size on the PIC32MX seems to be about 2.5-3 times
that of an 8bit AVR for the same job, so a 128kbyte Chipkit doesn't
really look that much better than a 32kbyte Arduino. It's a good choice
when Arduino compatibility is an advantage, but for a more powerful CPU
I'd just go ARM and have oodles more choice.

Element14 had them for a reasonable price too which might well be more
attractive than buying in A$.


Volker Kuhlmann
http://volker.dnsalias.net/	Please do not CC list postings to me.

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